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Are You Using Yesterday's Technology?
By Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of REVPAR GURU
Today, we all live in a very fast-moving, high-tech society. And yet our technology always seems to be disappointing us. From iOS 6s crappy map app to Malware infecting our PCs, our technology seems unable to perform at 100%.
Unfortunately for hotel owners and revenue managers, the same applies to most revenue management systems. Most revenue management systems overpromise and under-deliver, promising real-time pricing updates but only delivering once or twice daily. They adjust prices mostly based on historical rates or pricing trends or environmental factors but not all of them together. Overall, they just dont work the way that hoteliers need them to.
Could this be what is holding back the hotel industry from sustained financial success? Obviously, unexpected factors like the recession and economic crash, natural disasters, etc. have taken their toll on the travel industry over the past five years, but those situations outstanding, the industry is still struggling for profitability.
But that doesn't have to be the case.
As an industry, lets put our (figurative) foot down. Lets stop accepting technology that gives us more work, instead of making us more effective at our jobs.
Heres how revenue management technology should be (and it is, if you know where to look!):
Proactive AND reactive
Yes, revenue management systems need to be reactive in order to adjust according to changes in the market, pricing of the competition, environmental factors, etc. But a sophisticated, efficient revenue management system must also proactively suggest rates a year in advance, based on up-to-the minute information. Imagine having to monitor 365 days of data and reports every day (exhausting!), especially since your rates should be changing in real-time, not just once per day or once per week.
Lets look at an example from a different industry. Remember those old-school GPS systems that would only provide a one-time route calculation? They were a good idea but not the most effective solution for real life. What if you got stuck in traffic or detoured off the calculated route? You need a GPS that will continue to update its route according to your current position in real-time. The same thing goes for an RMS; unless you have a reactive and proactive revenue management system, it would be impossible not to miss out on opportunities for new bookings.
Drives business to the most profitable channel
With many RMS, revenue managers are not able to drive business to specific channels. While its great to get more bookings, direct bookings are preferable because it earns the hotel 15-35% more by avoiding paying huge OTA commissions. So an effective revenue management system will drive business to a hotels direct channel whenever possible.
Integration & automation
Most revenue managers do use technology to help with their daily pricing tasks: a RMS that will give you a daily rate suggestion, and a separate rate shopping report (that you have to decipher), and a channel manager add-on to manually update your changes. But these pieced together systems end up just making a revenue manager more work (and losing the hotel revenues) because they have to use each component separately and then combine all of the results into one, and then use the channel manager to update results manually. An effective revenue management system is a fully integrated RMS.
Technology is supposed to help, not hinder us
The test as to whether a revenue management system will be an effective tool, or just another time-waster for already overloaded revenue managers, is this single question: does it give me more or less work? Does it help me to do my job more quickly and efficiently? Does it help me to earn my property more money?
If your answer is no to any of these questions, then my recommendation is to get shopping for a RMS that will not disappoint I know of at least one that fits the bill!
About the author
Jean Francois Mourier is CEO and Founder of REVPAR GURU, an intelligent online solution that provides hotels around the world with an alternative revenue management software system designed to deliver maximum bookings and profits, as well as the convenience of full automation and integration 24/7. As REVPAR GURU's custom-designed Yield Dynamic Price Engine is the only real-time revenue management system available on the market, it meets the rapidly changing needs of hotels looking to increase their competitive advantage in an increasingly difficult marketplace. REVPAR GURU's system offers dynamic rate optimization, real-time pricing, integrated internet and extranet yield channel management and GDS sales distribution, to increase a hotel's RevPAR intelligently and effectively, while maintaining rate integrity and automated rate parity. Since 2004, smart hoteliers worldwide have used REVPAR GURU's software system to increase occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and RevPAR.
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