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Tqm in Starwood

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide In partial fulfilment Of the requirements in Total Quality Management 12 October, 2010 I. INTRODUCTION Being one of the of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. already has nearly 1000 properties in some 100 countries and approximately 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels and Resorts is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with different internationally renowned brands of St.

Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element. It also owns one of the premier developers and operators of high-quality vacation interval ownership resorts, Starwood Vacation Ownership Resorts, Inc. The company began as a small investment firm and then became a real estate investment trust (REIT). In 1998, Starwood acquired ITT Corporation, a company seven times its size, in which during that time, the world's largest lodging and gaming company.

Founded by Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Hotels and Resorts has been acquiring many other hotels and companies, at the same time, unloading some of its own properties to make room and money for new ones. Starwood Hotels and Resorts still face challenges in their worldwide operations. This led to a decision of adapting Six Sigma in the year 2000. The roll out of Six Sigma in the company started in the first quarter of 2001and was targeted to end in the year 2002 – also the time they say they will reap the fruits of their efforts. According to the founder, and previous chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood, Barry Sternlicht he launch of Six Sigma is one of the most important strategic initiatives since the formation of the company. It will be a multiyear effort encompassing thousands of associates. It will also sustain and build new momentum, strengthen their global brands, enhance their ability to share best practices globally, speed the adoption of new technologies, prepare them for the challenges of constant change, provide critical focus on the customer and overtime help them derive a dramatic improvement in the bottom line. All these will happen only with the successful implementation of the strategy.

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Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worlwide, Inc. was the first hospitality chain to adapt Six Sigma in its global operations. The company continuously improves with the Mission: “To our shareholders, our goal is to grow EBITDA at least 8-10% per year and EPS at least 15% per year. To our customers, we want Starwood to be the easiest company with which to do business. And to our employees, our commitment is to make Starwood a great place to work. ” “At Starwood, we don’t just ‘do’ Six Sigma, we ‘use’ Six Sigma,” wrote one Starwood employee in iSixSigma’s Best Places survey. That means that we use it every day in our daily work to solve problems, regardless of their size. We follow the DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma principles and use tools daily (VOC translation tables, Pugh matrices, SIPOC…DOE, etc. ), but don’t necessarily have to make every problem into a project. We just get it done here. ” This made Starwood the top best place to work in according to isixsigma. com’s Top 10 companies Best Places to Work list. To sum it up, Starwood Hotels and Resorts was able to pull off great opportunities of development and growth in the company through Six Sigma.

II. COMPANY PROFILE A. Brief Description about the company: As a top company in the Hotels, Casinos, Resorts industry, Starwood Hotels ; Resorts specialize in the operation and management of hotels, resorts, casinos and spas. Starwood is now one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 925 properties in more than 95 countries. Starwood Hotels ; Resorts Worldwide, Inc. , incorporated in 1980, is a hotel and leisure company. The Company conducts its hotel and leisure business both directly and through its subsidiaries. Its brand names include St.

Regis (luxury full-service hotels, resorts and residences), The Luxury Collection (luxury full-service hotels and resorts), W (luxury and upscale full service hotels, retreats and residences), Westin (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences), Le Meridien (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences), Sheraton (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences), Four Points (select-service hotels), Aloft (select-service hotels), and Element (extended stay hotels). The Company is organized into two business segments: hotels and vacation ownership and residential.

In January 2010, the Company announced that it has completed the disposal of Bliss World Holdings, Inc. to Steiner Leisure Limited. History of the company: Starwood Hotels ; Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the top hotel companies in the world. The company owns and operates hotels under leading brands such as Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, Four Points, and its recently developed W brand. The majority of Starwood's hotels are owned by franchisees, and the company directly owns or leases about 170 of its approximately 750 hotels worldwide.

Close to 500 of the company's hotels are in North America. Starwood also runs hotels in some 80 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America, including a chain of prestigious European palaces called the Ciga Group. The company began as a small investment firm and then became a real estate investment trust (REIT). In 1998 Starwood purchased ITT Corporation, a company seven times its size and at the time the world's largest lodging and gaming company. Starwood beat out the Hilton Hotels Corporation to get ITT, in what was one of the most dramatic takeover battles of the 1990s.

Starwood is run by Barry Sternlicht, whose consummate dealsmanship parlayed the small trust into a global lodging company. B. Different Scope of the Company: a. Starwood’s Managed Hotels The Company manages hotels worldwide, usually under a long-term agreement with the hotel owner (including entities in which it has a minority equity interest). Its responsibilities under hotel management contracts typically include hiring, training and supervising the managers and employees that operate these facilities.

For additional fees, it provides centralized reservation services and coordinates national advertising and certain marketing and promotional services. It prepares and implements annual budgets for the hotels it manages and is responsible for allocating property-owner funds for periodic maintenance and repair of buildings and furnishings. In addition to its owned and leased hotels, at December 31, 2009, it managed 440 hotels with approximately 153,800 rooms worldwide. b. The Brand Franchising and Licensing

The Company franchises its Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element brand names and generally derive licensing and other fees from franchisees based on a fixed percentage of the franchised hotel’s room revenue, as well as fees for other services, including centralized reservations, sales and marketing, public relations and national and international media advertising. In addition, a franchisee may also purchase hotel supplies, including brand-specific products, from certain Starwood-approved vendors.

It approves certain plans for, and the location of, franchised hotels and reviews their design. At December 31, 2009, there were 476 franchised properties with approximately 116,300 rooms. c. Vacation Ownership and Residential Business The Company develops, owns and operates vacation ownership resorts, market and sell the vacation ownership interests (VOIs) in the resorts and, in many cases, provide financing to customers who purchase such ownership interests.

