- Manual management of rates and inventory wastes time
- Need to adapt to changing market conditions and technology trends
- Occupancy uplift and rate growth
- Maximized revenue performance on shoulder dates
- Transitioned to a proactive revenue strategy
Known for its rich history dating back to 1900, the luxurious Lenox is a 214 room hotel located in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay neighborhood. The Lenox Hotel is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America, an organization comprised of more than 220 hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic architecture and ambience.
A technology overhaul
Historically, the Lenox managed rates and inventory through a manual process. As market conditions, channels and technology continued to emerge, the hotel made the decision to reevaluate not only its revenue management approach but all of its systems, including the Property Management System (PMS) and Central Reservation System (CRS).
“We realized fairly quickly that the way we were managing revenue could be improved but we first wanted to take a step back and examine all of our processes,” said Colin O’Donnell, director of revenue, The Lenox Hotel. “It was important that our investment decisions were made to benefit the hotel from a holistic standpoint and the best way to do that was to wipe the slate clean and focus on smart integration. If we were going to invest in a fully automated process, we needed to make sure it would work the way it was intended.”
A seamless integration
After issuing an RFP, the Lenox chose IDeaS, known for its ability to integrate with some of the top PMS and CRS providers. The Lenox deployed IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS), equipped with forecasting capabilities, the Best Available Rate (BAR) module, and Group Pricing module which integrated seamlessly with Amadeus Delphi Sales & Catering system. Additionally, the hotel changed its PMS system to Oracle and its CRS system to Sabre SynXis to achieve the smoothest possible integration.
A proactive strategy
“In just over a year, we are enjoying enormous value from IDeaS RMS. We’re able to avoid occupancy spikes on peak demand dates. Utilizing IDeaS’ Last Room Value and BAR by Length of Stay model has really allowed us to maximize our performance on shoulder dates,” added O’Donnell. “We’ve seen significant occupancy jumps and rate growth this year, which is confirmed by our improved STR ranking. Though there are various factors to consider, the most notable is the RMS hitting its stride.”
While the first few months were a learning process for additional RMS users within the organization, including the front office and sales departments, the benefits were quickly noticed company-wide. The benefits were particularly clear to the front office from a forecasting standpoint.
“One of the greatest benefits for me is the ability to sift out the appropriate revenue management information in real-time daily to the people that need to see it. Whether it’s the group pricing report to our director of sales, simple arrivals/departures forecasts to our front office or something as significant as overbooking reports or changes in the forecasts,” said O’Donnell. “I can configure the system so that all of that information is going to the right people. I don’t necessarily need our front office to understand the system to its full extent, but they can feel the benefit of it in the information we can send to them—a huge value to us.”
“IDeaS allows us the luxury of spending less time on the minutia,” concluded O’Donnell. “This partnership has taken us from a semi-reactive strategy to a more proactive strategy, something that has trickled down to the sales department as well. IDeaS allows us to look ahead—that’s consistent with every aspect of the system—and from our point of view, the future looks promising.”
Bearing the weight of the granular data management, the RMS now provides the Lenox a larger picture of its business. The enhanced revenue management culture throughout the organization allows the hotel to focus less on tactics and more on strategy.