Five Steps Toward Revenue Integration
By Elizabeth Churchill Chief Revenue Officer, Aqua-Aston Hospitality | October 25, 2015
After beginning a process of integration more than a year ago, Aqua Hospitality and Aston Hotels & Resorts rebranded this year as Aqua-Aston Hospitality. In addition to the new name, the group – which manages more than 50 properties across Hawaii and the U.S. mainland – also unveiled a new look, and further distinguished what its five hotel brands offer travel partners and consumers. The result: one of Hawaii's leading hotel management groups is in a stronger position to achieve sustainable growth through strategic revenue management.
The significant rise in online third-party booking sites like Expedia and Agoda, travel review sites like TripAdvisor and Google reviews, peer-to-peer economy sites like Airbnb and the Internet as a whole have had a profound effect on the role of revenue management for hotels and resorts. According to hospitality industry research company, TravelClick.com, 14 percent of all hotel rooms sold are booked online. While in the past, "success" may have meant having as many heads-in-beds at the highest Average Daily Rate (ADR) possible, nowadays, it is determined by the cost and value by channel to get those travelers to book.
Those of us in the industry know that determining Average Daily Rate (ADR), Occupancy Rate (OCC) and ultimately Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) can sometimes feel like a tight-rope walk, since it not only depends on owner expectations but a myriad of market factors including rate parity throughout all channels of distribution. This is just one example of how revenue management has quickly evolved over the last several years to become more dynamic.
In today's marketplace, successful revenue management requires converting bookings at optimal values, while at the same time considering how pricing strategies can impact the bottom line in both the short and long terms. In order to do this, companies need to consider their options and invest in business intelligence systems that can collect and analyze their raw data, develop refined methods for forecasting demand, and implement a dynamic business process that allows for constant change while ramping up efficiencies.
One way to increase efficiencies is to ensure that all members of the management team are working toward the same end goal. Creating synergy across departments is a challenge for many businesses, which traditionally might have had departments operating in silos, with separate goals and objectives. Imagine a symphony performing without a conductor. It would sound pretty awful, right? Unfortunately, this type of disorganization, no matter how well-intentioned, is not uncommon in our industry.
Much has been written about the need for alignment and connection between revenue management, sales and marketing. More often than not, companies fail to integrate the activities of revenue management with the sales process and online/offline marketing and communications. Alignment involves many things, most notably business processes that encourage communication between departments, in addition to a shared vision of success.