Trouble accommodating both large and small groups in a way that maximizes revenue
- Better team alignment
- Increased visibility of high and low demand dates
- Established strategy for selling parts of function space to small groups when large group demand is low
Amaris Hospitality is one of the largest property management companies spanning the United Kingdom and Ireland, overseeing more than 65 internationally branded hotels under the Leonardo Hotels, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn, IBIS Styles and Mercure brands.
Many of the properties have implemented a successful guest room revenue management strategy by partnering with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. However, to stay competitive in the marketplace, the Amaris team recognized that revenue managers needed to be more strategic about driving revenue across the entire property.
A unified revenue management strategy that went beyond guest-rooms—to include function space and meetings rooms—could help Amaris gain a more holistic view of revenue opportunities and offer ways to meet its “total hotel performance” goals.
Strategic revenue managers need strategic tools
“Our revenue managers are experienced in commercial decision-making in terms of driving guest-room revenue strategy. But it made sense to have them also oversee meeting and events revenue. It’s not only an opportunity for us as a business, but it offers development opportunities and helps the team enrich their skillset as well,” said Stephanie Gosling, head of revenue for Amaris Hospitality. “Moving forward, that’s where the future of revenue management lies—the totality of revenue.”
Aside from a sales and catering system, the revenue management process for meetings and events at Amaris properties had been entirely manual. Sales staff relied on off-site revenue managers to email spreadsheets with revenue information including demand, forecasting and booking pace. The process also relied on sales staff being able to understand the information to set the pricing strategy.
“Simply put, this was an inefficient and manual process,” said Gosling. “We knew the revenue management tools, reports and recommendations that we wanted existed for guest room revenue, so we immediately looked to IDeaS to help us implement something similar for our meetings and events space.”
Improving meetings & events insights
After talking with IDeaS to understand their function space options, Amaris implemented IDeaS SmartSpace, a cloud-based platform designed specifically to analyze the business trends and performance of meetings and events space within hotels and stand-alone venues.
By combining SmartSpace with the IDeaS solutions already in use, Amaris was able to provide the tools, reporting and strategy needed to bring the revenue managers and function-space sales and marketing teams together. Now, each team has access to the information they need to make smarter decisions about how space is priced and sold—moving them toward a singular, optimized revenue strategy.
“SmartSpace gives us everything we need, very quickly through the cloud-based application,” Gosling said. “This is very different from what we did before; we now have the ability to control total revenue.”
“The implementation was great. The IDeaS deployment team was able to show us how to use it, but also the role that the tools play in our overall profitability, and why team alignment is critical. I cannot speak highly enough of them,” Gosling said. Previously, sales staff believed there was demand for large meeting spaces and would reserve those spaces for big events, often turning down smaller groups regardless of demand. This caused a loss in revenue when large events didn’t materialize.
With SmartSpace, revenue managers can easily see the dates where there is not sufficient demand for these spaces. They have since changed their sales strategy to sell the function space in parts when the demand does not exist to sell it as a whole, rather than waiting for a big piece of business that never comes to fruition.
I really value the relationship I have with IDeaS. As a client, we like to be challenged. If we’re doing something that potentially takes us down the wrong path from a revenue management perspective, we actively accept suggestions. The support teams for SmartSpace proactively engage with us and challenge how we think, while allowing us to work in changes at our own speed. It’s a true joint effort that helps us generate real revenue, and you really don’t find any partnership better than that.