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Part 3

Introduction
The industry we have chosen to work on in this part of the project is the hotel business,
more specifically the luxury hotel business. We have chosen this sector since we have got to
propose a lot of ideas that could be implemented to improve this area of business if using IS
properly. After a work of segmentation, we have finally chosen the Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa
as a subject of study. Some of us have been there to visit the place and have a coffee. We figured
out that the place was extremely luxurious and pleasant. Yet, the place was nearly empty, even in
this period of summer vacations when normally it should attract more customers since the hotel
provides all what it is required for the well being and relaxation needed after a year of hard work.
Thus, we got extremely interested in making it even a better and more attractive place by
proposing some ideas and alternatives related to the use of IS in order to make this 5 stars hotel
possess an unavoidable competitive advantage.
Let us first learn more about this company.

Products and services


The Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa is a five stars hotel situated in Ifrane, in the downtown.
It provides its customers with luxurious rooms and suites with magnificent views of the hotel
itself, and the overwhelming nature: the beautiful and enchanting forest of the Atlas region. But it
is not only that. There is a lot more that this hotel provides that makes it so exceptional. In fact,
there is a huge outdoor pool, and an inside pool as well. When it goes to the well being of their
customers, Michlifen has a spa. The customers can enjoy several hammam places, massages,
beauty and coiffure salons, natural care. This hotel also offers a center for balneotherapy. In fact,
it is composed of different offers such as Jacuzzis, chromotherapy (which is the treatments and
color-based care), hydro massaging baths and more. When it is related to the activities, they can
be classified under the category of sport/fitness or cultural. Indeed, there are hikes organized for
the clients, who can also do horse riding, quad, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, ski and
bowling. Also an omnisports room is available where a dozen of sports can be practiced such as
basketball, volleyball, football, tennis, hand-ball and ping-pong.
There are so many products and services that the Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa offers that
we cannot cite them all. But we can still not omit to enumerate the 3 restaurants, the 2 bars and
the conference and meeting rooms, the 24/7 room service and the internet access.

Environment
The hotel is situated in the city of Ifrane and it is in the middle of a forest. There is no
other luxurious hotel in the city; the other hotels are extremely simple, of a basic quality. The
closest big city to the hotel is Fez which is more than one hour far from Ifrane. Thus, Michlifen
Hotel doesnt have direct competitors in the region. However, when we know that the actual
clients of this hotel are not from Ifrane but from big cities in Morocco and from Europe, we can
then see the competitors of the hotel from a new perspective. Since it is located in a region that is
very calm, not developed economically and far from any economic pole, we conclude that the
clients of this hotel chose it only for vacation and relaxation, thus, it is obvious that the
environment of this hotel is extremely competitive since they are a lot of other destinations
known by the tourists that are ready to spend more than 300 a night for a very simple room.
Generally the clients who can afford these prices generally chose the suites and expect the best
and the most unbelievable quality of the service ever. They simply pay to be amazed. And if the
hotel gets them only what they have expected and not more, they will probably get disappointed.
However, the hotel has a lot of opportunities related to the localization. If I am a potential
customer and I that I need to relax for a week before getting back to work and endless meetings,
if I had the choice between the Michlifen hotel and the Palace dAnfa at Casablance, Ill probably
chose the Michlifen hotel since Casablanca is a stressful city and that whatever efforts can be
made to make an hotel comfortable within it, no one can take away the pollution or make the
noises of the traffic shut down, the clouds disappear and the stars shine like here in Ifrane.
Indeed, the fact that this hotel is far from everything and it is located in a small city with
little alternatives of entertainment, this threat can greatly be changed to an opportunity by making
the hotel the number 1 destination in order to relax as far as possible from the civilization as a
great way to rediscover nature, to tie a new bond to it and recharge ones batteries.
In a nutshell, the environment of the hotel is extremely challenging knowing how
demanding this industry is. So, it requires continuous innovation and efforts to always offer
something the others dont offer, or do something better than the others. And since all the 5 starts
hotels or palaces offer pretty much the same services, the competitive advantage is all about
servicing. The clients that pay a lot want to be treated as princes and princesses. And the only
way to do is to keep as much data about the regular customers as possible, analyse them and
finally use them properly. The only way to handle this amount of information and procedures of
this scale, a proper use of Information System is crucial.

Data needed to run the company


In order to provide its clients with the best quality of products and services possible, the
company needs a lot of data of different categories. The first category is about customers,
especially the regular ones? The hotel needs to store a complete profile with what they know
about the client. It could be extremely detailed data such as: the name, the origin, the place where
he/she comes from, the people who the clients generally come with, for who long, in which
period of the year, what is the favorite room/suites, the favorites meals, drinks, at what time of
the day they are ordered, the favorite activities, the favorite music, colors, flowers and staff and
so on.
The company also needs another kind of data, not directly related to the clients. As an
example, the raw materials needed to run the hotel: different kinds of ingredients need for the
meals in the menu, all the different ingredients needed to prepare the drinks, the cocktails, coffees
etc, all what is needed for the bedding, the cleaning, the maintenance, the health care, the
activities, the wood for all the chimney, the fuel for heating and so on. Of course the company
does not only need to know it needs, but when it does need them, at what price it can get them,
from what supplier, how fast, how it will get to the hotel etc.
Also, there are other things the hotel needs to know in order to run different activities.
Since it organizes hikes in the region, in the mountains, forests and waterfalls in addition to visits
to the old medina of Fez and Meknes and the archeological site Volubilis, it is crucial to store
data concerning the guides who the company is going to collaborate with in order to do such
activities, their availabilities, information about the weather in these places, data about the means
of transportation needed to get there and whether they are available in the hotel or it is needed to
contact external sources to get them.
Moreover, the hotel needs to collect data about what do the other luxury hotel provide to
their clients in Morocco, in order for the company to be always ahead and always provide better
quality products and services. For the same purpose, it is crucial for Michlifen to collect
feedback, recommendations and reclamations from its customers to solve problems if any, and
innovate if necessary. And asking the clients is a great way to do so since they see the things from
an external point of view when compared to the staff, and which can also be considered as an
internal point of view because they are the one who test the product. So these pieces of
information would be priceless and very important to implement.