Owners of VOIs can trade their interval for intervals at other Starwood vacation ownership resorts, for intervals at certain vacation ownership resorts not otherwise sponsored by Starwood through an exchange company, or for hotel stays at Starwood properties. From time to time, it securitizes or sells the receivables generated from its sale of VOIs. At December 31, 2009, it had 22 residential and vacation ownership resorts and sites in its portfolio with 16 actively selling VOIs and residences, and two that have sold all existing inventory. C. Business Industry:

The general business activity and principal products or commercial enterprise of Starwood Hotels & Resorts are categorized as being part of the Hotels, Casinos, Resorts Industry. D. The Company Values: "Go the Extra Step by taking actions that build lasting connections and loyalty ; Play as a Team by working globally and across all teams in the company; Do the Right Thing by using good judgment, respecting our communities, associates, owners, partners and the environment" E. Principal Subsidiaries: Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. F. Principal Competitors: Marriott International, Inc. Hilton Hotels Corporation; Four Seasons Hotels Inc. G. Key Dates of the company’s operations a. 1991: Starwood Capital Group is founded. b. 1993: Starwood begins buying hotels. c. 1994: Starwood buys Hotel Investors Trust; gains special REIT status. d. 1998: Starwood acquires ITT Corporation. e. 2001: Implementation of Six Sigma Strategy for the company’s overall operations III. BEFORE HAVING SIX-SIGMA IN THE COMPANY Starwood Hotels and Resorts did not follow a particular Total Quality Management program. Although they do have goals, such as: Starwood is entering a new stage in its development,” said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The world is changing rapidly. While we own superb physical assets around the world, it is our 30 million customers who represent the critical and unrecognized asset of our company in this internet age. We are determined to build a customer-centric organization, a company that will take advantage of unprecedented advances in technology to improve nearly every facet of its core operations while increasing brand loyalty in an effort to create significant long-term shareholder value,” Mr.

Sternlicht said. Starwood, though were very successful before their implementation of the Six Sigma also encounter several problems. One of which was when the Congress acted to change the law governing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). This made Starwood lose its tax advantage thus converting itself to the traditional corporate structure. The change made accounting difficult, particularly in comparing financial results from before and after the restructuring. In addition, there seemed to be trouble in the top echelons of management.

Starwood's stock price fell, and in December 1998 the company announced that fourth quarter earnings would be less than estimated. Other lodging stocks did badly as well, but Starwood was clearly struggling to integrate its vast new holdings. IV. THE COMPANY’S ADAPTATION • The slowing economy hurt Starwood and other hotel companies in 2001. The September 11 terrorist attacks were a huge blow to the industry. Starwood's North American business fell drastically immediately after the attacks, and two weeks later the company announced that it would lay off 23 percent of its North American workforce.

Revenue fell in 2001 and 2002 as the global economy remained weak and business travel was less than robust. The company's European operations did better than its North American business, and Asia became the company's next frontier. Less than 10 percent of Starwood's operating profit came from its Asian operations in 2002, but the company aimed to increase that to 25 percent by 2007. • "We have spent $1 billion in our ongoing effort to bring consistency to our branded hotels around the world," says Bob Cotter, chief operating officer, Starwood Hotels ; Resorts. It is time and we are ready to complement this effort with a global focus on the delivery of consistent and exemplary service to our guests. From the reservation and check-in process, to room standards and cleanliness, it is our goal for every Westin, Sheraton, W, Four Points by Sheraton, Starwood Vacation Ownership and St. Regis/Luxury Collection guest to have a flawless experience during each and every visit. Six Sigma will help us reach that goal. " V. THE SIX SIGMA IMPLEMENTATION AT STARWOOD In 2001 Starwood Hotels & Resorts became the first hospitality company in the world to embrace Six Sigma, an internationally recognized approach that enables Starwood associates to develop innovative customer focused solutions and to transfer these solutions across the global organization. Six Sigma is a customer-focused, fact-based, analytical system (approach and tools) for improving processes so that customers are more satisfied and Associates’ time is spent more on value-added activities, leading to increased profitably.

The Six Sigma tools enable Starwood hotels to transfer solutions and innovations across their properties and offices globally. This gives the company a competitive advantage on speed to market in implementing Best Practices and Brand Standards. • By launching Six Sigma, Starwood made a long-term commitment to radically improving the way it does business. For Starwood Six Sigma is a powerful business system that focuses on consistently delivering superior value to existing and potential customers. Six Sigma will roll out across Starwood Hotels & Resorts starting in the first quarter of 2001, completing implementation through the entire company by the end of 2002. While the company has budgeted a net cost for the program in 2001, as training and process reengineering begins, the company expects the program to begin delivering benefits in 2002 and beyond. Pioneered by Motorola and made famous by GE, Six Sigma has helped some of the world’s leading companies greatly improve customer service and increase financial returns.

Starwood expects to save millions of dollars through improved efficiencies and maximized targeting of employed capital. Further, Starwood expects to generate significant incremental revenue and profit due to enhanced loyalty and additional products and services. Former GE executive James Hyman has been named executive vice president, Six Sigma, for Starwood and will have global responsibility for executing the strategy, designing the tools and overseeing the implementation of Starwood’s Six Sigma initiative. Before joining Starwood, Hyman served as President of Europe for GE Capital Modular Space.

Hyman will report directly to Bob Cotter. Starwood has also enlisted the expertise of renowned Six Sigma specialists Peter S. Pande, co-author of “The Six Sigma Way” and president of Pivotal Consulting, and the George Group to assist with the launch. During the first five quarters of implementation, Starwood will primarily redeploy current Starwood associates to fill approximately 450 Six Sigma specialist roles. Starwood will fill these roles with many of the company’s highest performing associates, in addition to some external candidates from all fields.

These Six Sigma specialists will have strong analytical and organizational skills, and most will hold the title of “black belt” or “master black belt. ”  Each “black belt” is expected to drive EBITDA gains of $200,000 or more per year. • Instead of hiring the usual ethnographers or consultants, Westin owner Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. turned to Six Sigma, a management process known for reducing defects and increasing efficiency. It was a surprising move given Six Sigma's rap as a creativity killer. But under Geoffrey A.

Ballotti, president of Starwood's North America Div. , the company is using Six Sigma's strengths to promote innovation--and generate tens of millions in new revenue. Combining creativity and efficiency is a delicate managerial manoeuvre that few service companies can pull off. Starwood succeeded, in large part, because it began with a culture of creativity before introducing the management tool. Design has long played a major role in the company, with noted architect David Rockwell designing its hip W Hotels brand back in the '90s.

