Navigating the Road to Revenues: GPS for the Revenue Manager

What would it be like if you had to provide input into your car’s GPS (global positioning system) for every segment of your upcoming journey?

Just imagine a late night, last minute trip to the store—it’s the only store still open—and you only have 10 minutes until it closes! You, the expert driver can handle the car; but you could always use some 21st century GPS technology to get you there quicker.

You get in, frantically fumbling with the keys to start the car. It’s going to be closed, you’ve got to get going. You input the address into the GPS. Hurry. That warm and friendly computerised female voice, so calm and reassuring prompts you: “Follow the road, then take a left on Main Street.”

You do as she commands, turning left on Main Street. Come on; come on, what’s next? She responds:

“You can either take a left on Green Avenue, then proceed to Lemmon Road, bearing right on Abercrombie, taking the driveway on the left to reach your destination—OR—you can take a right on Baker Street, follow it for three miles, exit Lemmon Road, take a left turn on Abercrombie, and turn right into the driveway of your destination. Please make your choice now.”

What? You’re stopped on Main street: car idling, brain baffled, confused of what to do next. Which route will get you there soonest? Only six minutes left!. You’ll never make it. Delay in the decision cost you too much time.

Why couldn’t the GPS just direct you along the fastest route, foregoing the need for your decision and response for every step beyond inputting the address? Luckily, in real life, it does.

All that’s needed for the GPS to work is the input that provides the initial information. Define where the GPS needs to take you and most systems will even allow you to define how you want to get there. Need to take the shortest route to conserve fuel? No problem. Want to get there as fast as possible, taking the freeway in lieu of the traffic light-laden shorter route? You bet. You provide the parameters and today’s GPS will get you there based on that input. Based on fluid information, GPS keeps track of every second of your journey, adjusting and updating the route in real-time, ensuring your arrival.

It’s the same with systems that automate revenue optimisation: you, the expert, provide the initial input, and the system will get you the highest revenue per available room based upon the ongoing fluid information received throughout the booking path. That’s as much of a pitch as I’m going to give you on software—I’m more interested in presenting the concept of how a solution that automates revenue optimisation disencumbers you from time-consuming RM processes.

I use the term “disencumber” because RMs must make too many split-second decisions based on an overwhelming amount of dynamically changing data – every minute of every day. So let’s go back to the GPS example: GPS disencumbers the driver from meticulously searching for streets, directions, and signposts. As a result, the driver can focus on “human only” functions such as steering, accelerating, and braking – all while the GPS adjusts and updates automatically in the background, providing the driver with the best routing information for getting to the destination. So a program that automates revenue optimisation does virtually the same thing for the RM: instead of continuously monitoring booking channels and adjusting rates, the RM can focus on more crucial, more human-dependent decisions.

So what would it be like if you had to provide input data for every single function of your revenue optimisation system? Is it hard to image, or is it your daily routine? You, the expert RM, can handle the revenue management; but you could always use some 21st century technology to get you there quicker.

After all, as we know from those last minute late night trips to the store with a “hesitant” GPS: a delay in the decision can cost you too much time, and, of course, money.

About Jean Francois Mourier

A successful entrepreneur with broad senior international executive experience in all business aspects (Business owner, Finance, Management, Pricing, Revenue management, Banking, Hospitality & software). Drives change in an international context. Enhanced hiring skills. Senior level negotiation. Great oral and writing communication skills in English, French and German. Jean Francois Mourier arrived in South Florida in 2003 after

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