As part of the “Hotel Design” module, 37 third-year SIT students reading the Bachelor (Honours) in Hospitality Business were engaged in projects with Grand Hyatt Singapore, leveraging on innovation methodologies such as design thinking and lean management concepts.
Through this industry-supported module, students learned how to identify design opportunities to strengthen processes at Grand Hyatt Singapore. A total of 12 group projects were presented to the hotel on 4 April, including lean initiatives covering housekeeping, interior design, inventory counting, butler and porter services. Module Coordinator, Assistant Professor Jawn Lim shared, “Even though these students are not trained in design, they readily applied their business and operational acumen developed in the university to tackle design 'bottlenecks' at one of the most distinguished hotels. Working closely with Grand Hyatt Singapore’s engineering department, they embarked on projects in process, service and spatial design.”
We spoke to three project teams to understand more about their learning experience:
Porta-Porter – Porter Service Storage Design
Mathew Chan, member of Team Porta-Porter:
“Our project utilises technology to assist the bell team with their duties. During our first site visit to Grand Hyatt Singapore, we noticed a cluttered baggage storage area. We identified the cause of the issue using lean methodology and proposed to implement an automated storage and retrieval system. Utilising robotics and conveyor belt system to stack, sort, store and retrieve the baggage, we were able to relieve the strenuous physical responsibilities on the bell team. Other benefits include cost savings for the hotel through hiring less part-timers, and less waiting time for the hotel guests which translates into higher customer satisfaction.
Our greatest takeaway would be that there is more to Hotel Design than what meets the eye. It may be ideal to implement the newest and most tech-savvy products to assist with the operations, but the chances of achieving desired results are low if the root cause is not addressed. We hope that the recommendations can benefit the bell team, and perhaps become an iconic service feature of Grand Hyatt Singapore in the near future.”
123… – Inventory Auditing Technology Solution
Andre Cheong, member of Team 123…:
“Our project revolves around the inventory checking process. The current process is a manual and labour intensive process which relies on the finance and F&B teams to count every single item stored in the hotel. We endeavoured to introduce a more accurate, convenient and efficient way of conducting inventory checks that could help the hotel save time, money and effort.
Our project utilised the ‘Value Stream Map’ concept to map out, analyse and identify gaps for improvements in the current modus operandi. We also made use of the ‘7 Muda’ to identify and eliminate ’wastes’ in the existing process. Thereafter we came up with a set of recommendations that the hotel felt were feasible and could lead to improvements in the inventory counting process.”
Mother of All Gardens – Landscape Design Project
Eon Yang, member of Team Mother of All Gardens:
“The project is about conceptualising design plans for Grand Hyatt Singapore’s new garden set for renovation in 2020. The team proposed this idea after learning about the hotel’s plan to convert the current tennis courts into a lap pool and redesign the current swimming pool area into a tropical garden. We felt compelled to work with the hotel in enhancing the current design brief.
The ‘Mother of all Gardens’ is envisioned to be an iconic feature in Orchard. Based on that vision, we strived to come up with unique garden traits that incorporate both functional and aesthetic improvements into the overall design. The objective is not only to enhance the guest experience that the Hyatt name is famed for but also identify potential sustainable revenue streams.
The project instilled in us a deeper appreciation for every garden we now come across in our personal lives. It has almost become second nature to pay attention to the intricate details of each element, its overall design and how it complements one another to create positive experiences."
Grand Hyatt Singapore was represented by Mr Ivan Leong, Director of Engineering, Engineering Specialist - Asia Pacific and Mr Clyric Ng, Assistant Director of Engineering (Project & Innovation), Engineering.
Mr Leong shared his views on the innovation journey between Grand Hyatt Singapore and SIT. He said, “It’s a real privilege to have been able to tap on the bright young minds at SIT. The students truly impressed with their vigour, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness in defining their projects of which several of them are in contention for implementation.”
(From left at the table): Mr Yvan Tseng, Project Engineer, Grand Hyatt; Mr Clyric Ng, Assistant Director of Engineering (Project & Innovation), Grand Hyatt Singapore; Assistant Professor Jawn Lim, Deputy Director, Planning Office, SIT; Joshua Tan Jun Kai, Student, SIT.
Mr Ng, who gave weekly feedback to the students, shared, “It was absolutely refreshing to be able to work with these students. What truly amazed me was their resourcefulness and ability to appreciate ‘ground’ problems quickly and propose immediate and long term solutions. The value add from lean methodologies was very evident. Thank you for this wonderful collaboration and we look forward to embark on more projects with SIT!”
Grand Hyatt Singapore was pleased with the outcome of the "Hotel Design" engagement and is open to receiving these student's applications for various job openings within the hotel.