A Tale of Two Hotels: The Automation Edition

Banner_TalesofHotelsBanner_IDeaS

In recent years, the hotel revenue management industry has seen a swift transformation – moving past filling as many rooms as possible to approaching their revenue strategies from a more holistic viewpoint. The fruits of today’s sophisticated technology have allowed hotels to quickly and efficiently digest large volumes of data to make more informed decisions for a more intelligent strategy. And the benefits of recent advancements haven’t just stopped at better revenue strategies and more big data opportunities. They have also reached down the hotel chain (pun intended) to the role of the revenue manager.

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 (among others). Advancements in the automation of these technologies – specifically the revenue management system (RMS) – have also freed revenue managers from the tactical handcuffs that had once restrained their work productivity.

CLICK TO TWEET: ADVANCEMENTS IN AUTOMATION FREE REVENUE MANAGERS FROM THE HANDCUFFS RESTRAINING THEIR PRODUCTIVITY

Consider, for example, a day in the life of two hotel revenue managers…one living a life with revenue management automation and one still living a life without it.

Early morning

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Manually generates multiple reports from the hotel’s property management system 
Receives custom reports emailed directly from the RMS each morning (including weekends)

Mid-morning

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Sits through intense meetings with the sales team relying heavily on BOB (the Business on Books folder). After the meeting, the revenue manager checks in with the general manager, front desk & operational teams on forecasting and pricing changes
Easily reviews key information & details with RMS reports, knowing the hotel team also received their latest reports that morning. Answers any questions through email & generates comprehensive reports with a click of a button

Lunchtime

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Pores over BOB while eating lunch at their desk
Enjoys a relaxing lunch in the break room

After lunch

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Combs through different information sources, manually reviewing & updating spreadsheets
Discusses strategies with the executive team & makes necessary rate adjustments easily through the RMS

Afternoon

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Sits through numerous meetings with the leadership team & internal departments to discuss KPIs and other matters. Spends remaining hours working through different technologies to change rates.
Spends time analyzing current trends & implementing the strategic initiatives discussed earlier

End of working day

The revenue manager without automation:

The revenue manager with automation:

Tucks away BOB and desperately hopes not to get any emergency calls to change the weekend rates
Leaves the office on time, spends time with kids the next day…all while changing any necessary rates through the cloud-based RMS

It’s clear to see that the revenue manager working without an automated revenue management system commonly finds themselves handcuffed to manual data entry processes, meetings spent focused more on basic logistics and less on strategy, and a heavy reliance on limited data insights to make pricing and strategy decisions.

The benefits that automated revenue management technology brings to the life of today’s revenue manager reaches well beyond a scope limited to the hotel work day. Recent advancements have also positively improved on-the-job system learning frustrations and job demands that previously made a healthy work-life balance seem downright impossible at times.

As our industry moves even further ahead in its blazing evolution of revenue management, it’s important to appreciate the evolution of revenue management’s biggest champion of all: the life of the revenue manager.