While technology obsessed consumers have grown accustomed to clamoring around big splashy launches like the latest iPhone or social media app, innovation in the hotel technology space is more nuanced, often requiring a refined eye to understand them. This complexity leads to a unique challenge for hospitality tech buyers and users: how do you spot innovation in hospitality? Cutting-edge hotel tech rarely makes the headlines, and you won’t see star-studded launch events in this ecosystem. Instead, innovation in hospitality is won in the long game. In this article, we’ll study real-world examples that show how Duetto, a leading revenue management system, ideates and prioritizes product changes, then develops and rolls out new features via the Cloud to help their customers gain readiness for rapidly changing market conditions.
Hotel Revenue Management Systems Software Articles
It is an undeniable fact that in recent years there has been a great advance not only in the development of IT tools for hotels, but also in the hotel industry's awareness of the need for software to help optimise the business. In this context, let's remember the importance of implementing technology for the evolution of the Revenue Manager's role and the improvement of the hotel's results. Coordination between the technological tools and the revenue management team is fundamental to the success of the business. There is no global software that can manage all the details we need to control in a property, but rather each supplier has specialised in a specific task or group of tasks. This means that hotels work with many different systems, and these need to share information, creating a well-integrated ecosystem. In this tangle of IT tools, how can we decide which are the best options for my type of business? The Strategic Approach As we know, Revenue Management is a diverse discipline: it is not only about correct or dynamic pricing, but also about brand image, distribution strategy, demand shifting, forecasting, segmentation, quality and reputation, etc. And, as stated earlier, there is no unique solution on the market that can solve all aspects. So the first step in deciding which tools to use is to think strategically and set the objectives we want to achieve. Based on these objectives, you should determine your priorities and from there look for the optimal combination of software, seeking efficiency not only in costs but also in operations. You need to build your technology stack to suit your market environment, the size of your business, your marketing tactics, your competitors and the distribution channels you want to work with. In short: decide what are the most accurate performance indicators for your business, then define your objectives for each of them and develop a plan on how to get the results you want. The Optimal Tech Stack Automation will be an essential factor in achieving excellence in Revenue Management processes, aimed at optimising business results. The development of Big Data and artificial intelligence technology allows access to multiple data sources and their efficient processing. This provides a very deep reading of the context in which the business is located. Working with tools that provide an advanced, dynamic and intuitive visualisation of the information is key to be able to combine the tactical work and the strategic approach of revenue management. Once you have established your goals, you need to know what tools are available in the market that will allow you to better and more effectively achieve them. From our perspective, there are some basic tools that we consider essential to any hotel business, starting with the Property Management System (PMS) as the main tool for daily operations and performance data collection. From there you will need some tools to make your product available to the final customer, such as the Booking Engine, that allows the guest to book a room on your own website, and the Channel Manager, that helps you distribute your product in the different sales channels. Icing the basic ecosystem cake of the basic ecosystem, you will need a Revenue Management System that helps analysing internal and external data for an optimal decision making in your pricing and distribution. In addition to this basic stack, there are countless tools that can deliver high returns in terms of reduced operational workload and improved decision making. These include Rate Shopper, Online Reputation Manager or Benchmarking tools, and others that will help you to optimise your total revenue, such as upselling and cross selling solutions, or to improve your guest experience, such as chatbots, communication apps, and many others. Deciding which tools you need and choosing the right provider in each case will certainly depend on your priorities and objectives. But also, you should not overlook the importance of system integrations: one of the key challenges for hotels to benefit from proper RMS software is the need to provide their transactional data to the RMS provider. This is normally done by integrating the hotel PMS with the vendor RMS and providing the reservations data on a daily basis, so you need to make sure the integration is guaranteed between the software you are choosing.
