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During my tenure as Chief Financial Officer of Delta Hotels & Resorts, Delta embarked on a growth strategy that required the modernization of our operating platform. We hired ORCHANGO’s Edmond Mellina to take over the IT function and lead the change process.

Edmond was able to quickly bring Operations, Sales and Marketing, and Technology behind the initiative. Working with the Executive Team, he uncovered a set of strategic opportunities that could be created through technology.

In order to enable Delta to capture these opportunities, he led the design and guided the implementation of an ambitious program of change. He gradually developed a strong buy-in by creating a coast-to-coast coalition that actively supported the change.

Under Edmond’s leadership, this group successfully implemented the change in our 35 hotels, Call Centre and Corporate Office.

— David M. June, Chief Financial Officer

CHALLENGE

Delta Hotels had decided to embark on a growth strategy amid a rapidly changing competitive landscape. However, its information technology represented a major impediment to its expansion plans.

Initially, Delta hired ORCHANGO’ Edmond Mellina to lead the strategic modernization and partial outsourcing of its technology platform. Working in collaboration with the leadership team, he quickly uncovered a set of strategic opportunities that could be created through technology.

In order to enable Delta to capture these opportunities, it was decided to expand our mandate. The broader objective encompassed the design and implementation of an ambitious program of operational changes: consolidation of the reservation functions; revamping of the core processes; and transformation of the way the business operated.

The change affected most functional areas in all 35 hotels, the call centre and headquarters – i.e. about 5,000 employees, from coast to coast. The political landscape was complex. For example, it was critical to ensure the buy-in of third-party hotel owners and franchise operators. In addition, the company was operating under important cost and time pressure. Finally, Delta had never attempted a change project of such magnitude.

SOLUTION

We integrated all key functions into the initiative by assembling, motivating and directing a cross-functional program management structure. We established a responsive governance system to set priorities, make trade-off decisions and monitor the implementation.

Taking into consideration all groups of stakeholders, we designed and executed a comprehensive communication and change strategy. We developed a company-wide coalition of sponsors and change agents, which we supported through ongoing coaching and advice. We actively managed the organization’s ability to assimilate change, orchestrating the roll-out accordingly.

OUTCOME/IMPACT

The initiative was successfully completed on time and within budget. Edmond Mellina earned executive endorsement for program management mastery.

Delta leveraged its new operating platform to strengthen its market position and support its growth while realizing double-digit improvements in productivity, quality and customer service.

Examples of gains: up to 50% increase in call cent er productivity; 30% decrease in reservation errors.

PROJECT SUMMARY

  • Change strategy and execution
  • Change coaching
  • Program Management Office
  • Technology strategy
  • Business process redesign
  • Technology & process outsourcing
  • Business model transformation

CHANGE TIMELINE

  • Phase 1 | “Preparing for the change journey”: 5 months.
  • Phase 2 | “Putting to sea, away from the abyss”: 2 months.
  • Phase 3 | “Navigating the treacherous sea of change” and Phase 4 | “Passing the lighthouse and reaching the safe harbour”: 11 months for both phases.

ABOUT DELTA  HOTEL & RESORTS

A leading Canadian hotel management company, Delta Hotels and Resorts operates and franchises a diversified portfolio with 45 full-service, city centre and airport hotels and resorts under the Delta brand.

Widely regarded as Canada’s “brand of choice” by guests and owners, Delta also distinguishes itself as an exemplary employer. It is the only hotel company to have been recognized for its sustained focus on business excellence by the prestigious National Quality Institute with three Canada Awards for Excellence, including the award program’s highest honour, the Order of Excellence (2007). The company also consistently ranks as one of the country’s best employers in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business annual “50 Best Employers” list (2001–2003, 2005–2010).

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