A Tribute to Revenue Management Past | IDeaS Blog

A Tribute to Revenue Management Past

The HSMAI Revenue Management Consulting Board and SAS began a five-part Industry Insights series that kicked off with a discussion on which revenue management ideas really just need to die already.

The desired list covered everything from re-evaluating how hotels view RevPAR, to a more realistic outlook on OTA partnerships, to even questioning the industry’s clichéd words “revenue management”. There was no shortage of concepts that made their way onto this revenue management strategic revenue (see what we did there, Kathy?) wish list.

Revenue Pioneers, partners and providers continue to blaze a hot, new trail in our evolving industry, leaving its old and archaic practices behind in the hazy (and possibly forgotten) dust. However, if we stop to reflect on those being left behind: Shouldn’t some of these antiquated, once beloved practices deserve at least a proper goodbye?

In a bid farewell, let’s toast the practices that are (hopefully) checking in to that Horizontal Hotel in the sky:

The Daily Call Around

The Daily Call Around (DCA), once revered by front office employees around the globe, has formally rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. DCA worked tirelessly over its lifetime to help hotels benchmark themselves against their competitors. Before “internet trolls” and “catfishing” swept the online nation, DCA assumed the original role of a fake customer – price shopping around for the best rates. DCA took pride in its keen acting and sleuthing ability, often referring to itself as the hotel’s private pricing investigator.

Throughout its lifetime, DCA was once warmly loved and supported by revenue managers, general managers and front office staff. DCA is survived by a myriad of rate shopping tools and automated integrations that have replaced DCA’s mastered, but unreliable, manual techniques. Everyone who remembers the lifetime achievements of DCA is asked to raise a glass of their favorite refreshment in its memory. May DCA forever rest in peace.

“Checking in No Shows” 

Checking in No Shows (CNS) was a true hotel showman, reaping the admiration of many hoteliers throughout the world. CNS enabled hotels to look as good as possible each night, focusing its efforts on padding occupancy numbers. CNS lived a lavish life centered on bolstering appearances. CNS was a wizard of false illusions and weaved its masterful practice throughout countless hotels.

While the efforts of CNS may have been well-intentioned, CNS eventually checked into the Motel Deep 6 after it found that its hotels’ performances were actually faltering. CNS is survived by revenue technology with advanced overbooking capabilities and more accurate key performance indicators. We ask that everyone hang their heads in a couple seconds of silence to bid the illustrious CNS goodbye. May CNS forever rest in peace.

“Faxing Close-out Calendars” 

Where do we even begin speaking about the life of Faxing Close-out Calendars (FCC) to wholesale business? FCC was the epitome of old school charm and renowned for its friendly, nostalgic hum. While FCC may not have been the quickest, reliable or efficient worker, there was always a sense of trustworthiness and stability that it brought into the lives of revenue managers and front office staff around the world.

FCC was the type of practice that didn’t mind going without recognition for its contributions to the hotel. It was satisfied serving its sole purpose and flying under the radar. FCC is survived by the usage of channel managers and rate distribution systems that accept revenue management system decisions. In honor of the former reliance on a once standard and classic practice, we tip our hats to FCC. May FCC forever rest in peace.

To the others that went before us and those soon to be left behind:

  • To blacking out dates on a sold out night & turning away a 15-night stay guest due to the unavailability of a Last Room Value
  • To the manual online shopping of competitor rates
  • To the data entry, pivot table and manual management of a mothership Excel spreadsheet
  • To calling the front desk to have them raise the walk-in rate as rooms continue to sell for the day of arrival
  • To never selling the Presidential Suite because its fixed rate is over market value and then giving it away for a standard rate when it’s the last room to sell

As these first generation practices reach their journey’s end, their honorable contributions are carrying on through their second and third generation technologies of revenue management. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you send any retired & antiquated manually-managed spreadsheets in fond memory of revenue management past.

What old school revenue management principles do you think deserve a farewell tribute? Send your thoughts via email: annamarie.miller@ideas.com

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