According to McKinsey, AI-based pricing can deliver between $259.1B to $500B in global market value. But the critical question remains: can Revenue Management be completely automated? The answer is: theoretically, yes, but, in practice, things are a little more nuanced. But let's step back for a second and try to reword the original question, at least slightly: should Revenue Management be completely automated? The answer, in this case, is a big, resonating, capital letter YES. A recent study by MIT-BHI showed that companies that “undertook AI-driven pricing transformations achieved more than $100 million of revenue improvement 70% more often than companies that focused on another area”. "Self-learning algorithms are evolving fast, becoming highly sophisticated, and they already have a high impact on operational efficiencies and increased yield. As a result, there is no doubt that the future of revenue management will be fully automated," says Alexander Edström, CEO, Atomize. The pieces of evidence are all around us, and not only in travel. Some examples? Amazon uses artificial intelligence to drive dynamic pricing; Starbucks adopts predictive analytics based on its data from over 90 million weekly transactions, and multinationals such as Coca-Cola or Johnson & Johnson have been using AI pricing for years. During the 2019 edition of the Revenue Management & Pricing in Services Conference, hosted by the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Kevin Hof, Data Scientist at RoomPriceGenie, shared several case studies where hotels experienced an average of 22% increase in revenue by adopting RMSs, and similar results can be found on dozens of similar publications. "The hospitality industry is very fragmented when it comes to tech adoption and AI implementation in revenue management. Many hoteliers are still very protective of their own pricing and strategy; they believe that their historical knowledge and gut feelings know better than any algorithm. The truth is: that they don't trust what they don't necessarily know, understand, and cannot control (like a Human Revenue Manager). That's when tech Vs. human becomes a dilemma, and that's when we need to go back to basics and work on the "tech it easy:" step by step education followed by measurable results. Revenue Management is a hybrid human+tech cooperation, and the future is already now," says Silvia Cantarella, Commercial Strategy Expert & Founder Revenue Acrobats.
How can data unlock decision intelligence and help your hotel stand out from the pack? The pandemic made hoteliers reconsider many aspects of their operations, and perhaps you’ve also had to figure out creative ways to do more with fewer employees or with less budget. As you navigate this new world, one of the most critical inputs to your decisions should be reliable, timely data about your reservations, your guests, and your financial performance. As you’ll learn in this article, real-time data can unlock better decision-making at all levels of your organization. We talked with Robert Goad, the Senior Vice President of Revenue Management at Nationwide Hotel Management Company, which operates roughly 120 Woodspring Suites hotels across the United States. The Woodspring Suites brand, which is part of the Choice Hotels umbrella of brands, sits within the economy extended stay segment and attracts guests who stay anywhere from one night to many months, which presents unique operational challenges, especially during and after the pandemic. Robert and his team have partnered with HotelIQ to develop a strong culture of decision intelligence and real-time data, which we’ll dig into in this article. Whether you operate one hotel or a hundred, or if you have a team of 10 or one-thousand people, you can take some nuggets of wisdom from our interview with Robert to improve decision intelligence in your own business. These principles can help your team harness the power of data, make decisions more quickly, and achieve better revenue and occupancy performance while keeping costs low.
The hotel industry has undergone drastic changes globally in the last two years, having to deal with uncertainty, ADR swings, increased last minute bookings and cancellations. Revenue Managers have been forced to find strategies to deal with this new paradigm and in many cases have had to readjust their planning. Here are 3 tips that can help you redefine your revenue management strategies for the next quarter: Review and redefine Segmentation Take a look at the key dates in your Demand Calendar Make sure you have an efficient Rate Structure Review and Redefine Segmentation The basis of good segmentation work is the identification of groups of consumers who respond similarly to marketing strategies. The effectiveness of segmentation depends on how well these groups are differentiated and measurable by their behaviour. The ideal is to start by identifying macro segments such as transient and groups, then dividing those segments into smaller groups that are relevant for your business and measurable. The more detailed the segmentation, the more you can get out of it, but don't break it down so much that it is more costly to extract behavioural data than the benefit of having the information. Consider yieldability for every market segment: can we work with dynamic pricing in this segment, or is it a contracted rates type of segment? (leisure, business dynamic, business FIT, etc) Channel