People Power: The Surprising Secret Sauce of Profit

By Doll Rice Vice President of Revenue Optimization, Prism Hotels & Resorts | September 30, 2018

Revenue management strategies today are built largely on the relevant, impactful and extraordinarily detailed data provided by the increasingly sophisticated software and reporting that is now available. But this is only half of the picture. The successful execution of these tech-driven strategies relies on the human element to fully harness, utilize and implement the insights provided by big data and predictive analytics.

Without a talented revenue optimizer translating and applying the strategies from the data and predictive analytics, the hotel will not be as profitable. Ironically, at a time when technology and new software and systems have made-and continue to make-tremendous leaps forward, it's the human element that remains essential. Even in an age of bits, bytes and bandwidth, algorithms might do much of the heavy lifting, but it's ultimately people power that is the "secret sauce" to maximizing profits.

Technology and Traction

Yes, all of us in the revenue management space-and the hotel owners and operators who work with and count on us-want, need, and thrive on numbers, statistics, percentages, year-over-year performance trends, and accurate forecasting. Everything that revenue management software can and does provide takes some of the busy work out of human hands, saving revenue managers what once required hours of work every week crunching the numbers on equations and spreadsheets.

To be perfectly clear, this is a very good thing. General managers do not want their revenue managers spending time on busy work, and revenue management professionals are thrilled to have some of the grinding, obligatory and time-consuming background work taken off their plate. That additional time and flexibility isn't just a convenience. Because, in spite of the rapid advance of technology (and, in part, because of that growing tech horsepower) revenue managers are becoming more and more critical to the overall success and profitability of the hotel business.

Today, revenue managers can spend more time and energy doing what they were hired to do: execute profitable strategies. They are able to let the software and third-party companies provide the data and reports for themselves and their teams to utilize. In other words, virtually all of them have access to better tools that allow them to analyze, aggregate and activate: to do their jobs.

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Coming up in December 2018...

Hotel Law: New Administration - New Policies

In a business as large as a hotel and in a field as broad as the law, there are innumerable legal issues which affect every area of a hotel's operation. For a hotel, the primary legal focus includes their restaurant, bar, meeting, convention and spa areas of their business, as well as employee relations. Hotels are also expected to protect their guests from criminal harm and to ensure the confidentiality of their personal identity information. These are a few of the daily legal matters hotels are concerned with, but on a national scale, there are also a number of pressing issues that the industry at large must address. For example, with a new presidential administration, there could be new policies on minimum wage and overtime rules, and a revised standard for determining joint employer status. There could also be legal issues surrounding new immigration policies like the H-2B guest-worker program (used by some hotels and resorts for seasonal staffing), as well as the uncertain legal status of some employees who fall under the DACA program. There are also major legal implications surrounding the online gaming industry. With the growing popularity of internet gambling and daily fantasy sports betting, more traditional resort casinos are also seeking the legal right to offer online gambling. Finally, the legal status of home-sharing companies like Airbnb continues to make news. Local jurisdictions are still trying to determine how to regulate the short-term apartment rental market, and the outcome will have consequences for the hotel industry. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.