From: Macau Daily Times
Tel: 2875 7651
Reliable Business Partners
Reliable Business Partners
Not all vital services that guests enjoy at Sands China Ltd. integrated resorts are as visible as the smiling and warm welcome extended to guests when they first enter the hotel lobbies. Unseen by the arriving travelers are the many important business partners that collaborate with and support front desk operations. In the hospitality industry, they are normally known as back-of-house support; what is different nowadays is that these departments do not just support, but share in the vision of the company and provide strategic business solutions to align with and help achieve business goals. In other words, they act as business partners.
Finance is where revenue and expenditures meet. Sands China Ltd. properties—specifically, The Venetian Macao, Sands Macao, The Plaza Macao and Sands Cotai Central—must keep tabs on income and outgo to ensure the resorts sustain themselves. To do this, the Finance Department handles all fundamental accounting and analytical procedures such as accounts receivable, cash flow reports, audits, and cost-control.
Yet the focus of the department is not just on today’s receipts, says Connie Ho, Director of Finance – Non-Gaming Operations. “The financial data lays the foundation for important decisions about the long-term development of the company.”
This broader view explains the extra effort Sands China makes to enhance the expertise of its Finance team members. Staff members are encouraged to master specific areas of finance, and are allowed to transfer to other positions within the department to further broaden their financial knowledge. This comprehensive approach to training gives the company solid footing in its financial functions, and provides an excellent opportunity for employees to grow professionally.
Connie joined the company in 2004 as an accountant and has risen to management level. “Many team members now in management started off as junior staff,” she says, noting that the steady growth of Sands China Ltd. means advancement within the company is more than just a promise. “I am indeed very thankful that the company provides so much professional training. We have built a great team.”
Another reliable business partner in the operation of Sands China Ltd. is Human Resources, a strategic department staffed by a group of trained professionals who support more than 23,000 Sands China team members. “It is absolutely a challenge,” acknowledges Cobie Ho, Compensation & Benefits Manager, who began working in the department eight years ago as a coordinator. After she finished her college abroad, Cobie came back Macau to seek employment, a testament to the attractive career opportunities available for Macao locals. Instilling the Sands China workplace culture in the minds and hearts of new employees is one of the challenges. “With the launch of each new property, we recruit many new team members, all of whom must learn our values and service standards.”
And with the diversity of Sands China’s integrated resort offering, learning and training can even extend to the company’s partner brands. Cobie was sent to Dalian to learn about the brand culture of Conrad Hotels before the opening of Conrad Macao, Cotai Central. She returned from her trip well-equipped to work with Sands Cotai Central team members to convey the Conrad Culture. This type of additional training has, as a result, exposed Cobie to an even broader career development opportunity.
Cobie mainly oversees employee compensation and benefits procedures. In a growing company, her area of responsibility will continue to grow as well. “We have more than a dozen staff working in this particular area to meet the needs of the whole group, and the company’s business is rapidly expanding.” Cobie and her team, aside from the large amount of work that needs to be handled, also need to comply with the laws set by the government. For example, work injuries must be reported to the authorities by Cobie’s team within 24 hours of the incident. Even though this is a challenge to Cobie and her team, in the end, the C&B team is able to handle cases efficiently, a rewarding experience for all involved.
Sands China properties consist of many different hotels brands, with varying business models. This includes franchise agreements with partner hotels, like Four Seasons and Sheraton; hotel management agreements with hotels like Holiday Inn and Conrad; and of course Sands China’s own hotel brands, like The Venetian Macao and Sands Macao. With so many different hotel management types in one company, HR colleagues gain a wider exposure and broader professional experience than is possible in smaller, more vertical, companies.
Another reliable business partner in the Sands China back operations sector is IT (Information Technology), which undergirds every hospitality function in the 21st century. During the last eight years, Eddie Vu became immersed in all types of Sands China IT activities. Along the way, he rose from an entry-level technology support position to become Senior Project Manager, where he supervises daily system operations.
He and other team members in IT are critical to smooth operations throughout the organization. Information technology runs the gamut of resort operations, from guest services and general operations to strategic system solutions that advance business objectives. “This diversified environment gives me the opportunity to learn about and deploy new IT technologies,” Vu says. It is a never-ending learning situation for him as information technology hardware and software continue to evolve in real time. “It also lets me work in wide-ranging hotel operations, all of which benefit from IT solutions.”
The information technology work includes a role for troubleshooters. When unforeseen technical problems occur, Vu and his IT team members are thrust into the exciting work of solving a crunch-time dilemma and restoring a system to a functioning state. This is why every department in each integrated resort has access to an IT Helpdesk hotline, which keeps IT support teams ready to respond.
Caring for resort guests entails much more than what a visitor sees. Behind- the-scenes reliable business partners are as important to Sands China Ltd.’s success as the more visible employees at the front desk, in the concierge area, or those providing room services. Seen or unseen, all of Sands China’s partners function as one team in providing extraordinary experiences to their guests.
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Keyword: Sands China Ltd, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Sands Cotai Central