Change Management

Change Management, a resourceful process to improve a properties gross gaming results and a process I am often asked to explore with clients looking to improve bottom line results. So what is Change Management and more importantly by implementing change what are the benefits and will it improve your bottom line results.

Before we explore Change Management and its deliverables, we need to step back and look at what’s happening on the casino floors today. As an industry veteran who started as a dealer in one of London’s Mayfair clubs back in the 1970’s, at times I just cannot believe what I’m seeing on casino floors today. $4 chips, $2.50 minimums on roulette, $15 and $35 minimum bets on Black Jack and trainee’s let loose on tables with only 3 weeks training seem to have become the norm.

Over the years the industry has moved to appointing people for senior casino management positions who either have an accounting or analytical background, and in some cases no casino experience at all. The flow on from this over time sees scenarios where personnel moving into and through casino management have never actually dealt games, and as a consequence have little understanding of what the basics are from the grass roots level. Getting back to basics like decent chip handling skills is why transformational change in the work place has become so important and as such leads us into the need for a Change Management approach. So looking at your business do you need to go through this process, and what does it really involve?

Essentially a Change Management process from a service viewpoint means being able to devise, recommend, implement and execute effective and efficient process improvements to maximize Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) across Mass, Premium Mass and VIP. The process includes seeing how best to manage costs down, through internationally accepted best management practices and standards on an ongoing basis, while at the same time positioning the gaming product through cutting edge practices that improve practical value as well as intrinsic value and hence dramatically improve total perceived value to the properties customers. Have tables on the floor where dealers and players can comfortably make and reach their bets. If this sounds obvious next time you walk the floor see how dealers and players struggle to do just that.

And it doesn’t stop there, the process means reviewing, reporting on, recommending and delivering a number of initiative’s and strategic improvements to People, Parts and Processes. This will normally include a review of all aspects of operational processes on the gaming floor and labour management practices with the view to optimising staffing levels, productivity, security practices, and service standards. Over the years we have developed highly detailed revenue enhancement, labour and budget modelling scenarios that include staff rostering / payroll costing / scheduling practices, revenue modelling and budgeting models that can link recommended revenue initiatives and improvements to detailed time and motion models based on key measurements and metrics of the casino that mathematically demonstrate improvements to GGR.

Further benefits are derived from a full review of rules and regulations, betting limits, supervision levels and commission structure offered in Non Negotiable chip play, paying particular attention to a full bottom to top line review of all operating costs associated with programs offered.

Seeing the need across many industries for transformational change, The Harvard school of Business adopted a Balanced Scorecard Perspective as a framework when reviewing an operation. This has proved invaluable in prior executions of transformational change, planning, organization and implementation / execution in the workplace. Today transformation change in the work place is a planning process by way of developing a [strategic] plan for modifying an enterprise’s business processes.  This is achieved through an ongoing best business practice change management execution of all reviewed policies, procedures, and processes to move the organization from an “as is” state to a “to be” state. Time and time again this procedure has delivered numerous benefits by way of leveraging improvements through a structured process and framework.

A key component in improving the overall operation is reviewing the requisite level of skills, support and training given to staff on an ongoing basis. This is especially so around key fundamental aspects of ensuring all games are run optimally and quickly without putting adverse pressure on the players. An example could be doing a float or tray chip count at the end of a shoe quickly and efficiently without the need to count all chips on a shoe by shoe based estimate. Accuracy can be applied at day end.

There is no question as casinos re-open, operators have an opportunity to re-think transformation change through a Change Management process. Those who do not seize the moment run the real risk of extended runs of poor results which inevitably leads never ending rounds of cash injections through poor cash flow leading to job losses and the potential closure of the business itself.

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