How to Ensure a Successful Revenue Management Upgrade
Undertaking a successful revenue-management system upgrade is all about organizational alignment around a hotel’s technology investment. Doing a little homework and finding the right balance of people, processes and technology within an organization will help hotels achieve overall revenue success.
How well hoteliers execute revenue-management capabilities depends on how effectively they bring people on board and processes up to par, in addition to choosing the right technology and aligning a business strategy, said Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist for IDeaS Revenue Solutions.
“People often tend to be averse to change, so think about your organization’s change-management culture,” Kohlmayr said. “When you have an RMS, your hotel will run differently than before. But how ready are your colleagues to accept that? Some will likely be eager, others not so much. Consider which people at your hotel will be for or against RMS implementation and what approach you will take to effectively manage these different personas.”
The ability to forecast supply and demand, and more importantly the ability to learn from situations that present themselves throughout the year, is key, said Matt Curry, Rainmaker’s SVP and head of sales. “RMS shouldn’t be a static system; there should be science behind it that allows the forecast to improve from customer data collected to continually provide the most accurate forecast,” he said.
Processes for forecasting, pricing, distribution, data collection and analysis already exist at hotels, but how well they are documented and consistently followed across the organization is key, said Kohlmayr. “Are you following best practices in all your standard operating procedures or are there areas in need of refinement? Ironing out and improving your processes up front will help avoid some major pain points farther down the road of RMS implementation.”
Another key to success is being able to leverage real-time intelligence and technology to create dynamic and intelligent offers for potentially every hotel guest, regardless of booking channel or the availability of contact data, said Nor1 CEO Jason Bryant. “Insights also serve as the backbone of decision-making. Machine learning is streamlining creation, fine-tuning and creating revenue contributions of upsell and cross-sell strategies by automating the entire process,” he continued.
The goal of any revenue-management system is to ensure meaningful revenue lift and to maximize total profit throughout the organization. “This means that your system must make your business smarter and more efficient to bring in your most profitable mix of customers,” Curry said. “Your platform should provide clear, actionable intelligence.”
Ultimately, it’s all about the guest, Bryant said. “For every minute your team is doing data entry, managing a system or manually operating a merchandising initiative, that’s a minute they aren’t focusing on serving your guests,” he said. “Technology should enable operational efficiencies and automation that allow hotel staff to focus their time on providing every guest with a unique and unforgettable experience.”