MIS Project


     SNI has been sought out to implement a Management Information System for

Park Place Hotels in South Korea. The MIS project, part of a hotel management
system, will be an integral part of positioning Park Place Hotels as a world
class facility appealing to affluent business travelers. We have researched the
project with respect to technical requirements and cultural risks of conducting
business in South Korea. SNI has successful, relevant experience in developing
and installing a similar system for Comfort Suites in Texas eighteen months ago.

Based on this experience and the close parallel in system requirements, we
believe SNI possesses the technical expertise to be successful. The project is
expected to generate $1.28 million in revenue. Doing business in a foreign
country will be new to SNI. South Korea is an excellent place for this expansion
of our market. "Korea, with its abundant skilled workforce, well-developed
social infrastructure, and large domestic market...will create an environment in
which business can prosper" (American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, 1998).

We have explored the extensive research available on Korean culture and protocol
and believe that with proper preparation our technicians and managers will
succeed in building successful working relationships. We believe this project
presents a unique opportunity for SNI to expand its market and will likely
result in additional opportunities in Korea and potentially other countries. We
recommend a team be assigned to negotiate an agreement with Park Place Hotels
for the development, installation, training, and maintenance of their Hotel

Management System. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page I. Introduction 6 II. Method and

Criteria 6 Sources of information 6 Project elements 6 Technical 6 Cultural 6

III. Evaluation and Analysis 7 About SNI 7 Mission Statement and Vision 7

Organizational Chart 7 Strategic Business Plan 8 Management Strategy 8 Project

Description and Purpose (Goal) 8 Overview 8 Current Situation and Project

Objective 9 Proposed System 10 Software Hardware, Manpower Resources Required 10

Financial Breakdown and Implications 11 Critical Success Factors 12 Design,

Training, and Implementation 12 Anticipated Difficulties in Development and

Implementation 12 Cultural Success Factors 13 Overview 13 Language, Education,
and Work Ethic 14 Legal and Financial Issues 15 Social and Ethical Issues 16

Korean Business Practices 17 Customs and Protocols 18 IV. Conclusions and

Recommendations 20 V. Annotated Bibliography 22 VI. Appendix A. Capabilities of

LMS PRO 1.4 24 B. Financial Breakdown of Park Place Hotel Project 26 C. Gantt

Chart 27 I. INTRODUCTION Strategic Networking, Inc. (SNI) is an innovative
information services and business solutions company. This feasibility study
explores the advantages, disadvantages, and critical success factors in
expanding our reach beyond the borders of the United States into the global
marketplace. Specifically, SNI was approached to implement a Management

Information System for a hotel chain in South Korea. Remarkably, the project is
nearly identical to the Comfort Suites Project SNI completed eighteen months ago
in Dallas, TX. Our success and reputation resulting from that project came to
the attention of our potential Korean partners. Does SNI have the capability and
available resources to implement this project? Absolutely! This paper explores
the financial benefits and risks associated with conducting business in Korea.

Extensive research was conducted concerning the cultural, political, and social
environment in Korea. It is our belief that the financial rewards of this
project outweigh the numerous challenges we will face. II. METHOD AND CRITERIA

Sources of Information Information in this paper should be considered extremely
reliable. It is based on extensive research on American/Korean business
practices conducted through the U. S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy, Seoul,

Korea, U.S. Department of Commerce, Korea-U.S. Committee on Business Cooperation
(CBC), Korean American Chamber of Commerce, Central Intelligence Agency, area

Korean business leaders, as well as traditional library and internet sources.

Project Elements There are two elements to this feasibility study: 1. Technical
– Does SNI have the software, hardware, manpower, and training assets
available to successfully implement the project? 2. Cultural – The cultural
"risks" associated with this project are immense. We will assess
political, legal, ethical, and social issues and how they may impact the
project. III. EVALUATION AND ANALYSIS About SNI Mission Statement and Vision SNI
is an innovative information services and business solutions company. SNI helps
companies become more productive. SNI helps create new business lines and enter
new markets. SNI delivers services and solutions focused on each client’s
needs, with particular emphasis on helping clients more effectively serve their
customers. SNI integrates three core disciplines in providing solutions and
services to its clients: business integration, systems integration and
applications development, and information technology infrastructure services.

