A common challenge for hotels is having too many cooks in the revenue management kitchen. A revenue manager may leave a strategy meeting confident they’re on the same page as the other departments, but find out later that someone changed plans and it ended up negatively impacting the company’s profits. In other words, the strategy was not a recipe for revenue success.
Luckily, automated revenue management helps hoteliers save time, create consistencies and benefit the bottom line. While the practice of revenue management is not a new concept, the technology behind it is ever improving, with software progression making it affordable for hotels of all sizes. Whether it’s a small- to mid-sized hotel or a global hotel chain, revenue management software is now widely spread throughout properties around the world.
It is due to these technology advancements that revenue management systems can send pricing and inventory decisions to other selling systems, such as property management or central reservations systems. Automation serves as the binding agent between a solid revenue management strategy and its deployment, with the integration between each system acting as a quality control to reduce human errors and ensure consistency.
Automation also bolsters work productivity. Using an automated pricing technology reduces the time and energy spent manually collecting, entering, analyzing and reporting market data. Revenue managers are able to utilize their revenue management system as their central strategy hub, deploying changes and decisions to their selling systems both routinely and immediately. This frees up more time to focus on revenue strategies and additional work responsibilities.
Effectively managing rate distribution also has a heavy reliance on automation, as it streamlines rate deployment across all channels. Manually adjusting rates on multiple channels – potentially multiple times a day – used to be a challenging part of a revenue manager’s role, but advancements in today’s technology have made channel management far easier to manage.
This is also a benefit for evaluating your overall distribution strategy. There are often acquisition costs with third party sites, with opportunities to strategize different ways to shift from more expensive channels to direct channels that cost you less money. Blending together automation and a cohesive distribution strategy allows hoteliers to better control their business – and ultimately drive higher revenues.
Hoteliers can effectively incorporate automation into their revenue management strategy by keeping in mind these four key components:
Automation needs to be effectively integrated with other internal systems and the appropriate level of monitoring needs to occur to ensure human errors don’t derail the intended purpose of the automation: connecting a solid revenue management strategy with its deployment.
Automating rates across channels in your organization eliminates the need for manual price changes, reduces chances for human error and provides ample benefits, such as decreased labor, increased predictability and improved monitoring of the overall pricing strategy.
Incorporating automation into a revenue management strategy improves efficiencies and should ultimately impact the bottom line. By keeping efficiencies in mind when making automation decisions, hoteliers can be more effective with their revenue strategies.
In order for any automation implementation to work, team communication is required. Most business issues that arise from automation are a result of a human error, not the actual automation itself, and ensuring team member are actively conversing and on the same page can solve many of those challenges.