Next-generation revenue management solutions allow hotels and resorts of all types and sizes to generate better financial results. Certainly, the ability to automate pricing and distribution decisions makes the business case an easy one to make from an ROI perspective.
In addition to improving RevPAR by upwards of 10 percent, according to the latest industry research, hotels can boost marketing and sales effectiveness, generate competitive intelligence, and gain insights into occupancy trends, guest demographics, market positioning and channel profitability.
But which technology solution is the right one? How can a hotelier be assured that the solution they implement will best meet the needs of the property, or properties, and enable revenue managers to achieve optimal results?
The following are just three of the many buying considerations to keep in mind (click here to access the full checklist) when researching revenue management solutions.
Channel management and optimization
Rates and inventory information need to be reflected accurately across all systems and touchpoints, including OTAs and other partner- and guest-facing channels. Otherwise, the prices that are presented to prospective guests on some channels may be lower than desired or rooms presented on some channels as available may, in reality, be unavailable, and the property may be overbooked.
Inputting room rate and availability changes manually can result in errors that damage the brand’s reputation and lead to revenue loss. It is important to understand the extent to which room change updates are handled automatically rather than manually and what the average lag time is in implementing channel updates.
Customization to user and property needs
Because users have differing needs, any solution will invariably require some degree of customization. Revenue managers should be able to create notifications based on their own predefined triggers. They should be able to define the data inputs and dashboard views based on their own priorities and display preferences. Flexibility in configuration is needed to mine the right data and generate actionable insights.
Prospective buyers should have a high level of confidence that any solution under consideration has flexibility and customization capabilities to meet the needs of the property as well as those of the revenue manager(s) and other end-users.
Group sales optimization
Buyers with group business goals should check that any solution under consideration provides group sales optimization. This means being able to evaluate group requests by forecasting the impact and displacement of transient guests while calculating ideal group rates.
Some solutions offer pricing recommendations by room type to maximize inventory and can provide meeting planners with a blended price quotation. Some solutions suggest alternate dates for flexible groups based on projected demand and availability to drive business to dates where the hotel stands to gain the most profit. Some solutions offer simultaneous evaluation of multiple properties to identify which one would be the most profitable for the entire enterprise.
Having profit-based price evaluation capabilities enables sales teams to understand unsold and undersold meetings and events space as well as less-than-optimal displacement of group business.
The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management is currently available for complimentary access. Click here to access.