Manual vs Automatic: Journey to Success with Confidence

By , Manager, Product Marketing


Automated revenue technology allows hotels to seamlessly manage by exception—just like driving a car

Blog Soundbites

  • Parallels exist between automated vs. manual transmissions & technologies
  • Manual technologies keep hotels boxed in with rules—limiting profit potential
  • Automated revenue technology supports strategy, prioritizes data & boosts confidence

This past weekend I helped a coworker tick an item off his bucket list: learning to drive a car with an automatic transmission.

Yes, you heard that right: an automatic transmission.

Growing up driving an automatic, I always thought it was more difficult to learn the manual method of driving. In fact, when my time came to get behind the wheel of a manual, I begged my dad, to no avail, to let me stay in first gear at all times. But that’s beside the point; with a little practice I eventually figured it out.

So how could my coworker possibly think there is anything remotely difficult about driving an automatic car? As we changed places in the car, it was interesting to hear him verbalize his worst fears:

  • How will the car know when to shift?
  • How do you keep the car from rolling backwards at an uphill stop?
  • Where exactly do I put my left foot?!

It only took a few blocks for him to comment how easy driving an automatic was. He heard the engine as it slipped into the next gear at the appropriate time, and hills? Well, those quickly became a non-issue.

Truthfully, the entire learning process was nearly seamless. (That is, if it weren’t for that darn stop sign nearly catapulting me into the windshield. Did he mistake the brake for the clutch?)

Being in an industry centered on automating sophisticated machines, I cannot help but see the parallels between the manual and automatic transmissions and manual vs. automatic revenue technology.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of their similarities:


  • Require constant attention
  • Enables operator error
  • Prioritizes user’s judgement
  • Limits time for forward thinking
  • Relies on rules to modify strategy


  • Frees the driver from constant tasks
  • Allows strategic planning
  • Alerts user to address situations
  • Prioritizes scientific data and incorporation of current conditions
  • Instills confidence and trust with proven results

There’s a reason why IDeaS stands alone when it comes to developing solutions that truly allow hotels to manage by exception. It’s easy to develop manual technology that’s one step above the work already being done by property management systems. But the problem remains that the manual rules they rely on still keep you boxed in, limiting your hotel’s potential.

A true analytical solution—one that comes from decades of experience, know-how and talent—is where IDeaS Revenue Solutions and SAS Institute shine.

If it’s the road to success you’re looking for, get behind the wheel of a trusted solution for a journey that takes you where you want to go—with no limits.

Bonnie Clay
Manager, Product Marketing

As a creative, multi-talented revenue technology professional, Bonnie enjoys the challenge of understanding, influencing, and driving prospect and client journeys. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from St. Cloud State University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas. When she’s not footing the bill for her two daughters, she’s in her backyard marsh mastering the art of scything or reading J. Peterman Company catalogs on her front porch.

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