segmentation is also key to understand where your bookings are coming from, so for every market segment, you should be able to identify what is the main channel: direct, OTA’s, Tour Operators, GDS, etc. Reviewing this double segmentation, and configuring it correctly in your RMS will lead to an optimization of your strategy and revenue management procedures towards personalization. Take a Look at the Key Dates in Your Demand Calendar Once the market and channel segments are reviewed, we must study the expected demand for each period by setting up a demand calendar. To do this, we must identify “day types” according to events or circumstances that we know in advance and affect the demand. There will be days of high demand, medium demand and low demand. Then we will define the minimum selling price for each day type: in high demand days we can start selling at a higher price than in low demand days. When setting day types, it is important to make comparisons between similar dates in terms of demand behaviour. If we identify a specific date in the past that we can compare with a present date, then we can have an idea of what to expect from our segments. This is what we call correlation dates, and if we are using a RMS, we need to tell the system how to compare dates, so that the proper correlation is included in the algorithm and you can have your RevPAR maximized. Make Sure You Have an Efficient Rate Structure Finally, you will need to create an efficient rate structure to reach your potential customers in every segment and therefore optimise your income. Use different types of rates that are aligned with your segmentation (flexible rate, qualified rates, negotiated rates, etc.) Then, offer different selling conditions to every segment by using rate fences (CTA, MLOS and other restrictions), and avoiding cannibalization of rates, that is, not to stop selling a rate which is profitable for us, because the demand can access a more advantageous offer. The difference between one rate and another has to be a benefit for the hotel and an advantage for the customer, so that all interesting segments are attracted to our product and profitable for the company. On the other hand, it is highly recommended that you work with open rates, if your tech stack allows it. This means not having pre-set price levels, but instead prices can move freely without following rules or ranges. This allows a tighter adaptation to the market, since the optimal price can be found between two price levels. When creating or reviewing your rate structure, the first step is to think over room types and meal plans. To do this you have to define the generic room types available, the different occupancies that each room type admits, the additional attributes that can be added with supplements, and the types of meal plan you want to work with. A second step would be to set your cancellation policies. The cancellation clauses that may apply and the cost associated to each of them must be defined. Moving forward, you need to think over the restrictions. It is necessary to decide which ones to use and what conditions must be met for them to be applied. With all these elements defined you can build your rate plans. In short, the rate plan refers to a room type, with a specific occupancy and differentiating attributes, a meal plan, cancellation policy and restrictions. And the price of each rate plan will depend on factors such as the moment of the reservation or the existing demand for the stay period. Lastly, don’t forget to define additional services that can increase the rate as an add-on to the reservation, or as ancillary revenues during the stay. This is key to increasing your revenues not only from the rooms division, but also from the rest of the touch points of the guest journey.
The hospitality management and hotel management industry is extremely complex with many moving pieces. Whether you work in the front office, food and beverage management, corporate sustainability, human resources or anywhere in between - you'll need to constantly stay up to date with the latest trends in this fast paced industry. That's why Hotel Tech Report curated this free ebook collection filled with case studies, tutorials, research and guidebooks.
Whether you're a general manager, sales manager, marketer or revenue manager - everyone has felt the pains of budgeting season. This stressful time of year has become even more stressful in the wake of the pandemic which has rattled the hotel business and made planning for the future an impossible task. Ever wish you could peer into the future and see what your hotel’s occupancy or RevPAR will be a year from now? We don’t have a crystal ball, but preparing a solid budget for your hotel is the next best thing. If you’ve never set a budget, or if the words “budget season” bring back bad memories of hours spent huddled over spreadsheets in a conference room, then you’ve come to the right place. Preparing your hotel budget doesn’t need to be painful; in fact, it can be a valuable exercise to assess the current state of affairs and to brainstorm about your goals for the future. In this article, we’ve distilled the hospitality industry budgeting process into 8 steps. While it might be easier said than done, these steps can help you find synergy with other departments during the process and set a budget that takes into consideration a variety of internal and external factors. Let’s get started!