Business Model
We already know that a Business Model is the axioms and hypothesis about how a
business creates value for the customers and how it captures value back from them. In fact, a
business model can be very simple as it could be more complicated. And we can see a business
model of a company from a very simple perspective as we can see more in depth the specific
aspects.
In the case of the Michlifen hotel, we can say simply that their business model is that they
create value for the customer by offering shelter and food for them when they are away from
home, and that they capture value when the customer pay back for these products/services.
However, if we want to perform an analysis that is more in depth, we can see that actually
Michlifen Hotel doesnt only give shelter and food. In addition, it give a very high level of,
comfort, distraction and entertainment, relaxation, sports and cultural activities, but mainly they
sell a dream. In fact, if a customer needs shelter and food in Ifrane, he or she can rent an
apartment and eat at the march, yet, Michlifen offers the dream of spending an enchanting and
charming stay at one of the most beautiful places in Morocco where one can be treated and
served like an Arab prince. The value they create for their customers is actually the happiness
they sell.
That was the value proposition. Then comes the step of market segment. We can easily
guess that Michlifen targets customer who belongs to a certain social class who can afford to pay
for the services. This category is composed of some successful Moroccans who will use
Michlifens products for business trips or for a vacation with family and also wealthy tourists,
generally Europeans, since the hotel is not well advertised in other parts of the world.
Let us then understand the Value Chain Structure of the Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa. In
order to do that we need to go through the several components the value chain is composed of:
Inbound logistic, Operations, Outbound logistics, marketing and sales and finally Service.
According to the website quickmba.com, we can get a definition of these components as follows:

Thus, we can conclude that in the case of the Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa, the Inbound
logistics is actually all the receiving of the products needed to run an hotel, their warehousing,
and the inventory control. However we can see it from another perspective. Since we have to
look for what are the inputs, and the operations that are going to be done in order to transform it
into output, we can see the input as the customers and all the preparation maintain and innovation
done in order to prepare the activities and features provided. In fact before they actually benefit
from the experience, the customers can be tired, bored, stressed, depressed and tired. So the input
would be the customer who is in that situation and who chooses the the Michlifen Ifrane Suites &
Spa as a solution to fix him/her by providing a life changing experience. Here, this life
changing experience is the Operation of the company. All the activities and features the hotel
offers to the customers , the luxury, the beauty of the space and landscapes, the excellence of
servicing and care, the experiences and so on, are the operations processed by the company on
the input/inbound ( tired, depressed and bored customers) to turn them into output/outbound ( the
implementation of the activities and features in order to make the customers delighted, rejoiced,
healthy relaxed and entertained customer.)
In addition to that, there is also the marketing and sales as mentioned above. In order to
answer this question we actually got in touch with the Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa and asked
some questions. One of the answers we got is that the hotel doesnt offer any service, it only
proposes. So if you are a client, you need to pay for everything provided, the activities, the
sauna, the spa, the massages and beauty care. So when the customer gets there, he/she is
extremely attracted by all the features since everything is appealing and everything looks
amazing, and since they advertise all the aspects, so when one goes to the website of the hotel
and sees all the photos, he/she pictures him/herself benefiting from all that. But when they get
there, a price is displayed. But since they have dreamed about doing all these activities when
planning their trip, they end up paying for the spa and the rest.
We also need to have a look at the revenue generation and margins. This point is quite
simple. This kinds of hotel doesnt struggle long in order to return their investment and make
profits. The margins are so huge when we see that a simple room cost way more than 300 and
that fruit salad cost around 20 when it probably only cost less than 1 to prepare. It also has
plenty of partners.
Then, we still need to evaluate the position in value network. As we have seen previously,
Michlifen has a lot of direct competitors in the industry. They are actually all the palaces and 5
stars hotels and resorts in the country. Actually, the hotel is as famous as the other ones and it
benefits from a very good reputation since it is considered to be one of the best hotels in
Morocco.
Finally, lets tackle the competitive Strategy. We know that all luxury hotels provide their
customers with an excellent servicing. What Michlifen has to offer that is better is the location,
the nature around, the calm, the beauty of the landscapes (in comparison to the polluted cities of

Casablanca and Marrakesh) and also all the activities that are specific to the region: hikes in the
mountain and waterfalls, ski in the winter ( and since Ifrane is the only city where it snows in
Morocco, that is a big competitive advantage for the hotel), horse riding in the nature and so on.
All this features are difficult to be provided in luxury hotels that are located in the heart of big
cities like Casablanca, Marrakesh or Tangier.

How would ICT be a competitive advantage?


According to the website www.techterms.com , ICT Stands for "Information and
Communication Technologies." ICT refers to technologies that provide access to information
through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT), but focuses primarily
on communication technologies. This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and
other communication mediums.

Ideas to implement IS in order to make it a competitive advantage


Works Cited
http://www.michlifenifrane.com/
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_are_information_systems_so_important_in_bus
iness_today
http://www.quora.com/How-does-Hotels-com-make-money
http://www.quickmba.com/entre/business-model/
http://www.michlifenifrane.com/docs/Plaquette-Michlifen.pdf
http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/value-chain/
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/businessmodel.asp#axzz206MVLBKR
http://www.techterms.com/definition/ict