It’s not enough for revenue managers to continue learning in their ever-evolving discipline; they must also teach those (and relentlessly so) who might not be so open to this new world of doing things, said panelists at the Travel Distribution Summit Europe held in London.
“Cold blooded” was the term one used to describe a personality trait required to help push top-line growth across the entire asset, chain or group.
“At the moment, my colleagues are not aligned,” said Nicolas Alsterdal, total profit manager at Nordic Choice Hotels.
“Even to change one (key performance indicator) is an enormous battle, a nightmare, to make sure everyone changes their strategy to focus on that. It will take a few more years,” he said.
Speaking during a panel titled “Total revenue management: From theory to practice in a rejuvenated European travel market,” Alsterdal made constant parallels between the “Mission Impossible” series of movies and revenue management. He said the revenue management concept is not new, with Robert Crandall having introduced the science of yield management at American Airlines in the early 1970s.
“Revenue management is moving from a focus on profit to a focus on demand. You will lose the battle if you look at the profit potential of every product,” Alsterdal said.
But a successful revenue management strategy more than anything requires teamwork, the skill being to combine a certain hard-headedness with the gentle touch, according to speakers.
Panelists also suggested the new breed of revenue manager, or total revenue manager, needs to sit close to or at the very top level of the company’s hierarchy.
“Somehow you have to be the best friend of all of your colleagues, who probably all want to kill you,” Alsterdal said.
Sara Destruel, director of revenue Europe for Pestana Hotels & Resorts, agreed that many heads are needed, the problem being how to change the collective mind set.
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