Hotels invest big in their revenue management software. These significant investments mean it’s extremely important to recognize that revenue management technology brings unrivalled advantages to a hotel’s business.
Below are 12 advantages provided by today’s best-in-class revenue management systems:
1. The Dashboard
Today’s best-in-class revenue management systems (RMS) display data in a dashboard format to provide quick insight into historical and future business performance.
The dashboard gives key data to confidently check the hotel’s health and help drive revenue decisions.
Think of the dashboard as the general command center for the system. The dashboard gives users a central location to view their data at quick, high levels – and displays it in different summaries and breakdowns to help them decipher large volumes of data and key performance metrics.
The dashboard may include calendar views with heat maps that visually identify upcoming dates with high or low occupancy levels. This makes it easy to spot any date ranges that need extra attention or investigation with a quick glance. General managers can benefit from checking here for daily occupancy checks and sales managers often reference this in conjunction with incoming group accommodation requests.
Interactive and adjustable graphs and charts allow users to ‘slice and dice’ data to compare the elements that are the most important to them. This type of customization allows users to quickly drill down into their data to analyze the performance metrics that are critical in that moment. It also equips core members of hotel operational teams with key revenue management insights to integrate revenue management strategies into their own processes.
2. On-Demand Performance Support
With technology systems continually improving, redesigning and updating workflows, it’s become increasingly challenging for users to keep up with all of the “newness.”
In fact, the time an employee spends trying to navigate and learn new technology negatively cuts into their overall productivity on the job.
Performance support has become critical in boosting the performance of revenue managers. To address lag times from starting a role to fulfilling a role’s responsibilities effectively, many hoteliers are turning to advanced hospitality learning technologies to drive change in their strategies.
Automated technologies focus on improving both system and employee interactions. These new technologies push information to users at the moment they need to perform an unfamiliar task. With near real-time access to information, these sophisticated learning platforms transition away from teaching employees system specifics – focusing, instead, on training them how to process information and solve business problems.
Performance support technology has long advanced past the point of providing handouts with screenshots and procedural steps. The best learning platforms now incorporate gamification, serve employees with real situations to work through and give the ability to practice solving these problems. This helps hotels retain and train their employees, which are both huge advantages in a high turnover industry such as hospitality.
3. Experienced Client Support Teams
Successful hotels connect with their guests on meaningful levels, with designated hotel experts interacting with visitors at various touch points during their stay.
The valet team greets guests upon arrival, the front desk staff checks them into their rooms, the restaurant crew serves food and keeps drinks filled, and housekeeping safeguards a clean and comfortable stay.
These touch points are designed to make guests feel welcome, satisfied and confident in their decision to stay at the hotel. And in a social world bursting with big data, guests – and their satisfaction – are the hotel’s ultimate livelihood.
Partnerships with solution providers are extremely similar, with touch points ranging from the initial sales discussions to ongoing system usage. Top revenue management solution providers know the important role that trusted client support plays in revenue solution performance. They provide clients with experienced support teams that guide, encourage and cheer users on as they tackle and elevate their revenue performance.
Experienced account managers guide clients through solutions that fit best with their revenue needs and budgets, project managers provide smooth implementation periods, and ongoing client support teams engage in proactive conversations that make them feel confident in their system abilities – cheered on by a champion for long-term revenue success.
4. Remote Accessibility
From online shopping to personal banking to ordering take-out, mobile devices have pretty much supplanted desktop PCs for virtually any available online service. This need for mobility has extended into the expectations of hoteliers and their systems.
Top revenue management solution providers recognize the advantages that remote accessibility provides clients, with cloud-based tools allowing clients to utilize their systems on-the-go and out of the office. Software as a Service (SaaS) products help reduce expensive onsite equipment costs and pricey software upgrades that typically plague clients.
Reduced expenses also broadens the range of services that are available to clients. Without out all the costly extras, clients now have access to services that may have previously been out of their budgetary reach.
Mobile revenue systems that are available for smart devices also allow decision makers to make critical decisions on-the-go from their phone at any time and any place. From GMs checking occupancy in the
hotel lobby to revenue managers reviewing metrics before a last minute meeting, the accessibility provided by mobile apps is an advantage everyone can appreciate.
5. Online Reputation Insights
The rise of online social platforms have given hotel guests an immediate (and bigger) voice with the hotels and services that they are buying from, and that voice has the potential to directly impact an organization’s bottom line.
Every good or bad hotel review can be found immediately online – and reaches innumerable prospective customers.
This undoubtedly has had a significant impact on the role of guest reviews and how hotel reputations are being factored into today’s revenue management decisions.
Hoteliers can utilize their RMS to evaluate opportunities to influence purchases at the point of decision making and identify their opportunities to increase guest satisfaction. Reputation evaluations also allow hotels to leverage their reputation in meaningful ways – whether it’s a pricing-related change or an operational advantage.
Graphical displays provided by the RMS help hoteliers visualize their market position in both rate and reputation. This visualization arms them with additional insights and data to measure the impacts of their online reputation performance. The correlation between a hotel’s rate and reputation helps hoteliers identify new pricing opportunities, especially when there are visible changes in relative trends of rate and reputation.
6. Optimal Pricing
Revenue managers across the globe spend large portions of their days managing rates. They are constantly lowering, raising, and analyzing their hotel’s pricing.
With the hotel’s bottom line depending heavily on the revenue generated from proper pricing strategies, simply managing rates without looking at the whole picture can unfortunately be- come a quick go-to scenario.