Strategic Networking, Inc. Organizational Chart Figure 1. Strategic Business

Plan SNI’s business strategy is controlled growth through selective
partnering. SNI believes that quality vs. quantity at an affordable price will
separate SNI from other, larger MIS consulting firms. While numerous
opportunities exist domestically, SNI has recognized the value of the Internet
and the growing global economy. SNI participates in numerous international trade
shows in order to develop business contacts. Management Strategy At SNI, people
are our most valuable assets. SNI LISTENS attentively to our customers. Every
member of our team, including our CEO, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a
week, to go anywhere, anytime, to SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS. Strategic Networking,

Inc.... · LEADS by example · Understands that today’s business problems
require a MULTI-DISCIPLINARY approach to finding the best solutions. · Will not
accept a project that we can not deliver the EXPECTED RESULTS at the EXPECTED

TIME. Project Description and Purpose (Goal) Overview SNI was introduced to Mr.

Park Chon He at the annual Hospitality Industry Technology Show in Los Angeles,

CA in December 1998. Park Chon He is the son of Mr. Park Soon Lee, founder and
owner of Park Place Hotels, Inc. of Seoul, Korea. Park Place Hotels, Ltd. is an
upscale, family owned, super-deluxe hotel chain in South Korea. The chain
consists of three properties located in Seoul, Puson, and Inchon. The

69-year-old family patriarch heads the business with Mr. Park’s three son’s
co-managing the properties. The hotel chain caters to the affluent business
traveler. Each hotel is ideally located in major business districts. The younger

Park Chon He believes that a competitive advantage can be achieved through the
use of information technology by enhancing their ability to deal with
competitive hotel chains penetrating their marketplace. He believes that their
long-term strategic success ultimately depends on how well Park Hotels executes
their primary mission of delivering the lowest cost, highest quality travel
experience to their business customers. Park Chon He has gained the confidence
of his father to save the ailing family business and has been tasked to
modernize the family hotel chain. Current Situation and Project Objective

Foreign hotel chains such as Hyatt and Hilton are encroaching on Park Place

Hotel’s established client base. Business travelers from the United States,

Europe, and other Asian countries are accustomed to business amenities such as
secretarial, translation and interpretation services, telecommunications,
in-room Internet access, business services, and sophisticated reservation
systems. Traditional Korean "ambiance", the hallmark of Park Place

Hotels, is not enough to attract critical (and profitable) business meetings and
conventions. Bookings are down 22% from a year ago. This is a hotel chain in
trouble. Hotels in Korea are classified into five groups: super-deluxe, deluxe,
first class, second class, and third class. In order for Park Place Hotels to
compete in the profitable super deluxe (business) segment, they must modernize
their information systems capabilities to meet the needs of their business
customers. If they slide down the "quality scale", their profitability
and future existence will be impacted. Mr. Park Chon He is the change agent for
this modernization. His goal is to turn Park Place Hotels into a world class
hotel chain by computerizing their guest management system, modernizing their
telecommunications capabilities, and increasing awareness of his facilities via
the World Wide Web. SNI’s objective would be to develop and install the guest
management system and Internet portal. Proposed System Software, Hardware,

Manpower Resources Required The software program selected for the project is an
off the shelf program called LMS PRO 1.4. manufactured by Inter-America Company.

LMS includes the following functions. (See Appendix A. for details). *

Reservations * Registration * Charge Posting * Guest Services * Guest Settlement
* Housekeeping * Travel Agency Accounting * Telephone Service * Package Plans *

Night Audits *Management Reporting * Guest History SNI installed the LMS PRO 1.4
software in a large hotel chain headquartered in Dallas, TX eighteen months ago.

Our experience with its capabilities offers SNI a huge competitive advantage.

Mr. Park Chon He, hearing of our reputation, sought SNI out at the Hospitality

Industry Technology Show. We recommend using the IBM AS 400 running NT Network.