Are you wondering how to make better decisions at your hotel? Have you heard about the benefits of a data-driven culture, but you’re feeling unsure of how to change the mindset at your property? Building a data-driven culture is challenging, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, especially when faced with talent shortages, teams that operate in silos, and a lack of guidance about incorporating data into hospitality businesses. But it is indeed possible to shift your organization’s culture to be one where data is accessible and actionable, and where decisions are driven not by the highest paid person’s opinion, but by hard data. In such a culture, decisions can be made more efficiently and confidently, and employees at all levels of seniority feel valued. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of a data-driven culture and how you can transform your hotel organization to one that encourages collaboration and makes better decisions. Advantages of a Data-Driven Culture Simply storing guest information in a database doesn’t automatically make your organization “data-driven,” and it’s what you do with the data that counts. But why bother digging into that database? Organizations with data-driven cultures can realize three main benefits: Deeper understanding of performance. Did we sell out? Did we surpass last month’s RevPAR? Did we compress the booking window too much? Data can help you answer these questions and more, giving you new insights that can help you monitor progress and achieve your goals. More efficient decision-making. Imagine you’re in a meeting with department heads, brainstorming ways to hit budget for next month. You might throw around dozens of ideas, but without really knowing the root cause of the lag in performance, you go through pros and cons of various initiatives, and quite often the decision is made on instinct rather than on data. Instead of taking this circuitous route to a decision, data can help you pinpoint where exactly you need to improve, which expedites the decision making process. Increased coordination between employees and teams. With quick data sharing, an organization can speed up feedback cycles. Waiting for quarterly business reviews to work across teams and properties means that by the time your counterparts understand the data - it's already out of date. Coordination between teams is facilitated by real-time digital sharing. It’s important to remember that although “data-driven culture” might sound like a buzzword, it’s not a passing trend. Adopting a culture rooted in data shouldn’t be treated like a temporary experiment or an excuse for gathering data that you don’t intend to use. Be mindful that the overarching goal of collecting data is to leverage it to make better decisions, foster collaboration, and keep tabs on performance. Start by Removing Friction in Data Collection Let’s take a step back; before you can encourage your employees to embrace data and use it to make decisions, you need to ensure your data is readily available. If your staff need to jump through hoops to find the metrics they want to use, then you’re going to see minimal adoption of a data-driven mindset. HotelIQ's Decision Cloud facilitates cross-functional hotel data sharing With the goal of using data to make better decisions, we recommend assessing the availability of your data. Start by determining key areas where data is collected and analyzed. At many hotels, this will be the property management system. Does your PMS have ready-made dashboards or tools to see insights in real-time? If so, great! Otherwise, you’ll want to invest in business intelligence software like HotelIQ that will help you synthesize the data gathered in your PMS in as close to real-time as possible. “I previously didn't consider myself data savvy. Many programs require pulling and cross referencing of multiple reports to solve a problem and provide the analysis you're looking for. This was time consuming and left me feeling ill-equipped. I would sharpen your excel skills heavily or find a program that has more versatility. HotelIQ has reports conducive to our needs already set up, but furthermore those reports can be repurposed past their intention to find answers and areas of opportunity,” says Cara Gilbert, Revenue Analytics Manager at the Intercontinental New York Times Square. Any lag between events happening and data showing up in your dashboard could cause missed opportunities for data-driven decisions that would improve performance. For example, if you’re approaching a busy weekend, you’ll want to keep a close eye on occupancy and ADR leading up to that weekend; if the data hits your system after the weekend has passed, you’ve missed the boat. Although hotels may be slower than other organizations to welcome data, your employees are likely already handling data in other areas of their lives, which is a promising sign, as HotelIQ’s Sameer Umar sums up: “For years hoteliers have relied on their knowledge of the market and gut feeling. While those still matter, human instincts work best when coupled with timely and reliable intelligence. You need to keep your finger on the pulse so as to avoid any (more) unpleasant surprises. Downloading data into spreadsheets and emailing each other is a good way for people to fill their days but it fails at ensuring timely realization of opportunities and threats. Not to mention the many different versions of the truth that float around in inboxes thanks to human error and/or