Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Qualmark GM Appointed

After the shock departure of Qualmark NZ's General Manager Paula McCallum with a tenure that lasted less than a year, a replacement head of the quality benchmarking organisation has been found within the ranks of Tourism New Zealand.

The following economically worded press release signed off by a communications consultant  was sent to Qualmark license holders today:
"Qualmark is pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Keeling to the position of General Manager.

Tim is currently the Marketing Manager – Partnerships at Tourism New Zealand in Auckland and has worked in various marketing roles, including research and advertising, at Tourism New Zealand since 2005.

We look forward to welcoming Tim to the Qualmark team."
Keeling started off his university life studying ecology and geography but ended up with a Bachelor of Tourism degree at Otago University. Upon graduating Tim scored a job with Tourism New Zealand. 

After spending 6-years institutionalised with Tourism NZ, Keeling appears to be a safe pair of hands that unlike McCallum has largely dodged the rigors of working in the private sector.

We feel that we have played a small part in Keeling's appointment with the Motella Blog kindly assisting with the advertising of the Qualmark GM position HERE.

Keeling has many challenges ahead of him and must quickly shake-off the poisoned chalice reputation of the position. He will have an exciting ride over the next couple of years as Qualmark continues with the pain of evolving from a government funded social service into a lean and mean business unit.

He will need to continue managing a major culture change, a reduction in public funding, coping with outside interference from Qualmark's reluctant shareholders and communicating with high maintenance tourism businesses that includes the dyslexic personality of the motel sector.

The resource directed at the ill-fated Enviro awards will need to be rationalised as operators shun paying for an non-compulsory, politically-correct adjunct that has little value and no longer serves to boost quality star ratings after it was made a stand-alone product.

Unfortunately there will be attention and resource diverted into rolling out an unnecessary new brand and there will be a small ruckess to subdue later this month after the clumsy "Serviced and Self Contained" moniker is cut adrift and replaced with an official new sector name for the "motel" sector. 

The real challenge is to grow the uptake of licenses within the accommodation sector. The election of a Labour lead government would have greatly assisted this process by legislation (ie force), however with this scenario unlikely, Qualmark need to instead offer a compelling product with genuine value to operators that are willing to pay.

The clock is ticking....The National lead government is heading for a second term and it is rumored that they will be reluctant to continue being a shareholder in a "nice-to-have" business that should be fully funded by operators.

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