The Dallas project continues to run smoothly using this hardware. However, since

Koreans use 220 volts as their power source, converters with power stabilizers
to ensure the computer doesn’t see power bumps will also be required. Our on
site Korea team will consist of four programmers and one project manager from

SNI. A local, Korean programmer and interpreter will be hired to supplement our
work team. Two Internet programmers and one lead project manager will be
utilized domestically. Financial Breakdown and Implications Project cost
breakdown is as follows: (See Appendix B. for detailed breakout) Chart 1. Total

Project Revenues Chart 2. Source of Revenue as % of Total Project Critical

Success Factors Design, Training, and Implementation The actual design of the
system is fairly straightforward. LMS PRO 1.4 is a proven software program that
we have experience implementing. Even though Mr. Park Chon He is the change
agent for this project, his father exerts considerable influence on the project.

It is critical Mr. Park Soon Lee be involved in all phases of the project. We
recommend doubling the normal planning and design phase of the project in order
to ensure: · An adequate role of user in the implementation process · Complete
management support for the implementation effort · Increased user involvement
in the design and operation of the hotel information system. Involving users in
development offers opportunities to design the system according to their
priorities and business requirements. They are more likely to respond positively
because they have been actively involved. Cultural differences between SNI and
the client need to be considered in the analysis, design, programming, testing,
and conversion phases of the implementation. Anticipated Difficulties in

Development and Implementation The following issues summarize the anticipated
difficulties in development and implementation of the Park Place Hotel MIS
system: · Implementation team must include Korean representatives, preferably
support personnel and end users. · LMS PRO 1.4 is an off-the-shelf program. We
must build flexibility into the program to anticipate future needs of the
organization. · Time and money required for software development is often
underestimated. · Time and money required for proper testing is often
underestimated. · Users must be significantly involved in testing. · Training
must be completed prior to conversion. · To compensate for cost overruns and
delays, we should factor in an additional 25% in man months. · Performance and
training standards must be established with proper documentation written in both

English and Korean. · Provisions for system maintenance after our three-year
service agreement must be established. It is clear that SNI has the capability
to implement such a project in the United States. Our performance at Comfort

Suites, a much larger project in scope, demonstrates this. Our biggest challenge
with Park Place Hotels is the Cultural Success Factors that we must adapt to.

Cultural Success Factors Country Overview No foreign business enterprise can
hope for success in Korea without a thorough understanding of the people. The

Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea, or "Land of the Morning

Calm", has a rich history spanning over 5,000 years. Today, Korea is an
important trading partner for the United States. Korea’s population of
forty-five million people inhabits an area slightly larger than Indiana.
"As one of the Four Dragons of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an
incredible record of growth. Three decades ago its GDP [Gross Domestic Product]
per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and

Asia. Today, its GDP is already up with the lesser economies of the European

Union. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close
government business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions,
sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government
promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer
goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian
financial crisis of 1997/98 exposed certain longstanding weaknesses in South

Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign
borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. Also, a number of private
sector conglomerates are near bankruptcy. At yearend 1997, an international
effort, spearheaded by the IMF, was underway to shore up reserves and stabilize
the economy. Growth in 1998 was sharply cut. Long-term growth will depend on how
successfully South Korea implements planned economic reforms that would bolster
the financial sector, improve corporate management, and open the economy further
to foreign participation" (CIA World Fact Book, 1999). Language, Education
and Work Ethic Korean is the spoken language in South Korea and Hangul the
written language. English is widely taught in Junior High and High School. Korea
enjoys a 98% literacy rate (CIA, 1999). "Most Korean professionals speak

English, and most meetings can be conducted in English without an interpreter.

Generally speaking, catalogs, promotional literature, and instructional material
are acceptable in English. Don’t take it for granted that those who speak

English will understand everything you say. If a statement is met with silence,
it may mean that you were not understood" (Van Horn, 1989 page 211-212).