Starwood gets a boost out of Six Sigma by using its techniques to dream up projects across the company. Massage is just one of hundreds of ventures done this way. This year's food and beverage engineering program, which rejiggers the choices on room-service and catering menus based on their popularity, has generated $20 million in extra revenue. In 2006, programs developed under Six Sigma delivered more than $100 million in profit to its bottom line. As a result, the White Plains (N. Y. company is one of the world's most profitable hotel operators: Its net margin is nearly 15%, higher than those of rivals Hilton Hotels Corp. (HLT ) and Marriott International Inc. (MAR ) "We have been driving our margin growth faster than our competitors," says Ballotti. "When people ask why, I point to Six Sigma. " The group that runs the effort is headed by Brian Mayer, who claims the quirky title of vice-president for Six Sigma, operation innovation, and room support. "I grew up in the hospitality industry," says Mayer, whose grandfather and father ran catering businesses. The joke is that I was born in a chafing dish. " Since the program launched in 2001, Mayer's crew has trained 150 employees as "black belts" and more than 2,700 as "green belts" in the arts of Six Sigma. Based mostly at the hotels, black belts oversee the projects while green belts hammer out the details. The key to their success, says Mayer, is that instead of acting like "suits" imposing their will from "corporate," the Six Sigma specialists operate more like partners who help local hotels meet their own objectives. Indeed, almost 100% of the creative concepts come from in-house staff.

And every project must be overseen by a hotel employee. "By focusing on their goals and budgets it enables us to become a partner in the operation," says Mayer. • The SWAT Team: The innovation process begins when hotel teams pitch Mayer's group on a new idea. "They fight for our resources," says Mayer. A Six Sigma Council composed of Ballotti and his 13 direct reports, including his senior vice-president for sales and marketing, then evaluates an idea's merit based on the division's priorities and the project's expected payoff.

If the council approves a project, black belts and green belts are deployed like SWAT teams to the hotels to carry it out. • London, 14 July 2004: A sign of the growing importance of SIX SIGMA at Starwood Hotels & Resorts is that by 1 August this year, the hotel company, with over 740 properties globally, will have trained over 1000 associates from all over the world to become SIX SIGMA Green Belts the first training stage in the SIX SIGMA development program.

The latest group of 12 associates from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region are heading to Warsaw on 19 July for a week of intensive Six Sigma tuition. This innovative project has re-designed all the individual reservation channels for hotel, golf, spa, transport, restaurant and outdoor activities into one single point of contact - a multi-purpose, multi skilled Resort Sales team that immediately can confirm and cross sell any request received by the hotel. The benefits for this project to Turnberry were immediate. To date there has been an 11. 5% increase in incremental spend by customers and increase in rooms revenue of more than 19%. In addition, The Spa revenues have increased from GBP 91 per booking to GBP 141 per booking as a result of the newly centralized reservation group, which enables the maximum utilization of treatment rooms and therapists. • Energy Summit for Starwood Hotels and Resorts: Starwood Hotels & Resorts has taken a leaf out of the recent G8 Summit by implementing an awareness program which focuses on Climate Change and Carbon Management across its 400 hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa.

The hotel group, whose brands include Sheraton, Westin, St Regis and Luxury Collection, has over the past few years been committed to becoming a ‘green’ operator at all levels. In the UK Starwood is part of the Hospitality Energy Consortium (HEC)*, a group of hotel companies who partner together in the procurement of energy. Lead by Chairperson, Angela Tomlinson, Director of Purchasing UK and Ireland, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Consortium has partnered with the Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by Government to help the UK meet its climate change obligations.

In partnership with the Carbon Trust, Starwood has recently taken part in a scoping study by Enviros, environmental consultants. The initial results, which will be available in August 2005, will enable Starwood and the other consortium members to review their energy consumption/carbon footprint, and provide better ways of working to achieve reductions in volumes used.

In addition to this, as a huge element of energy management is dependent on buy-in from the associates in the hotels, a comprehensive energy toolkit and training program has been distributed to every Head of Department in every Starwood hotel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This is part of a wider awareness program with a focus on protecting the environment. As well as associate and corporate activity, Starwood has been active with guest energy conservation initiatives for a number of years already.

In 1999 the company was the first in the hotel industry to introduce a Green Room Program, to reduce water and electricity use for laundering guest towels and linen. Guests place a card on their bed each day if they wish to have their bed linen and towels changed. If guests do not put this card on their bed, their bed will be made without changing the linens and their towels will be hung up but not changed. A green card would be left for the guest as a thank-you for 'going green'.

Since then the Green Room Program has been fully incorporated into the ABCs of House-keeping in the Sheraton, Westin and Four Points by Sheraton EAME Brand Standards. As a result of this ongoing focus on Energy, Starwood has also created a North West Europe Energy Champions team, a group of associates who are responsible for driving support for this project. Starwood’s change management process, Six Sigma, is being used to drive this commitment and the implementation of the Energy Conservation Toolkit is now a required best practice at all hotels owned and managed throughout EAME.

This project is the result of Six Sigma Methodology delivering tools that will in turn deliver energy and carbon reduction, to the benefit of future generations but also the associates and hotel guests of today. • Six Sigma at Starwood has helped improve the financial performance of the group by ushering in the quality and consistency of the customers' experiences. Six Sigma has also provided the guidelines and tools to create a consistently superior guest experience at all properties, and simultaneously improve the bottom line.

The Six Sigma organization in the group reports to divisional leadership and is aligned with the division’s goals and priorities. VI. AFTER SIX-SIGMA IMPLEMENTATION A. COMPANY IMPROVEMENTS: o While Starwood incurred $17 million in training costs to launch Six Sigma in 2001, the company reaped tangible EBITDA increases of more than $17 million. Training costs will be significantly reduced in 2002 and Starwood expects a substantial increase (perhaps double) in the EBIDTA improvement achieved by Six Sigma-related programs. ” o Six Sigma at Starwood has helped improve the financial performance of he group by ushering in the quality and consistency of the customers' experiences. Six Sigma has also provided the guidelines and tools to create a consistently superior guest experience at all properties, and simultaneously improve the bottom line. The Six Sigma organization in the group reports to divisional leadership and is aligned with the division’s goals and priorities. o Higher net margin than its key competitors - but also with helping spark and act on innovative ideas. The impact is based on global culture: most ideas and solutions come from hotel staff throughout the world. Last year, according to Starwood management, programs developed under the famed management technique delivered more than $100 million in profit to its bottom line. As a result, the White Plains (N. Y. ) company is one of the world's most profitable hotel operators: Its net margin is nearly 15%, higher than those of rivals Hilton Hotels (HLT) and Marriott International (MAR), as well as the industry average of 9%. "We have been driving our margin growth faster than our competitors," says Ballotti. "When people ask why, I point to Six Sigma. o Growth of their hotels (See Appendix 1) Starwood Hotel and Resorts Ranks Number 1on iSixSigma’s Best Places to Work list. (See Appendix 2) o Starwood Hotels and Resorts top ranked “The Top Best Places to Work List” because of adopting 6 Sigma in their operations. They use 6 Sigma every day in their daily work to solve problems, regardless of their size. They follow the DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma principles and use tools daily. Starwood requires that its full-time Six Sigma practitioners learn firsthand about the inner workings of all the various departments (housekeeping, food and beverage, sales and marketing, etc. in order to develop large-scale initiatives. At the same time, the Belts are also expected to lead process improvement projects at the individual hotel level. o The company measures quality with a three-pronged approach: improving the Guest Satisfaction Index (an independently determined numerical value based on guest surveys), increasing revenue and controlling costs. The last one – cost reduction – is where they had the most success so far, given the economy. They continue to go after revenue, but they try to take a balanced approach.

