Bridging the Revenue Management Talent Gap

By Breffni Noone Associate Professor, School of Hospitality, The Pennsylvania State University | October 08, 2017

Company Growth Requires a Strong Focus on Revenue Management

Revenue growth is a fundamental driver of long-term hotel performance. A focus on revenue places the revenue management function, as the natural owner of top line revenues, squarely at the forefront of driving a hotel company’s success. Just as the scope of the revenue management function has evolved from a stand-alone function charged with managing rooms revenue to an organization-wide initiative concerned with maximizing the profitability of all hotel revenue streams, the requirements of a revenue leader have changed. It is no longer sufficient to possess the stereotypical number-crunching skills needed for revenue management. Revenue managers also need to have the people skills and leadership experience required to engage and influence the management team, such that actionable, forward-looking revenue strategies can be effectively implemented.

The increasingly demanding role of the revenue manager has signaled a growing need for a talent pool to support the revenue management function, leading to the fundamental question: where, beyond existing initiatives, do opportunities lie to develop the talent pipeline? The HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board for the Americas asked themselves that very question.

A New Initiative to Address the Revenue Management Talent Gap

The mission of the HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board is to advance the Revenue Management discipline and, over the years, it has done so in a number of ways, from the Certified Revenue Management Executive certification program, to the annual HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference, which provides the revenue management community the opportunity to network and exchange best practices.

In the Fall of 2016, the Advisory Board added a new initiative to its roster of activities, formally launching a Faculty Outreach program, geared towards engaging with revenue management faculty at hotel schools to promote the revenue management field and develop resources to support revenue management education. In doing so, the objective is to help to bridge the revenue management talent gap.

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.