differences in timing of data extraction etc. We live in a world where streaming data and AI are already a part of our day to day lives. They should be incorporated into our digital workspace as well.” Create a Culture of Transparency and Collaboration Adopting a data-driven culture can increase transparency and collaboration at all levels of the organization. Numbers don’t lie; metrics can tell you exactly how your hotel is performing without sugarcoating anything. In addition, numbers aren’t political. As Rob Casper, JP Morgan’s Chief Data Officer explains, “If everybody sees what everybody else is doing, then the great ideas tend to rise to the top and the bad ideas tend to fall away.” In hotels, which are hierarchical by nature, reliance on data rather than seniority in decision making can help all employees feel more equal. So how do you achieve a transparent, collaborative environment at your hotel? First, tear down silos by sharing metrics publicly and digitally so everybody can access the same reporting. For example, revenue managers should have visibility into ad spend, and marketing staff should have visibility into booking pace. Next, make sure that you’re measuring the right metrics. Successful organizations avoid “vanity metrics” that don’t holistically track performance, and they don’t hide data that reflects poorly on their performance. Encouraging everyone to share (and trust) the right metrics will help you catch red flags early and prevent further poor performance. Develop Data Literacy at all Levels of Your Commercial Organization If you’re determined to turn your hotel business into a data-driven one, do you have to replace your front desk agents with data scientists from tech companies? As Sameer illustrates: “You don’t have to find data scientists with PhDs in Statistics and Economics. But you do need marketers that can explain the correlation between online searches, shopping cart abandonment, and booking patterns across channels and markets. You need sales people who work out of the CRM and know which customer(s) to contact when. You need revenue managers who stay on top of market trends and won’t drop your rates the minute booking pace dips. You need an operations team that’s constantly incorporating guest feedback to enhance the stay experience. In short, you need data-driven hoteliers.” Your hotel’s staff should remain hoteliers first; no amount of number-crunching can substitute for a friendly face at the front desk or a beautifully executed event in your ballroom. But your team should be passionate about leveraging data to achieve their goals, whether those goals are related to RevPAR, review scores, or repeat bookings. Making metrics checks a routine part of department meetings and performance reviews will help your team get more comfortable with data and showcase how monitoring performance can help them hit their targets. Make Your Organization's Data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) By now, you’re probably excited about all the upsides to a data-driven culture in your hotel organization. As you think about how to adopt good data practices, we recommend keeping the FAIR guiding principles in mind. These principles ensure your data is: Findable: The data has clear and consistent identifiers and metadata. For example, all of your check-in dates should be labeled with a field like “Reservation Check-In Date” rather than “CID” or something that’s not instinctual. Accessible: The data can be accessed by any user, at any time, with the relevant authentication and authorization. If you pull data from third-party sources, for example, like STR or Kalibri Labs, the data should be available without needing to enter additional passwords. Interoperable: The data is integrated with other relevant data. For instance, your database of guest email addresses should be connected to your reservation database and your restaurant’s point-of-sale system so you can connect email addresses with reservation dates, room types, restaurant checks, and more. Reusable: The data should be able to be replicated or combined in different areas. If you want to pull one report that shows guest email addresses and room types, and another report that shows guest email addresses and restaurant check values, you shouldn’t need to pull your email address data twice. Sameer nicely puts FAIR principles into a hotel context: “The cleanliness of your data is just as important as the cleanliness of your rooms...these data fields need to be clearly defined in operational systems, you need to have consistent data standards for them, staff needs to be trained to follow these standards, and data quality needs to be tracked and incentivized. Else, it’s ‘garbage in, garbage out’ and you have nothing to go on but gut-feeling.” The benefits of integrating various data sources, while keeping FAIR principles in mind, are especially relevant for hoteliers that pull value from their own systems (like your PMS) in addition to third-party sources (like STR). Connecting the two data sources can unlock even more insights. For instance, if you can benchmark your own channel mix against STR’s Market Penetration Index, you can better assess whether you have a healthy mix of channels or if you need to focus on one segment in particular. Ready to work toward a data-driven culture at your hotel? There’s no better time to start to realize benefits like increased transparency, tighter collaboration, and better decision-making. Finally, you’ll need a digital workspace where employees can collaborate. Data-driven culture doesn’t equal meeting-heavy culture; in order to be efficient, your teams should be able to access data on demand. In this digital workspace, anyone on the team should be able to plan, share, track, and comment on reports or initiatives to achieve maximum transparency and collaborative power. This content was created collaboratively by HotelIQ and Hotel Tech Report