If they’re too heavy on the cost side, they get some snap-back in other areas like customer satisfaction. They can’t take their eyes off the ball in any area. They are committed to all three prongs. One example of this three-pronged approach is “Make a Green Choice,” which was launched at Starwood’s Sheraton and Westin brands in September 2009. To help save on water, chemicals and detergents, the hotel gives guests the option of not having linens changed or the room cleaned altogether for up to three days. Those who participate can receive gift cards or points to be redeemed for food service. Starwood’s commitment to providing challenging cross-departmental opportunities for continuous improvement personnel, along with its policy of promoting Black Belts from within, truly makes it one of the premier companies for Six Sigma practitioners. Companies on the Top 10 list, announced in December 2009, had to meet the highest standards for providing an outstanding Six Sigma program, culture, training, compensation, and recognition and job satisfaction for employees. B. ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION: From Indonesia to Malta, Six Sigma is a welcome guest at Starwood hotels. Launched early in 2001, Six Sigma is entering its sixth year at the hotel, which still holds the acclaim of being the only hotel with a corporate-wide Six Sigma initiative. o Starwood properties each have a Six Sigma Council that organize and prioritize projects. Successful projects are then leveraged across additional properties. Six Sigma is emphasized in Career Paths at Starwood as reporting to divisional leadership and aligned with that division’s goals and priorities. A Starwood Six Sigma team received recognition at the IQPC 2004 European Six Sigma Excellence Awards with the Best DFSS Project. o Six Sigma at Starwood has helped increase our financial performance by improving the quality and consistency of our guests’ experiences as well as those of our internal customers. It provides the framework and tools we need to create a consistently superior guest experience at all properties while dramatically improving the bottom line.

The Six Sigma organization reports to divisional leadership and is aligned with the division’s goals and priorities. o Six Sigma professionals make decisions based on data, not emotions, share responsibility and know how to generate results. They are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. These are the skills and qualities that make Six Sigma professionals most successful and that Six Sigma helps build in future leaders. o Starwood’s has been resourcing the firm with workers who are mainly divided into three work categories: Green Belts (GBs) have full-time positions with a portion of their time dedicated to being the Six Sigma point person and transfer project champion and manager. o Black Belts (BBs) are full-time resources who typically work on new projects. They are a resource to GBs in their property or area. They are a member of the property’s Executive Committee. o Master Black Belts are a full-time resource dedicated to overseeing/creating a portfolio of Six Sigma projects in a given division, area or region. They are a resource to BBs, GBs and Six Sigma Council members in their area. Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide Inc is the first hospitality company in the world to embrace Six Sigma since 2001 and extends this best practice to all properties worldwide, including the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Tower. o Barry S. Sternlicht, chairman and CEO, Starwood Hotels and Resorts had stated, "The launch of Six Sigma is one of the most important strategic initiatives since the formation of our company," he continued. "It is our goal for every Westin, Sheraton, W, Four Points by Sheraton, Starwood Vacation Ownership and St. Regis /Luxury Collection guests to have a flawless experience during each and every visit.

Six Sigma will help us reach that goal. " o Starwood Hotels & Resorts is a leader in the Hospitality industry in technology innovation. Smart Rooms, Wireless Internet Access, Self Check-in Kiosk, and state-of-the-art ERP systems are only a few technologies in place to improve our guest and associate experience. C. SERVICE-BASED ACHIEVEMENTS: • For several years now Starwood has had an edge on its competitors because of its strong brand awareness amongst its target markets and the way in which it has developed a range of differentiated experiences. The company’s key asset is the associated diversification of the variety of brands, and the different market segments they serve, provide a broad base from which to enhance revenue. It aggressively attracts and cultivates new customers and maintains loyalty among the world’s most active travellers: As one example, Starwood Preferred Guest, its award-winning frequent guest program, first made headlines when it launched with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates and no capacity controls, allowing members to redeem free nights anytime, anywhere.

Since then, it has grown to include more than 33m members and is cited for its hassle-free award redemption, outstanding customer service, dedicated member website and innovative promotions and benefits for elite members. • Although smaller than some of its peers, Starwood uses its scale to support its core marketing and reservation functions across its brands and reduce costs in areas such as insurance, energy, telecommunications, food and beverage, furniture, fixtures and operating supplies. Its size also limits exposure to any particular type of lodging, brand or geographic region. Strategically Starwood has also moved away from investment in owned real estate and increased its focus on its management and franchise business. In furtherance of this strategy, it has been selling some of the older hotels in its portfolio to, in turn, release capital to fund its ambitious international and branded growth plans. Simultaneously the company has retained one of the world’s most profitable hotel net margins of around 15%, higher than many larger rivals. • Starwood has made a great success of its growing product innovation prowess.

Having identified the bed as the key area for innovation opportunity in its mid-range Westin brand, Starwood designed the ‘Heavenly Bed’ providing the best night’s sleep by far of any comparable brand. Not only did this well-targeted development improve the all important occupancy rates in Westin properties, it also created a new business line as customers started to buy the Heavenly Bed for their homes. This has now been extended into the W chain where whotelsthestore. com now enables anyone to buy the key ingredients of the unique W experience.

