For the past year, Ligula Hospitality Group has been focusing on streamlining their operations to be more efficient.
NB: This is an article from Atomize, one of our Expert Partners
A big part of this has been a review of their tech stack and investment in solutions that can support their vision. Ligula is in a process of change and the management has a clear goal, to automate as many processes as possible.
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In December 2021 Ligula deployed Atomize on 38 properties, an important component of their journey to become more lean. Fredrik Ternsjö who is the Head of Revenue, Distribution & Systems at Ligula Hospitality Group believes that tactical pricing shouldn’t be done manually and is a perfect example of a repetitive task that should be automated.
Fredrik joined Ligula in June 2021 when Ligula had already initiated this transformation. During the pandemic, Fredrik and his team took the opportunity to evaluate and review their systems and processes, and, as a consequence, they have taken several important steps that have already made their organisation better equipped to manage current market conditions and improve performance. Changing PMS by implementing Mews was one of the bigger projects, followed by Atomize RMS together with BI reporting from Juyo Analytics.
Historically before the pandemic, revenue management was managed locally at each hotel with a centralised support function. Today, Ligula still lets every hotel handle their pricing but the operation is slimmer since there is not the same need for a heavily centralised revenue management function.
“Our goal is to let each General Manager own the pricing for their respective hotel which requires a data-driven, automated, and easy-to-use RMS. With the implementation of Atomize, we have much better system support for each GM to handle their pricing more efficiently and with improved results”, Fredrik says.
At Ligula everyone affected by the new way of handling the daily revenue management tasks have been very positive about the change and can easily see the benefits, especially the time-saving aspect.
Onboarding and deploying Atomize on 38 properties in 5 weeks
After Ligula signed with Atomize in November 2021, the Director of Customer Success at Atomize, Viktoria Skraba together with Fredrik Ternsjö at Ligula, set an ambitious plan to deploy Atomize across the Ligula portfolio; including set up, onboarding, and training with all GMs.
In just 5 weeks, 38 properties were onboarded and trained in how to use Atomize. Fredrik and his team were very satisfied with how Viktoria and her team managed the process and were impressed by Atomize’s ability to mobilise resources to support them. From Atomize’s end, the customer support team, the onboarding team, and the optimization team contributed and collaborated to effectively deploy Atomize across Ligula’s portfolio.
The next steps – going for full automation
Before making a final decision Ligula ran a benchmarking process when Atomize was tested at a selected number of properties. The trial coincided with an intermediate period of the pandemic when the market was experiencing growing demand. A combination of market demand signals, reservation data, hotel performance, and comp set data were considered by the Atomize algorithm, and rates automatically adjusted accordingly, in real time.
As confidence in the recommendations grew Ligula decided to turn on autopilot. The combination of growing demand and automated pricing adjustments, in real time, provided Atomize with the perfect conditions to deliver impressive results. Based on that performance, Atomize was the selected RMS for Ligula.
“Now as we experience the market recovering once again and cancellations levels drastically decreasing, the system gains more data points and we can see more and improved price recommendations which is great to see. The system is really responsive and now the next step for us is to ensure confidence among all General Managers and switch on autopilot for all of our properties” says Fredrik Ternsjö.
More than half of their portfolio have already turned on Autopilot and the goal is that the full portfolio of hotels will switch on Autopilot in the coming month.
Fredrik shares one more important reflection that can’t be said enough times;
“Given the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry and historical information not being as significant as it used to be in more cyclic times, it has been a big advantage for Ligula to use a RMS that also includes forward-looking data.
It allows a more precise prediction of future business opportunities and that is where every forward-looking hotelier’s focus should be”, says Fredrik.