Industry experts during the Hotel Data Conference weigh in on the best ways to use revenue management tools
With so many practices and systems available for managing revenue, hoteliers have an almost overwhelming choice of what is best for their operations.
During the 2015 Hotel Data Conference’s panel discussion titled “Completing your revenue manager’s toolkit,” panel members shared their thoughts on preferred systems, practices and philosophies for optimizing revenue.
The hub of operations
While in school learning about the hospitality industry, Kathleen Cullen, senior VP of revenue and distribution for Commune Hotels & Resorts, said she was taught the hub of a hotel is its front office.
“For many years, I’ve been saying it’s no longer the front office, it’s the revenue manager’s office,” she said. “The reason is, everything the revenue (manager) does touches every department.”
Someone needs to focus on revenue management in every hotel, she said, because every property needs that person reminding everyone about the ultimate goal: optimizing revenue.
While revenue management has progressed, Cullen said, more support is needed. Many hotels still have one person dedicated to the task, but more and more hoteliers are realizing that they need to dedicate more resources, staff and tools. The revenue managers define the metrics, define the goal for the hotel in the company and they make sure everyone buys into what those goals are and helps them work toward them.
“You can have goals, but if everyone has a different understanding of them, people are not going to necessarily be able to achieve the goals,” Cullen said.
The right tool for the job
There are so many directions to go with toolkits, said Courtney Russell, corporate director of revenue management for JHM Hotels. One thing hoteliers often overlook is the toolkit they already have, he said.
“Brand tools are amazing,” he said.
He said his portfolio includes a good mix of brands, and he receives e-mails and updates from the brand companies. The brands are doing a good job of ramping it up, he said. At his previous company, a revenue management consultant business, he said hotel owners would call to say things are going well, but they believed there was something else they could do, or they loved their revenue manager, but felt he or she wasn’t ready for the job.
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