4.2 Core Competencies
A firm’s resources and capabilities should come together to form core competencies that will enable the firm to be at a competitive advantage against its competitors. In order to ensure the sustainability of these core competencies, we have to understand how it meets the VRIN framework.
4.2.1 Excellent Cust. Service (VIRN)
For boutique hostels like MB, cust. service is what sets itself apart from competitors. As the hostel covers only a small land space with smaller-scaled operations as compared to hotels, training has been structured to ensure that the staff provides cust. with that personal touch. Basic etiquette like smiling at cust., being courteous and providing efficient service is what most competitors would have. However, in addition to all these, staff are also told to greet guests by their names as the small-scaled operations provide an opportunity for staff to recognise every cust. This personalised service would allow cust. to feel a sense of ‘being home’. This therefore results in the competitive advantage being valuable as not many hostels are able to put in that effort to go the extra mile especially with such comparable low costs being charged.
Additionally, such human resource is difficult to develop as it requires a right mix of employees with similar attributes, and that heart and passion for service. With the time required to train up the employees and the firm’s philosophy of placing the cust.’s needs as a top priority, it helps MB to establish this advantageous capability. Even though such quality service is expected of the service industry, the combination of people and philosophy helps to develop a rare advantage as the staff live out such firm values.
Lastly, by targeting flashpackers who are looking for a better stay, the service goes beyond that of comparable boutique hostels. This concept of quality service goes beyond just the human resource but includes the aesthetics of the hostel which makes it tougher to...