Koreans have a very strong work ethic, working, on the average, over 54.7 hours
per week. "It has been said that the Koreans are the only people in the
world who can make the Japanese look lazy" (Van Horn, page 211). Because we
will be working with the hotel service industry, we expect few language barriers
requiring the use of interpreters on site. However, tight social and business
inner circles make it extremely difficult to enter the Korean market without a
qualified Korean representative. "Local representation is essential for
foreign firms hoping to be successful in the Korean market" (Dept. of State

Country Commercial Guide – FY 99). We will be required to appoint a registered
agent in order to handle government import paperwork. Their commission rate of

7-10% has been factored into the overall project costs. Legal and Financial

Issues Legal advice in setting up our contract is strongly recommended.
"Though Americans may regard a written contract as legally binding, a

Korean may regard the same contract as a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ which is
subject to further negotiations dependent upon new circumstances (Dept. of

State)." "If a contract is violated in Korea, the legal procedures in

Korea can be lengthy, cumbersome and expensive (Dept of State)." We must
extensively research our mutual requirements, understandings, and
responsibilities, record it on paper, and be prepared to modify the meanings of
the terms afterwards. The estimated cost of legal representation is $20,000. The

Park Place Hotel project will exceed $1.28 million and is financially attractive
to SNI. SNI, of course, must ensure payment. The continuing slowdown of the

Korean economy, increasing deficit, and falling won add to Korea’s economic
difficulties which makes Korean banks hesitant to extend credit for businesses.
"U.S. companies should consider dealing only on a confirmed letter of
credit basis with new and even familiar clientele. A confirmed l/c [letter of
credit] through a U.S. bank is recommended because it prevents unwanted changes
of the original l/c, and it shifts responsibility for collection onto the
familiar banks involved, rather than onto the seller" (Dept. of State).

Bank of America, SNI’s current bank, has a branch in Seoul and has agreed to
handle the letter of credit for a modest fee of $5,000. Social and Ethical

Issues The Korean culture is over 5000 years old. Modern societal values remain
firmly rooted in the values of Confucianism. Confucianism is not a religion, but
a philosophy of social conduct, that originated in ancient China. In many
respects, the Korean people base many of their decisions on emotion, ethical
social relationships, and the three qualities - love of humanity, sensitivity
for feelings and justice for society rather than on sound business sense or
reason" (Fordham). "Koreans have a great respect for the family and
hierarchy, and for anyone senior in age. They will intuitively establish their
hierarchical position relative to others based on age and social position"
(Business America, 1997). There are defined familial roles in Korea. "In
the majority of Korean households, the father is the primary bread winner, while
the mother stays at home. The majority of working women, many with top
university degrees, are still relegated in Korean companies to secretarial jobs,
assembly work positions, or educational work" (Dept. of State, 1999). The
eldest male of a family would be the patriarch and is revered and respected as
an elder of the family. Even while a Korean is dealing with non-Korean cultures
it is preferable that there be a correlation between the Korean and non-Korean
representative on the hierarchical totem. The belief system used in personal and
business relationships dictates that respect and dignity be shown in all
circumstances. An unwritten code of behavior exists in both informal and formal
settings. Koreans are excessively hospitable people and will treat visitors with
the utmost deference and kindness. Their politeness does not mean that you have
won their trust and loyalty, or that you are a particularly important
individual. It only means that you are also required to be polite in a similar
manner. It is important to remember that the Korean Culture, and the Korean
people, are a homogeneous society with strong ties to their families and
country. Whereas Americans may think in individual terms - ‘What is in my best
interest?’ Koreans often think in group terms - ‘what is in the best
interest of the group?’ Koreans tend to do what is good for the country rather
than for themselves. Setting up a system that benefits the owners without
defining benefits to the country may be difficult. Older Koreans have a
difficult time understanding the concept seeing the benefits the Internet and

Intranet. This will be an important consideration when communicating with Mr.

