Five Things Every Revenue Manager Should Be Doing

By Paul van Meerendonk Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | September 23, 2012

According to attendees at this year’s HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC), revenue managers wear a lot of hats these days. When asked to define their roles before the keynote address, just a few of the many answers included “forecaster, analyst, strategist, system designer, marketing guru, talent manager, social media expert, data miner, sales support and, channel manager.” With this many labels, it can be challenging for revenue managers to navigate the arena and decipher the best use of their time and energy. On top of this, faced with a seemingly endless amount of data to collect and analyze, it can also be easy to overlook the big picture, which is developing comprehensive, innovative revenue strategies that maximize profitability.

In order to help revenue managers stay on track and better position their organizations for long-term success, below are five high-level tips for raising the bottom line.

#1 – Collect the Right Data

Amid today’s high-speed, interconnected nature of business, one of the most important things revenue managers should be doing is collecting and analyzing the right data—particularly data that is both historical and futuristic. For example, from a historical perspective, data should be collected on booking patterns for various market segments, market conditions, room types, and more. Revenue managers can then look at this information and use it to forecast future booking pace—typically about 90 days ahead. By doing this consistently, revenue managers can more easily compare current and predicted activity levels to the historical data and make adjustments to pricing strategies as needed.

However, collecting all of this data manually takes a significant amount of time and energy. Amid a flurry of flash sales, mobile marketing, and online travel agencies (OTAs), it can be tough for revenue managers to quickly recognize changes in demand and react in time to make a profit. In order to remain competitive, many hoteliers turn to revenue management software, which automatically provides executives with the data they need when they need it—often cutting their daily workload in half. Through a series of high-speed, complex algorithms, revenue management software automatically assesses hotel performance on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis, allowing revenue managers to quickly compare rooms sold and revenue against data at the market segment and total hotel level. Automated revenue management systems also free up revenue managers’ time for making more strategic, proactive decisions for their hotels.

#2 – Deepen Customer Intelligence Processes

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.