From the W bed, pillows and towels to books and an increasing range of male and female apparel, this is the latest incarnation of high-impact product innovation from this service sector pioneer. D. COMPANY ACTIVITIES DONE: o In January, 2006, the Westin Chicago River North hotel was picked to pilot a project, dubbed Unwind, for the upscale hotel chain. The purpose: to think up a set of nightly activities that would draw guests out of their rooms and into the lobby where they could mingle, develop a greater loyalty to the hotel group, and maybe spend a little more money.

Westin spied an opportunity after a study found that 34% of frequent travellers feel lonely away from home. The Unwind project led the Westin to develop dozens of activities, including massages, at the Chicago hotel. o Starwood Preferred Guest: it is Starwood’s award-winning frequent guest program which first made headlines when it launched with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates and no capacity controls, allowing members to redeem free nights anytime, anywhere. VII. SOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS

Upon seeing all of their achievements, Starwood Hotels and Resorts should definitely continue using the Six Sigma method in order to maintain meeting their company goals and also to retain all of their company’s success. Aside from increasing profit, using the Six Sigma method really helped Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide improve the service that they are giving to both their customers and their employees. They should conduct more training regarding it so that their employees would know how the Six Sigma method works and not only the top management. Such employees of the companies consist of the Black Belts and the Green belts.

The Black Belts should have trainings that will hone their knowledge about different creative ways on how to do a strategy for the whole company which will serve the changing needs and preferences of the company’s target market. Moreover, the green belts must have trainings in which they will be more knowledgeable about Six Sigma approach to different strategies that will be deployed by the company, these people are mainly responsible in delving into the little and detailed concepts of each strategy done by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. These greenbelts should also be trained to know and put into their heart the DMAIC Methodology.

This DMAIC Methodology will help the Greenbelts solve a certain problem of the company, reducing the defects done by the company and improving, leveraging the customer’s experience to a higher value. The DMAIC Methodology should train the Greenbelts in defining the problem or what is specifically called the Project Scoping, Measure the relationships between the occurring problem and symptoms, analyze the nature of the problem, improving the operations by resolving the problem and control, which is mainly focused on maintaining the improvements through the use of different tools and instruments.

As Starwood Company have different branches scattered all over the world, there must be one Six-Sigma team for each branch wherein they will be mainly responsible for their assigned branch so as to increase effectivity of the business operations and to better serve the target markets in those hotel and resorts location.

The Six Sigma teams will be doing information-gathering processes wherein they will ask for comments and feedbacks from the existing customers and those who are the potential ones. Doing such, Starwood can think of strategies and tactics that should be done to capture the potential market and by making things more attractive to the existing customers and make them more loyal to avail the services offered by the company.

In times when the company faces visible losses from declining service consumption from the market, Starwood Company must achieve solutions through the use of the Six Sigma Problem Solving wherein it involves redefining and analyzing the problem, generating ideas from the team and the management, evaluating each idea and selecting the most appropriate one and implementing the chosen idea. Through the Six Sigma Problem Solving, the company will have a more systematic way of thinking solutions for a certain problem by delving first into the details, symptoms and underlying assumptions of such matter.

Using such method, the employees who are in the Six Sigma team will be trained and honed to be more effective in decision-making and examining all the things that causes the problem to exist. Furthermore, through the problem solving method, the company will be more united as each one of them will have a voice in the company’s operations and they are also responsible for the strategy implementation as all of them make the final decision of how to address the certain problem.

By having such cooperation and teamwork within the workers in the company, there will be higher satisfaction for the employees which will in turn affect the quality service experience of the customers when they avail the offered service of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Moreover, to improve the service of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, the teams of the company must focus on examining and sustaining four key measures of organization performance which includes Accuracy, Cycle time, Cost and Customer satisfaction.

In Accuracy, the team should measure if the company is giving correct financial figures, completeness of information, or freedom from data errors; applying the accuracy concept to Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the company must make sure that each branch located at different locations should be visible and transparent in terms of their prices for each distinct service, and also information about the whole service experience, like the service transactions and process that the customers must go through should be made known to them to give them ease in availing the service of the Hotels and Resorts.

Next is Cycle time which is a measure of how long it takes to do something; with such thing, Starwood company working in the hotel industries must maximize well their service time so as to not waste the limited resources of their customers, it can be further applied to the company’s operations in terms of efficient availment of the different services through optimal number of employees assigned to different work divisions that will make the customers not wait for their turn for such service consumption.

Thirdly, Cost should be measured in terms of the internal cost of the company’s process activities; to have lower costs, Starwood Hotels must have effective workers who are focused and motivated to work and communicate well to the customers so as to decrease the time needed for the service process that should be done by each one of them. As the employees of each hotel and resort become more productive with their assigned work, the cost of the company in sustaining each service process will decrease and will definitely have a greater impact on the company’s profitability.

Lastly, the team must measure the Customer Satisfaction, which is typically the measure of the company’s success and will give a view of how the company will be in the near future years of business operations in the industry. The Customer Satisfaction can be measured by getting the direct feedback from the customers after they experience the service form Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Also, the company can do personalization and customization wherein the existing customers will already have their service ready after they booked a reservation, making all the things like foods, drinks, kind of bed sheets, store maintenance customized to their needs which in turn make them more satisfied to the service that will make them also more loyal to the company. Furthermore, as the world goes by, the market have acquired higher buying power and have ore sophisticated and changing needs as before; the company can focus on improving its service adapting form the customers’ needs and preferences so as to give higher value proposition to them in relation to the direct competitors of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Appendix 1: Different Branches of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide [pic] North America United States Arizona Phoenix The Westin Phoenix Downtown - Opening March 10, 2011 Tucson Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport - Opening October 14, 2010 [pic] California Modesto Four Points by Sheraton Modesto - Opening October 30, 2010 Florida

Bal Harbour The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort - Opening July 01, 2012 Jacksonville Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park - Opening January 13, 2011 Jacksonville Beach Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beach - Opening Nov. 30, 2011 Miami Element Miami International Airport - Opening May 5, 2011 Georgia Atlanta Aloft Atlanta Buckhead - Opening September 01, 2012 Element Atlanta Buckhead - Opening September 01, 2012 Kennesaw Four Points by Sheraton Atlanta Kennesaw - Opening June 30, 2011 Illinois Chicago Aloft Chicago City Center - Opening June 01, 2012 Kentucky Louisville Michigan Kalamazoo