Park Soon Lee. Korean Business Practices Americans should be ready to mix
business with pleasure as the Koreans base their business relationships on
personal ones. "The heavy drinking of the Korean alcohol, Soju, beer, or
other liquor is commonplace in establishing a personal, business
relationship" (Dept of State, 1999). If one does not wish to consume
alcohol it is advisable to attribute the decision to a medical condition or a
conflict with medication. Koreans will understand and be sympathetic. "Also
commonplace is the ‘no-ray-bang’ where a group of businesspeople go to an
establishment to drink and sing along to a video machine playing music. As most
no-ray-bang machines come equipped with songs in English, a businessperson may
want to be prepared to sing at least one song in order to gain social favor with
their Korean counterpart" (Dept of State, 1999). The exchange of business
cards is a very important means by which Koreans learn about the name, position
and status of the other person. Koreans observe a very strict hierarchical code
and will generally meet to discuss business with persons of the same or parallel
rank. Businesspersons should always have their business card ready (preferably
bilingual) and should treat the exchange of Korean counterpart's card with
respect. It is a sign of respect to receive and present items with both hands,
followed by passing and receiving a card with the right hand. One should never
give a card, or anything else for that matter, with the left hand as it shows
disrespect (Dept of State, 1999). A man generally receives more respect and
affinity in the business world than a woman, though foreign businesswomen
(especially, non-Asian looking women) are accorded almost an equal amount of
respect as foreign businessmen. Single women generally receive less respect than
married women whose ties to their husband oftentimes establish their position in
society. The American businessperson, as a foreigner, is generally exempt from
the above societal classification system, though one should be prepared to
answer what may be regarded as personal, such as questions of age, marital
status, religion, and education. An American businesswoman will most likely not
be included in business dinners. "Kibun places harmony and maintenance of
good feelings as the highest order in any relationship. Your counterpart may
always appear to be good-natured and friendly and will exert their full efforts
in avoiding saying no or delivering bad news. As such, the foreign
businessperson must learn to read between the lines or interpret hints of the
slightest business difficulties. Indeed, a ‘yes’ or nod of the head may mean
‘maybe’ or ‘I understand." A ‘maybe’ usually means ‘no’ while
a negative response is sometimes indicated by a squint of the eyes or by tipping
the head back while drawing air in through the teeth and waiting for you to
speak again." (Fordham) Customs and Protocols A Korean has a family name
and one given name. Traditionally, the given name has two parts. Koreans
normally write their family name first, however, they may reverse the order when
dealing with Westerners. Although women do not change their name on marriage,

Mr. Park may refer to his wife as "Mrs. Park" to avoid confusing

Westerners. There is no general equivalent of "Mr." Various respectful
titles are used in the Korean language, which do not get translated into

English. The English word "Mr." is used in Korean only to address
social inferiors, but there is no objection to foreigners using it as a term of
respect in English correspondence. It will be important to be sensitive to this
particularly when dealing with the elder Park. Among themselves, Korean business
people are more likely to address each other by job title. We should plan to
have our people follow this protocol while in Korea. Greetings and thank-yous
are very important to Koreans. Words of greeting and thanks always are said with
a bow of the head. The depth of the bow required depends upon the relative
seniority of the two speakers. Koreans generally limit direct physical contact
to no more than a courteous handshake. "Koreans tend to avoid too much eye
contact and consider it bad manners to look straight into another’s eyes while
conversing" (Hoare, 1996). "Avoid the following topics in your
conversation: Japan, local politics, socialism, communism, and your host’s
wife. Among good conversational topics include Korean cultural heritage, kites,
sports (especially the Olympics), and the health of their family (do not talk
about their families unless these have something to do with their health).

Always be modest about your position and your accomplishments" (Fordham).

Koreans traditionally sit, eat and sleep on the floor, so shoes are always
removed when entering a Korean home. It is impolite to talk much or blow your
nose during a meal. Food is placed on the table all at once. Food need not be
consumed in any order. Rice and soup are eaten with a spoon while other dishes
are eaten with chopsticks. Chopsticks should not be left sticking in the food.

Koreans always wait to begin eating until the eldest person begins and wait to
leave the table until the eldest is finished. (Korea Travel Manual, 1995) When
dining out, Korean customs allow for either party to be the host or the guest
but "Dutch treat" is not practiced. IV. CONCLUSIONS AND

RECOMMENDATIONS SNI has the technical capability and available resources to
implement the LMS PRO 1.4 Hotel Management System at Park Place Hotels in South

