The hospitality industry still faces an uncertain future, and for some hoteliers, any business can seem like a good business after operating at a low occupancy rate for the past two years. For others, the journey along the road to recovery is already underway.
While no one can predict with certainty how long the industry will be affected by COVID-19, it is dangerous for hotel managers to assume that things will soon return to their usual pre-pandemic business patterns.
Hoteliers should now take the opportunity to ask, “How can I reset or restructure my business to prosper now and beyond these uncertain times?” Here are five ways – plus a bonus step – hoteliers can reshape their commercial organization for today’s pandemic work environment and tomorrow’s post-COVID new normal.
1 – Split data silos
Hotel departments have historically operated independently, with different priorities, technology platforms and performance metrics. And yet decisions in one department can directly affect another.
Now is the time to break down the silos and encourage collaboration, not only across organizational barriers between departments, but also to ensure that data across a hotel’s various systems is widely shared. Digital technologies are producing a vast amount of information for hospitality businesses, but consolidating data from sales, marketing, reservations and revenue management is becoming the inevitable challenge facing all hoteliers.
With clean, accurate data, hotels can isolate and understand their channel costs to determine what constitutes an effective and profitable business. When departments align and data and market intelligence are shared, employees have a clearer idea of which strategic business opportunities to pursue, negotiate, or decline.
2 – Check your systems and integrations
Hoteliers today are increasingly dependent on the various operational systems and technologies in their buildings. Without automation, it is difficult to compile and analyze all the disparate data points that hotels collect accurately and in a fast environment. Collecting and analyzing data manually is slow and highly error-prone.
While hotels are increasingly open to using technologies that support their operations and eventual recovery, many hotels have incompatible systems that reduce productivity. Hospitality organizations need to review the systems they use and make sure they work together effectively in a truly integrated way.
Hotels with a well-integrated RMS, PMS, CRS and CRM have a competitive advantage by understanding the true performance of their business, enabling them to make more effective commercial decisions.
3 – Review your data
Data quality and data cleanliness are major issues facing travel and hospitality businesses today. Hotels are hungry for more data to better predict future revenue performance, but sources of information have been severely disrupted by the impact of COVID-19. Given the current circumstances, hotels need to establish clear standards for data collection processes. After all, if a hotel company does not have clear standards in market segments and rate codes, it is difficult to analyze patterns and optimize performance.
Income managers should also keep in mind that not all data is created equal. To build an accurate vision for the future, hotels need to collect macro-level information such as border and travel restriction policies and how these affect market trends and travel intentions, along with generating granular data, targeting transaction level, aggregation and benchmarking rate category, channel, acquisition costs, arrival and departure dates, turnaround time, length of stay, loyalty contribution – even at the level of an individual travel agency or corporate account.
4 – Know the possibilities of your hotel
The effective management of a hotel today can only be achieved through the optimal alignment of people, processes and technology.
A hotel may have significant capabilities in any of these areas, such as the latest technologies and operational systems, but if they do not have an experienced, well-trained staff to operate these systems, they will not gain the maximum benefit. When people, processes and technology are in balance and effectively integrated into an organization’s commercial culture, the real potential of revenue management and the real financial performance of a hotel can be realized.
5 – Improve business intelligence for revenue managers
Business and cluster revenue managers responsible for multiple properties or estates are faced on a daily basis with collecting, organizing and transforming historical and forward-looking raw data into insights and making strategic decisions for their portfolio. The process often takes days or weeks, while poor performance goes undetected and untreated.
Today’s hospitality leaders need custom dashboards to monitor the signals and metrics based on real-time data rather than legacy reports to quickly identify bottlenecks, spot micro and macro booking trends, measure key performance indicators and easily enter their data. to cut pieces.
Ultimately, revenue managers need effective visual aids that help them better understand their data and make more informed business decisions.
Bonus step: assemble your commercial strategy team
The challenge in applying revenue management across a hotel involves the convergence of the traditional roles of sales, marketing, distribution and revenue management, in addition to including food and beverage, banquets, finance and other departments. It takes a whole team, not just one department or group, to capture the right guest, at the right time, for the right price and in the right space.
In order for a hotel to properly price itself in a volatile market, hoteliers should consider assembling a multi-functional commercial strategy team that meets regularly to review and adjust strategies based on macro-environmental changes such as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions or government policies. .
This group would allow considering all visions of a hotel and foster collaboration across departments, allowing a hotel to operate in a flexible and responsive manner based on broader market conditions.
IDeaS, a SAS company, is the world’s leading provider of revenue management software and services. With over 30 years of expertise, IDeaS delivers revenue science to more than 18,000 customers in 145 countries. Combining industry knowledge with innovative data analytics technology, IDeaS creates sophisticated yet simple ways to provide revenue leaders with accurate, automated decisions they can rely on. Results delivered. Turnover transformed. Discover more profitability at ideas.com.