Four Points by Sheraton Kalamazoo - Opening September 2, 2011 Mississippi Biloxi Four Points by Sheraton Biloxi Beach Boulevard - Opened Jul 01, 2010 Nebraska Omaha Element Omaha Midtown Crossing - Opening November 11, 2010 New Jersey Fort Lee Sheraton Fort Lee Hotel - Opened September 1, 2010 New Mexico Albuquerque Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel - Opening November 11, 2010 New York Aloft Harlem - Opening October 21, 2010 Element New York Times Square West  - Opening December 09, 2010 Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel - Opening October 14, 2010 W New York - Downtown  - Opened August 09, 2010

Brooklyn Aloft New York Brooklyn - Opening October 21, 2010 Long Island City Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City/Queensboro Bridge - Opening January 13, 2011 Niagara Falls Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls - Opening April 07, 2011 North Carolina Asheville Aloft Asheville Downtown - Opening March 01, 2012 Chapel Hill Aloft Chapel Hill  - Opened April 29, 2010 Oklahoma Oklahoma City Four Points by Sheraton Oklahoma City Quail Springs - Opened April 22, 2010 Tulsa Aloft Tulsa - Opened August 19, 2010 Pennsylvania Philadelphia Le Meridien Philadelphia - Opened May 06, 2010 Puerto Rico

Rio Grande The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico - Opening November 04, 2010 Tennessee Memphis Four Points by Sheraton Memphis East - Opening December 9, 2010 Texas Austin W Austin - Opening December 09, 2010 Galveston Four Points by Sheraton Galveston - Opened September 24, 2010 Houston Four Points by Sheraton Houston Hobby Airport - Opening December 01, 2010 Houston The Westin Houston, Memorial City - Opening March 03, 2011 Virginia Winchester Aloft Winchester - Opened June 04, 2010 Canada Alberta Calgary Four Points by Sheraton Calgary Airport - Opened May 06, 2010 Edmonton

Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton West - Opening December 1, 2011 Red Deer Sheraton Red Deer Hotel - Opening January 27, 2011 Ontario Niagara Falls Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview - Opened April 22, 2010 Saskatchewan Saskatoon Four Points by Sheraton Saskatoon - Opened July 22, 2010 Mexico Campeche Campeche The Westin Campeche Resort & Spa, Campeche - Opening June 1, 2011 Chihuahua Chihuahua Aloft Chihuahua - Opening January 1, 2011 Federal District Mexico City The Westin Santa Fe, Mexico City - Opened August 05, 2010 Santa Fe W Santa Fe, Mexico - Opening March 31, 2013 Jalisco Guadalajara

The Westin Hotel Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico - Opening June 1, 2011 Quintana Roo Puerto Juarez The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya - Opening March 31, 2014 Riviera Maya W Kanai Retreat, Riviera Maya, Mexico - Opening March 31, 2014 Africa Algeria Oran Le Meridien Oran Hotel & Convention Centre - Opening April 01, 2011 Egypt Cairo Le Meridien Cairo Airport - Opening March 31, 2012 St. Regis Hotel Cairo - Opening September 01, 2014 W Cairo - Opening January 1, 2016 Libya Tripoli Four Points by Sheraton Tripoli - Opening November 15, 2010 Sheraton Tripoli Hotel - Opening September 01, 2012 Mauritius Le Morne

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort - Opening June 01, 2011 Morocco Marrakech W Marrakech Hotel - Opening December 01, 2011 Nigeria Lagos Lagos Four Points by Sheraton Lagos - Opened September 15, 2010 Le Meridien Ikoyi Towers - Opening January 1, 2013 [pic] Asia Pacific China Anhui Hefei Four Points by Sheraton Hefei, Shushan - Opening January 1, 2014 The Westin Hefei Baohe - Opening December 23, 2010 Beijing Beijing Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel - Opening May 01, 2011 W Beijing - Chang'an - Opening January 1, 2014 Chongqing Chongqing The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square - Opening October 01, 2011 Fujian

Fuzhou The Westin Fuzhou Minjiang - Opening December 22, 2010 Xiamen The Westin Xiamen - Opening September 30, 2011 Guangdong Foshan Aloft Nanhai-Foshan - Opening January 01, 2011 Guangzhou Sheraton Guangzhou Hotel - Opening January 01, 2011 Sheraton Huadu Resort - Opening April 01, 2011 The Westin Pazhou - Opening February 28, 2011 W Guangzhou - Opening July 01, 2011 Aloft Guangzhou University Park - Opening May 01, 2012 Heshan Four Points by Sheraton Guangdong, Heshan - Opening October 01, 2012 Huizhou Sheraton Bailuhu Resort, Huizhou - Opening January 01, 2012 Qingyuan

Sheraton Qingyuan Lion Lake Resort - Opening June 01, 2012 Zhanjiang Sheraton Zhanjiang Hotel - Opening July 01, 2011 Zhongshan Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel - Opened August 10, 2010 Zhuhai Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel - Opening January 01, 2015 Zhuhai The St. Regis Zhuhai - Opening June 30, 2015 Hainan Haikou The Westin Haikou - Opening June 01, 2012 Sanya Sheraton Sanya Haitang Bay Resort - Opening September 30, 2012 Sheraton Sanya Tufu Bay Resort  - Opening October 01, 2013 The Malus Resort, Sanya - Opening September 30, 2012 The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort - Opening November 01, 2011 Wanning City

Four Points by Sheraton Shenzhou Peninsula - Opening December 31, 2010 Sheraton Shenzhou Peninsula Resort - Opening December 31, 2010 Heilongjiang Daqing Sheraton Daqing Hotel  - Opening June 01, 2013 Henan Kaifeng Four Points by Sheraton Kaifeng - Opening January 01, 2013 Luohe Four Points by Sheraton Luohe - Opening May 01, 2012 Zhengzhou Aloft Zhengzhou Shangjie - Opening January 01, 2012 Aloft Zhengzhou Zhengdong New District - Opening January 1, 2014 Le Meridien Zhengzhou - Opening January 01, 2012 Sheraton Zhengzhou Hotel - Opening January 01, 2013 Hubei

