- Poorly defined room categories and pricing structure
- Lacked the tools to create a forecast that is both wide-ranging and accurate
- Leaving money on table during peak periods
- Increase in revenues within first eight months
- Less time spent on manual calculation and more time spent on strategic decision making
The Platzl Hotel is a traditional, four-star hotel located in Munich’s historic Old Town. Situated just steps from Marienplatz—the city’s beautiful and popular city center—the Platzl is highly desirable among tourists. The hotel consistently averages an occupancy rate over 85 percent.
Hotel manager Heiko Buchta has led Platzl since 2013. Having previously spent more than 12 years in sales, marketing and revenue management for a large hotel chain, he has a strong affinity toward revenue management. “The potential for a hotel in this location is huge. For us, the implementation of IDeaS RMS was in the foreground, to be better informed about how our market is currently developing and how exactly the booking behaviour of our guests is composed, and to be able to respond specifically,” Buchta shares.
Guidance in defining room categories
Within three months of implementing IDeaS RMS, the Platzl recognised a higher quality of revenue management. With IDeaS, they have visibility into booking trends and how well certain room categories are sold in advance. In addition, reliable forecasts show how the current month will develop. As the number of requests drops toward the end of a month, advanced forecasting automatically adjusts room rates.
Previously, seasons and categories were predominantly hand-knitted and poorly defined. So prior to the IDeaS RMS setup, Buchta and his team worked with IDeaS to establish new room categories and a structure of varying rates. It was also important to Buchta to have the ability to segment by the numerous booking sources—via their own website, online travel agencies, tour operators, corporate clients, etc. Among all of the other changes, the Platzl was also undergoing a renovation of all 170 rooms, making it a unique opportunity to completely transform their position in the market.
Following the complete implementation, it immediately became clear that room prices were already up by 10 percent. “Without IDeaS RMS we would not have been able to take big steps after the renovation. Everything fits together wonderfully,” adds Buchta.
Adaptable to changes in conference booking behaviour
Hotel Platzl also implemented the IDeaS evaluation tool for their conference business. “Although the hotel only offers space for groups of up to 80 people, the conference business has generally become more complex and faster,” emphasises Buchta. “Our calculation tools used so far are no longer adequate. Today, not only do we need a reliable six-month peer group assessment, but one that provides accurate forecasting four weeks in advance. The booking behaviour has become shorter.
We wanted to be well prepared for this.” For Buchta, the interfaces between IDeaS RMS and a large number of distribution systems were an important decision criterion. He needed a system that collects data such as booking behaviour, booking channels, booking duration, customer type, market behaviour on competitors and market performance in general. With this knowledge, he opens and closes individual categories, makes price proposals and calculates overbookings. “With IDeaS RMS, we now have a system that is not permanently overwritten but continuously learned,” says Buchta.
Although Heiko Buchta historically collected PMS booking data and looked at peer-topeer comparisons, the means for in-depth analysis were limited to spreadsheets and other rudimentary tools. With IDeaS RMS, Buchta is one step ahead of the competition and can work much more effectively with the comprehensive analytics it provides. His time is now spent less in manual activities and more in strategic work.
Buchta summarises: “The IDeaS RMS system gives us a high quality 365 day forecast. Turning on the different screws in revenue management, the impact is immediately visible to us. Despite the renovation, our sales are already well above the previous year in the first eight months. The IDeaS RMS enabled us to directly increase revenue without wasting time.”
Despite the renovation, our revenue are already well above the previous year in the first eight months. The IDeaS RMS enabled us to increase revenue directly without wasting time.