As travel opens up, so comes a surge of travel. Pent-up desire for holidays has resulted in what some are calling ‘revenge travel.’ After some hesitation, hoteliers are reporting more demand than ever since the beginning of the pandemic. This has resulted in a challenging scenario. Before COVID-19, the hospitality industry was no stranger to employee retention and acquisition issues. But suddenly, faced with low bookings, many hotels had to make the difficult decision to lay off staff. Fast forward to today, some hotels have been forced to turn away guests because of even greater staff shortages than before. While theories abound about shortages, accompanied by HR strategies to attract new hotel employees, we’re here to remind you to take a deep breath because hotel tech is here to help! Tried and true, existing hotel tech can help your hotel with labor shortages by making operations more efficient and less time-consuming while improving the guest experience. PMS Features and Integrations Alleviate Hotel Labor Shortages According to Revinate, 95% of hoteliers are facing a staff shortage while occupancy is experiencing record highs. One hotel in their report said their shortage has them operating with only 70-75% of their staffing levels. This is the norm, not the outlier, in today’s market. But, as many independent hotels learned during the pandemic, those with a cloud-based property management system (PMS) already have a leg-up on their ability to streamline operations and maximize staff. Because, as the name implies, cloud-based PMS exist in the ‘cloud’ (they run online), operators can manage their hotels from anywhere at any time. Hotel managers no longer need to drop everything and dash back to the hotel to deal with accounting issues or make rate changes. Front-desk duties, such as group management and availability calendars, or back-office tasks, like rate management and financials, are all at your fingertips, wherever you are. Automation. Nothing streamlines operations like automated systems! At the heart of operations, the PMS automatically coordinates reservations, inventory and availability, housekeeping, and reporting, centralizing data to streamline front- and back-office tasks. For example, instead of manually sending routine emails to guests, set up and send templated emails from your PMS automatically based on defined triggers for booking confirmation, pre-arrival, check-in and post-stay communications, waitlists, group bookings, rental agreements, and more. A cloud PMS is easily integrated with your other hotel systems — including payment gateways, OTAs, point-of-sale systems, locking systems, CRMs, and revenue management software, etc. — to automatically share relevant reservation data with those systems so that staff don’t have to manually re-enter information into multiple systems. System integration with your PMS at the core is an important part of automating processes and maximizing efficiency. Self Check-in: Let guests jump the queue with online registration and self check-ins — saving you time and resources in the process. Typically, hotel guest check-ins — with forms to sign and policies to review — take around five minutes per guest and often result in queues, occupying your front desk staff and frustrating guests. By moving this process online, all agreements, waivers, screening, and guest information collection is completed online by your guests in advance of arriving at the hotel, improving the guest experience by not having to wait in a physical queue, while simultaneously saving staff a lot of time! With automated email or SMS communications, payment gateway and mobile key integration, the entire check-in process can be automated. Rate Management: Flexible rate management tools make monitoring and adjusting pricing a cinch, from creating group discounts and package rates to instant overrides. Yield management functionality allows you to automatically adjust prices based on predetermined occupancy rules — talk about a time saver! If you haven’t already added a commission-free online booking engine (OBE) to your property’s website, this is your first order of business. Integrated with the PMS, reservations made by guests using the OBE are automatically updated in the PMS, and live rates and availability are always displayed online. Not only will you save valuable employee time from taking reservations by phone and email but today’s guests expect (and many even prefer) to book online. While OTAs are a great way for guests to find you and book online, why not offer your own online bookings and save on commissions? Speaking of OTAs, you’ll also save time by integrating your OTA channels or channel manager with your PMS to synchronize live inventory, rates and availability across channels, instead of managing each separately. Plus, all reservations coming through your channel partners are automatically updated in your PMS so no matter where guests book, they always have access to up-to-date availability. Integrating your PMS with your online distribution channels is a must for maximizing