Wuhan The Westin Wuhan Wuchang - Opening June 01, 2013 Jiangsu Changzhou Sheraton Changzhou Wujin Hotel - Opening July 01, 2012 Jiangyin Sheraton Jiangyin Hotel - Opening November 01, 2010 Lianyungang Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang - Opened April 28, 2010 Nanjing The Westin Nanjing - Opening January 28, 2011 Suzhou Four Points by Sheraton Taicang - Opened June 30, 2010 Wuxi Sheraton Wuxi Binhu Hotel - Opened August 27, 2010 Yancheng Aloft Yancheng - Opening January 01, 2013 Yangzhou Four Points by Sheraton Yangzhou Hanjiang - Opening July 1, 2013 Zhenjiang

Sheraton Zhenjiang Hotel  - Opening June 01, 2013 Jiangxi Nanchang Sheraton Nanchang Hotel - Opening January 01, 2012 Liaoning Dalian Aloft Dalian - Opening December 01, 2013 Sheraton Dalian Xinghai Hotel - Opening July 31, 2011 The Chengbao Hotel, Dalian - Opening January 01, 2014 Macau Cotai Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Strip - Opening November 01, 2011 Shaanxi Xian Sheraton Xian Da Ming Gong Hotel - Opening December 31, 2011 The Westin Xian - Opening October 01, 2011 Shandong Qingdao Four Points by Sheraton Qingdao, Chengyang - Opening January 01, 2012

Four Points by Sheraton Qingdao, Jiaonan - Opening January 01, 2012 Sheraton Qingdao Hotel - Opening December 01, 2012 Tai'an Four Points by Sheraton Tai’an - Opening November 10, 2010 Weifang Four Points by Sheraton Weifang - Opening June 30, 2013 Yantai Aloft Haiyang - Opening January 01, 2013 Sheraton Yantai Golden Beach Resort - Opening March 01, 2011 Shanghai Shanghai Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel - Opening December 01, 2010 Twelve at Hengshan - Opening February 01, 2012 W Shanghai - The Bund - Opening January 01, 2014 Shanxi Taiyuan The Westin Taiyuan - Opening July 01, 2012

Sichuan Chengdu The St. Regis Chengdu - Opening January 01, 2014 Tianjin Tianjin Sheraton Tianjin Binhai Hotel - Opening October 15, 2010 The Astor Hotel, Tianjin - Opened August 28, 2010 The St. Regis Tianjin - Opening October 01, 2011 Tibet (Xizang) Lhasa The St. Regis Lhasa Resort - Opening November 15, 2010 Yunnan Jinghong Sheraton Xishuangbanna Hotel - Opening January 01, 2013 Zhejiang Hangzhou Sheraton Hangzhou Wetland Park Resort - Opening May 31, 2011 Huzhou Sheraton Huzhou South Tai Lake Resort - Opening January 01, 2012 Ningbo The Westin Ningbo - Opening July 01, 2011

Pinghu The Westin Nine Dragon Hill Resort, Zhejiang - Opening March 31, 2012 Taizhou Four Points by Sheraton Yuhuan - Opening July 01, 2012 Wenzhou Sheraton Wenzhou Hotel - Opening December 18, 2010 Wenzhou The Westin Wenzhou - Opening January 01, 2012 India Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam - Opening March 01, 2011 Sheraton Visakhapatnam Seaview Resort - Opening July 01, 2011 Gujarat Ahmedabad Aloft Ahmedabad, SG Road - Opening January 01, 2011 Haryana Gurgaon The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi - Opened October 01, 2010 Karnataka Bangalore

Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway - Opening March 01, 2011 Bengaluru Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park - Opening June 01, 2013 Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield - Opened August 15, 2010 Mysore Sheraton Mysore Hotel - Opening October 01, 2012 Maharashtra Lonavala Le Meridien Lonavala Resort - Opening July 01, 2013 Mahabaleshwar Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa - Opening January 01, 2013 Pune Four Points by Sheraton Pune, Nagar Road - Opening December 01, 2010 Punjab Amritsar Sheraton Amritsar Hotel - Opening December 01, 2013 Chandigarh Aloft Chandigarh Zirakpur - Opening June 01, 2011

Sheraton Chandigarh Hotel - Opening September 01, 2012 Rajasthan Jaipur The Westin Jaipur Infotech City - Opening December 01, 2012 Udaipur Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa  - Opened August 01, 2010 Tamil Nadu Chennai Aloft Chennai, OMR - IT Expressway - Opened July 01, 2010 Coimbatore Aloft Coimbatore Singanallur - Opening March 01, 2011 West Bengal Kolkata The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat - Opening December 01, 2012 Indonesia Bali Bali Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort - Opening January 01, 2013 Seminyak W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak - Opening December 15, 2010 Japan Miyagi Sendai

The Westin Sendai - Opened August 01, 2010 Osaka Osaka The St. Regis Osaka - Opened October 01, 2010 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur - Opening November 01, 2014 Sandakan Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan - Opening October 15, 2011 New Caledonia Bourail Sheraton New Caledonia Bourail Resort & Spa - Opening January 13, 2013 Singapore Singapore W Singapore – Sentosa Cove - Opening April 30, 2012 South Korea Seoul Sheraton Seoul D-Cube City Hotel - Opening September 01, 2011 Taiwan Taipei Le Meridien Taipei - Opening November 01, 2010 W Taipei - Opening February 14, 2011 Thailand

Amphur Koh Samui Bangkok Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 - Opening April 01, 2011 Bangkok Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sathorn - Opening November 01, 2011 Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15 - Opening November 15, 2010 Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa - Opening December 01, 2011 The St. Regis Bangkok - Opening January 15, 2011 W Bangkok - Opening May 01, 2012 Koh Samui W Retreat Koh Samui - Opening November 01, 2010 Phuket Four Points by Sheraton Phuket, Panwa - Opening March 01, 2011 The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket - Opened August 01, 2010 Vietnam

Cam Ranh Bay The Westin Cam Ranh Resort & Spa - Opening June 01, 2012 Ho Chi Minh City Le Meridien Saigon - Opening July 01, 2012 [pic] Central & South America Argentina Buenos Aires Buenos Aires The St. Regis Buenos Aires - Opening June 30, 2014 Chile Villarrica Villarrica Park Lake Hotel & Spa, Villarrica - Opening December 1, 2010 Colombia Bogota Aloft Bogota Airport - Opening January 1, 2012 Cartagena Sheraton Cartagena - Opening March 31, 2012 Panama, Republic of Panama City The Westin Panama - Opening September 1, 2012 The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama - Opening October 01, 2011 Peru Cusco