Korea. Our success at Comfort Suites demonstrates our ability to develop,
design, implement, train, and maintain such a system. The Korean project
represents a significant source of revenue for SNI exceeding $1.28 million over
four years. A letter of credit from the Seoul branch of our current banker, Bank
of America, will ensure that SNI is paid according to our contract. The economic
unrest in Korea would prohibit implementing the system without the assurances of
guaranteed payment. SNI’s biggest obstacle will be understanding and
functioning under different cultural expectations. Since two of the four SNI
programmers going to Korea will be women, we must be sensitive to their needs
and well being. Our staff must dress in business attire (we recommend a $1,000
clothing allowance for each team member) and be willing to conduct business in a
social environment that involves heavy drinking and "karoke style"
singing. Business and social skills, too numerous to mention in this report,
must be learned and adhered to in order to ensure a successful outcome. We
recommend that all SNI personnel going to Korea attend a two day "finishing
school" sponsored by Barlitz Language School. SNI personnel are limited to
stay only 90 consecutive days on a business/ tourist visa and must be rotated.

The greatest risk to SNI is the political instability caused by aggressive North

Korean leadership resulting from food shortages and starvation in the North. The

South Korean government has made significant strides in reducing political
corruption prevalent in the 80’s. The Korean government has the full backing
of the American government so the risks, although present, should be minimal. We
believe this project presents a unique opportunity for SNI to expand its global
presence and will likely result in additional opportunities in Korea and
potentially other countries. For this reason, SNI should proceed with
negotiating an agreement with Park Place Hotels for the development,
installation, training, and maintenance of their Hotel Management System.

APPENDIX A. CAPABILITIES OF LMS PRO 1.4 Reservations - The reservation system
allows easy booking and inventory management for individuals and groups. Room
numbers and the type of suite and their availability are readily accessible. Run
of the house inventory and overbooking controls are easy to use and understand
and provide safeguards from embarrassing mix-ups. Registration - At registration
an entire group or convention can be registered with a single command key saving
individual members of the group as well as the hotel large amounts of time.

Individual registration within the group is also provided. The system allows
access to the data base by individual or company name, or arrival date.

Application of advance deposits is automatic and posts directly to the bill on
registration. Charge Posting - Daily charges are posted to each room account for
individuals or to a single account as an option for groups and conventions. All
charges are transferred to the company ledger automatically with references that
track back to the reservation and registration information. Guest Services -

Special requests for service can be entered at the registration or reservation
screen allowing the earliest recording of special customer needs. Wake-up calls
are automated from the quests room or can be entered from the registration desk.

Guest Settlement - The system allows for inquiry and posting by group or
individual. Group check out like group check in provides for an efficient
timesaving alternative. All major credit cards and after event billing in
addition to cash and checks are provided as options for settlement. Housekeeping
- Room status alerts the maid staff of unusual requests or scheduling needs. On
check out, housekeeping is alerted that the room is ready for service. Travel
agency accounting - The reservation system can be set to allow travel agencies
to search for available rooms. Access can be global. Telephone service - An
automated telephone service allows callers from outside and inside the hotel to
access a data base which will connect the caller to the guest by name. Voice
mail as an option for quests. Each room will be configured for internet access.

Package plans - Bundled services including lodging and other travel options can
be recorded into the system with automatic posting to the general ledger.

Special features are noted on the screen at check in and vouchers for tickets,
car rentals and other options can be mailed with the confirmation of lodging.

Night audits - No shutdown is required for night audits. Charges and corrections
are posted automatically to the financial system. Hotel management reporting -

Numerous created reports are available on request. A report writer is also
included to allow for customized reporting options. Guest history - Special
requests and account history is maintained by individual and group. This allows
special needs and desires to be anticipated with repeat customers. Frequent
customers can be coded with special considerations. Demographic reporting is
provided as an option to assist in marketing the hotel and in meeting the needs
of its customers. APPENDIX B. FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN OF PARK PLACE HOTEL PROJECT

APPENDIX C. GANDT CHART

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world fact book. (February 28, 1999) [On-line], Available: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/country.html

This Central Intelligence Agency web site covers geography, people, government,
economy, communications, transportation, and military issues of South Korea. Woo

Gon Kim, Hyan Ju Shin and Kye-Sung Chon. (February 1998). Korea’s lodging
industry: problems, profitability and regulations. Cornell Hotel &

Restaurant Administration Quarterly, v39. 60-68. This study discusses the Korean
hotel industry’s significant issues including room supply, complications of
regulation, and hindrances to expansion.