time and preventing overbooking. Housekeeping reports: While a PMS cannot perform housekeeping duties, it can make housekeeping processes more efficient, which is essential with a lean staff. With a mobile housekeeping report, staff can check their housekeeping schedule using their own mobile phones, to see which rooms are vacated and ready to be cleaned and to mark rooms as clean as they go, adding housekeeping notes and maintenance alarms as required. The front desk is kept in the loop in real time with the same system. Furthermore, checklists for each room keep staff on track to ensure nothing is overlooked — because as you know, when it comes to cleanliness, guest standards are higher than ever before due to the pandemic. Mobile keys: Keyless entry is an elegant accompaniment to online registrations and check-ins. While it may seem small, keyless entry technology removes the headache of keys altogether, whether it’s actual keys or cards. No more sanitizing, organizing, re-setting, or distributing. With keyless entry system integration with your PMS, guests can simply unlock their room door with their mobile device. Along with online check-ins, keyless entry integration allows guests to bypass the front desk altogether! Imagine no guest lineups at the designated check-in time and no key drop-offs at check-out. Did we just hear a sigh of relief? Save time, resources, and money by employing smart room technologies. Allowing guests to adjust room temperature and lighting with their phones puts comfort into the palm of their hands. Better still, IoT offers the ultimate in personalization with room light levels that adjust with the time of day, and keeps the room temperature at exactly the right level — automatically. This kind of efficiency decreases demand on housekeeping and maintenance teams and helps with your sustainability initiatives. Chatbots: Hotel Chatbots are an excellent way to assist your online guests 24/7 without any extra effort from staff. Integrated with your hotel's website and/or within your guest messaging app, an AI or rules-based chatbot can assist guests with booking, requests, FAQs, upsells, and local recommendations. Younger generations are the most comfortable seeking help from chatbots, with many guests preferring to search for answers this way than connecting with a real human — which frees up your human employees for in-person help. Robot room service: A couple of years ago, robot room service was exclusively seen as a novelty service to delight guests. But in the age of COVID-19, it’s obvious to see the practical utility of employing robots by reducing human contact (and thus germs) and by reducing the need for bellhops. Because labor shortage is a trend that existed even before the pandemic hit, perhaps investing in robot room service is no longer pie in the sky. Isn’t technology an amazing thing? Instead of providing a lack of care or impersonal service (a common fear about using technology), today’s hotel tech provides hoteliers with a way to upgrade the guest experience even in the face of decreased staffing. If your property does not have one already, a robust and innovative cloud PMS like WebRezPro can set you on the path toward hospitality excellence and higher revenue, not to mention less stress.
Selecting the right revenue management systems (RMS) for your properties is one of the most consequential decisions you will make as a revenue management leader. And today’s turbulent times have stretched revenue teams to breaking and forced them to confront aspects of their current systems — from forecasting to multi-property management, cost, and beyond— that must better serve their new needs. In the wake of the pandemic, the business dynamics of 2021/2022 are very different from the hotel business we knew in 2019. Staffing shortages have forced hoteliers to wear many hats and be more connected cross-functionally. Historical data isn’t as indicative of the future as it used to be, leading to forecasting challenges. Even your compset may have changed. Revenue Analytics, the firm that designed pricing systems for major global brands including Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG built N2Pricing™, an RMS available to hotels everywhere at an affordable price. Developing and refining the tool during the heart of the pandemic enabled the team to start from first principles and build an RMS designed to meet and overcome modern revenue challenges. Revenue Analytics gave Hotel Tech Report an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their new N2Pricing software where we drilled into the elements driving commercial success for today’s revenue management teams. In this article, we’ll explain how N2Pricing is empowering forward-thinking revenue leaders to help their time-and-budget-strapped RM teams boost their current efficiency, revenue, and profit. Intuitive Workflow Optimized for Multi-Property Revenue Managers Revenue management teams have taken on more responsibility in the wake of the pandemic and multi-property revenue managers are replacing single property managers at a rapid clip. Multi-property teams face different problems than single property revenue managers. Those who manage a portfolio have less time and local market knowledge to make smart decisions. N2Pricing has built a true multi-property RMS with an intuitive UI and workflow specifically designed to support multi-property managers. At login, the software shows users the most worthwhile, actionable opportunities