Palacio del Inka - Opening June 01, 2011 Lima The Westin Libertador Lima - Opening May 01, 2011 Urubamba Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado - Opened May 04, 2010 [pic] Europe Zaporozhye Four Points by Sheraton Zaporozhye - Opening June 1, 2011 Austria Hof bei Salzburg Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg - Opened May 05, 2010 Belgium Brussels Aloft Brussels Schuman - Opened September 01, 2010 France Paris W Paris - Opera - Opening July 01, 2011 Germany Hamburg The Westin Hamburg - Opening July 01, 2012 Greece Athens W Athens Astir Palace Beach - Opening April 01, 2012 Costa Navarino

The Romanos, Costa Navarino - Opened May 20, 2010 The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino - Opened July 01, 2010 Italy Malpensa Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre - Opened October 01, 2010 Milan W Milan - Opening May 01, 2012 Latvia Riga Sheraton Riga Hotel - Opening December 1, 2013 Poland Mikolajki Sheraton Mazury Lakes Resort - Opening December 01, 2013 Portugal Algarve The Westin Verdelago Beach, Spa & Golf Resort, Algarve - Opening January 1, 2013 Russia Rostov-on-Don Sheraton Rostov-On-Don Hotel - Opening June 01, 2012 Sochi

Sheraton Sochi Hotel - Opening June 1, 2013 St. Petersburg W St. Petersburg - Opening March 01, 2011 Switzerland Verbier W Verbier Retreat - Opening January 1, 2013 Turkey Ankara The Luxury Collection Hotel, Ankara - Opening January 1, 2011 United Kingdom England London Aloft London ExCeL - Opening January 1, 2012 W London - Leicester Square - Opening February 14, 2011 Middle East Jordan Amman W Amman Hotel - Opening July 01, 2013 Aqaba Al Manara, Aqaba - Opening October 01, 2012 The Westin Saraya Aqaba - Opening October 01, 2012 Pakistan Islamabad Sheraton Islamabad - Opening January 1, 2012

Sheraton Islamabad Golf City Resort - Opening January 1, 2012 [pic] Qatar Doha Le Meridien Doha - Opening January 1, 2012 The St. Regis Doha - Opening May 01, 2011 [pic] United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Abu Dhabi - Opening January 1, 2013 The St. Regis Saadiyat Island - Opening October 1, 2011 The Westin Hotel & Spa, Abu Dhabi - Opening October 1, 2011 W Abu Dhabi - Opening January 1, 2012 Ajman The Ajman Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel - Opening October 1, 2012 Appendix 2: Article Starwood Hotels and Resorts Ranks No. 1 on iSixSigma's Best Places to Work List

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Ranks No. 1 on iSixSigma's Best Places to Work List FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information, contact: | Jessica Harper, Editor in Chief | | 206-774-3685 | | editorial. com (at) isixsigma. com | Miami, Florida (February 3, 2010) – Starwood Hotels and Resorts, a global hospitality company with nearly 1,000 upscale properties worldwide, earned the No. 1 spot on the list of iSixSigma's Top 10 Best Places to Work for Six Sigma professionals at the iSixSigma Live!

Summit today in Miami. "Starwood’s commitment to providing challenging cross-departmental opportunities for continuous improvement personnel, along with its policy of promoting Black Belts from within, truly makes it one of the premier companies for Six Sigma practitioners," said Jessica Harper, editor of iSixSigma. Katie Barry, associate publisher of iSixSigma, presented the award to Brian McGuire, senior director of Hotel Operations and Six Sigma for Starwood’s North America Division. Starwood – which owns some of the most recognizable hotel brands in the world, including Sheraton, Westin, W, St.

Regis, The Luxury Collection and Le Meridien – was the first hospitality chain to launch a formal Six Sigma program, back in 2001. Today, Starwood is in the process of rolling out a Lean Six Sigma program to all of its properties worldwide. Companies on the Top 10 list, announced in December 2009, had to meet the highest standards for providing an outstanding Six Sigma program, culture, training, compensation, recognition and job satisfaction for employees. Making a repeat showing on iSixSigma’s second-annual Top 10 list was 2008’s overall winner McKesson Corp. , which earned the No. 2 spot for 2009.

Other returning companies included Xerox Corp. (No. 3) and Vought Aircraft Industries (No. 5). Reflecting the growth of Six Sigma in healthcare systems, half of the companies on the list are involved in the pharmaceutical or healthcare provider industries (McKesson, Pfizer, Merck, Piramal Healthcare and Cardinal Health). Highlights of Starwood's top-rated Six Sigma program, as well as short profiles of the other nine finalists, will be published in the March/April 2010 issue of iSixSigma Magazine. Here are the rankings of the Top 10 list of iSixSigma's 2009 Best Places to Work: 1. Starwood Hotels and Resorts (North America Division) . McKesson Corp. 3. Xerox Corp. 4. Ecolab Inc. 5. Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. 6. Pfizer Inc. 7. Merck & Co. Inc. 8. Piramal Healthcare Ltd. 9. Cardinal Health Inc. 10. Computacenter AG & Co. oHG iSixSigma will be accepting nominations later this year for the 2010 Best Places to Work list. Last modified on Sunday, 28 February 2010 04:49 REFERENCES: o http://www. referenceforbusiness. com/history2/82/Starwood-Hotels-Resorts-Worldwide-Inc. html o http://www. isixsigma. com/index. php? option=com_k2&view=item&id=802:starwood-hotels-and-resorts-ranks-no-1-on-isixsigmas-best-places-to-work-list&Itemid=157 o http://www. ospitalitynet. org/news/4007061. html o http://www. corporate-ir. net/ireye/ir_site. zhtml? ticker=hot&script=410&layout=6&item_id=149848 o http://www. starwoodhotels. com/corporate/directory/new-hotels/all/map. html? sortType=region o http://www. businessweek. com/innovate/content/aug2007/id20070830_103596. htm o http://www. businessweek. com/magazine/content/07_41/b4053096. htm o http://www. sixsigmacompanies. com/archive/six_sigma_at_starwood_hotels_amp_resorts. html o http://www. starwoodhotels. com/sheraton/careers/paths/description. html? category=200000304

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