Best-in-class revenue management solutions under- stand the critical need for optimal pricing strategies –after all, the hotel’s livelihood depends on it. And with constant increase in market pressures and channel complexity, it is easy to miss the ongoing importance of valuing inventory and using availability controls.
When pricing is managed independent of availability controls, the pricing decisions aren’t actually optimal – meaning that revenue is likely being lost. Revenue management systems that optimize both pricing and availability allow hotels to outperform their competitors that are restricting themselves to managing pricing alone.
7. Group Business Management
The group pricing capabilities of advanced revenue management systems go well beyond the limited functionalities of other revenue systems, and they give sales managers the insights they need to capture the most profitable group business.
Group displacement evaluations allow sales managers to weigh potential group business across multiple dates, understanding the financial impacts of accepting a group over periods of high or low transient demand.
This allows the sales manager to identify if accepting a potential group will make the hotel money, or if it will end up costing the hotel money to take the business.
Strong RMS group pricing modules provide far more than forecast comparisons; these powerful evaluations consider and assess group costs and commissions, conference and banqueting, ancillary spend and profits, group rates and displaced transient revenue. Their reports and graphs give sales managers the confidence to recommend the best rate by arrival date and intelligently consult with flexible groups on optimal date ranges. They also provide granular insights on displacement revenue and additional revenue streams, profit margins and profit per room night in “real-time.”
These are some of the high-powered tools giving sales managers the confidence and insights they need to make profitable group rate recommendations quickly and accurately. And in today’s extremely competitive markets, increased guest response times and services are fundamental to a hotel’s success.
8. A Magic 8 Ball
If the ‘sport’ of revenue management was similar to the sport of golf, mulligans would come up clutch for today’s revenue managers.
Unfortunately, in the game of real life, real money is left on the table if a revenue manager acts on a gut feeling that doesn’t pan out the way that they originally thought.
Today’s leading revenue management systems provide predictive analytics that allow revenue managers to truly understand the impacts of their hunches before setting them in motion. Scenario analysis capabilities in automated revenue management systems allow hotels to explore performance outcomes if a decision is changed or if guest behavior (demand or wash, for example) differs from the current expectations.
Users can also use this advanced capability to learn how sensitive their system is to changes in particular inputs. Utilizing this type of scenario feature is quick and easy, allowing users to experiment more – really understanding how and why pricing and availability recommendations are made in a very intuitive way.
9. (The Right) Big Data
Revenue management systems have been giving hotels big data before it was even known as “Big Data,” and the industry’s big data story continues to see increasingly larger pools of emerging data sources –including social media, reputation management engines, web traffic sources, weather and information related to hotel competitors.
Leading revenue management solution providers know the importance that using the right data has on revenue performance results. RMS technology will continue to incorporate different sources of big data into its analytics when the right types of data are statistically significant and will drive better revenue performance.
Revenue technology providers invest significantly in adding the quality data sources that improve hotels’
pricing strategies and decisions – not harm or dilute them.
10. Powerful Analytics
Revenue management technology is a fine weave of art and science in the powerful benefit of analytics. By pairing the inputs and core analytical capabilities with insightful visual displays, science has long proven to marry well into the art of revenue management.
Digging into the abilities of leading revenue management solutions uncovers extremely powerful performance-driving capabilities such as: analytical market segmentation, accurate unconstrained demand, high-performance forecasting models and the crucial integration of fixed-price and price-sensitive demand.
Folding these types of powerful analytical capabilities into a sophisticated system interface provides hotels with insights into the highest data-driven intelligence available. Being presented with powerful analytics is more than just a game changer in today’s revenue management technology –and it can’t be kept a secret.
11. The Pursuit of Innovation
The pursuit of innovation is revolutionizing products in every industry. Innovation in the revenue management industry, specifically, has been on fire over the years and leading revenue management solution providers are always in hot pursuit of pioneering fresh ideas and solutions.
This ranges from recent innovations like mobile apps and reputation pricing integrations to high-powered analytics that take revenue management systems to the next level.
Top revenue management solution partners also integrate client feedback into their innovation process. Product up- grades implement both innovation and feedback to ensure that updates provide the maximum value to clients.
Revenue management technology provides hotels with many different gifts that all work together to bring them revenue management’s ultimate gift: confidence.
Innovation gives hoteliers confidence that their technology will continually bring them insightful features, products and upgrades.
The right data gives the confidence that the revenue management system is delivering the most optimal decisions.
Predictive analytics gives confidence in understanding the impact of a hotel’s hunches – and the sensitivity of their system.
Group management capabilities allow hotels to extend revenue management beyond just rooms and into their different profitable areas. Optimal pricing strategies give hotels confidence that they aren’t leaving money on the table.
Online reputation data gives hotels confidence to take maximum advantage of their team’s hard work in delivering total guest satisfaction.
Remote accessibility gives users confidence that they can make changes or access their system when and where they need to.
Client support gives hotels confidence that they have a true partner personally invested in their revenue management success.
Performance support gives users confidence that they have vital user support in their moments of need.
Dashboards and reporting features give hoteliers the data insights needed to make confident revenue decisions.
Confidence is key in knowing that decision makers are making the most informed revenue decisions and strategies for their hotels. Confidence is the ultimate advantage that a revenue management technology provider brings today’s hotels –all year long.
Are you ready to push your revenue target higher for next year? Download the ebook – The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management to find out how to select the right revenue management solution and/or services for your organization.