A Day in the Life of Two Revenue Managers

By Paul van Meerendonk Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | April 17, 2016

Recent discussions have been swirling around the revenue management industry and its swift evolution over the past few years, moving steadily past merely filling as many rooms as possible to holistically approaching the quest for achieving total revenue performance. However, approaches and technologies have not been the only revenue management components swept up in these influential winds of change. The lives of hotel revenue managers have also experienced drastic changes in not only their job responsibilities, but in their overall work efficiencies, insights and performance.

The average hotel revenue manager touches a diverse range of systems within their role: reputation management, channel management, rate shopping, revenue management, property management and central reservations systems. And as advancements in these system technologies have improved how hotels are driving better revenue, they have also freed revenue managers from the tactical handcuffs once restraining their productivity.

To expound on the impacts that technology has brought to the lives of modern day revenue managers, let’s examine a typical day in their life – a life with an automated revenue management system and a life still relying on manual spreadsheets and home grown processes.

A Day without Automation

A typical morning routine for most revenue managers begins by reviewing their hotel’s performance from the previous day. Without an automated revenue management system (RMS), a report is likely pulled from the hotel’s property management system (PMS). This report accounts for the property’s out of order rooms, no-shows and actuals from the day before. It includes the necessary data points to allow the revenue manager to begin investigating any changes in hotel bookings since the day before.

Once the hotel’s daily performance has been thoroughly reviewed, it is generally a suitable time to meet with the hotel sales team to discuss any group opportunities they have in the pipeline. To assist the revenue manager, s/he generally maintains a “business-on-books” folder (sometimes referred to as “BOB.”) BOB is referenced during all internal revenue meetings, in this case helping the revenue manager and the group sales team decide if their prospective group business is worth taking – and at which rates they should accept each group.

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.