to focus on across the portfolio – whether at a large hotel or a smaller property—so they never miss out on big revenue levers. All recommendations are displayed in a simple user interface that is easy to understand. Opportunities and recommendations are sorted in the system by the size of expected profit yield to help time-strapped revenue managers easily prioritize and execute. N2Pricing supports an RM’s need to automate all but the most critical decisions. Top Statistical Modeling Techniques to Deliver Hyper Accurate Forecasts Many revenue management teams will tell you their demand forecast is broken. One obvious culprit is the pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on historical data. But even before COVID, many were concerned about the accuracy of the forecasts. Unfortunately, this is not a small problem. The demand forecast is the central capability of an RMS and even small changes in accuracy can lead to large swings in results. N2Pricing uses a dynamic forecast with adjustable weighting that’s both robust and precise, so RMs can address the impact of COVID on their data. It also uses an ever-growing library of 1,500+ forecast models and a “pick-best” process to select the most accurate algorithm for each hotel and market segment, ensuring the height of accuracy at all times. N2Pricing incorporates future demand signals to help RMs augment the intel provided by historical data. The timing and number of intraday updates is fully customizable with rapid responses to pacing. N2Pricing also automatically identifies special events and appropriately adjusts the forecast to account for them – automation that saves cluster RMs time. Transparent Recommendations with High Acceptance Rates One of the single biggest problems in any hotel tech product is user adoption (i.e. getting your team to actually use software and use it correctly). Many revenue teams find themselves overriding a large proportion of rate recommendations in their revenue management systems. In some cases the rate recommendations either don’t make sense and in others they are too opaque/black box to give their users confidence in the math behind each programmatic decision N2Pricing boasts an extremely high acceptance rate of 80%+ which the company attributes to accuracy and decision transparency. Simple metrics like price sensitivity are exposed for each rate recommendation so that revenue managers and even general managers can quickly grasp the “why” behind the price recommendation and accept it. Future Demand Signal Data (e.g. Hotel and Flight Searches) Built Right into N2Pricing Forecasts With historical data on the fritz, more and more revenue leaders are looking beyond history and bookings to future signals to get a clearer picture of demand and move ahead of the booking curve. It’s critical in today’s world that RMSs can ingest forward-looking demand data to maximize utility. N2Pricing ingests this data into their forecast so revenue managers can easily make decisions based on it. This data includes everything from hotel and flight search data to alternative accommodation availability (number of alternative accommodation listings you may be up against for different LOS and their price points) and dynamic compset (how your rates and availability measure up against a wider selection of competitors that change as markets shift). Simple RMS Mobile App for GMs on the Go Revenue management is complex and time consuming which makes involving time-strapped general managers in key decisions difficult. But these GMs are key revenue management decision makers. This complexity means that GMs either must sit through an 80-hour training to understand rate recommendations or (more often) defer training because they simply don’t have the time. The result? GMs don’t use the system correctly or fight it with overrides, making the investment in the RMS wasted budget. N2Pricing is built with a variety of features and benefits designed specifically to help revenue managers better serve the GMs they collaborate with on a daily basis. GMs will mostly be interested in reviewing the recommendations screen where they can quickly see the most important rate change recommendations default sorted by profit potential. This way GMs who are stretched thin can review the top three to five major decisions in just minutes each day. The interface is simple for non-experts to understand – it includes just the features GMs need and none of the fluff (and data) they don’t. N2Pricing is also fully mobile for on-the-go management and provides intuitive rationale for every price recommendation to boost acceptance. Is N2Pricing Right for Your Hotel? Did you know that today 33% of hotel rooms in North America are priced using algorithms built by Revenue Analytics for clients like IHG, Marriott, and Hyatt? The revenue management technology behind N2Pricing has been in use for 15+ years by hospitality brands Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Starwood. Revenue Analytics has decades of experience building and integrating customer RMSs into large brands, meaning their internal processes make implementation a breeze. N2Pricing’s UI was built to simplify and streamline without sacrificing power and intelligence. It surfaces all the features and data multi-property managers need to make efficient use of their time, while providing pathways for them to dive in and dig deeper when they need to tackle a business problem. Intuitive software makes revenue managers more productive day-to-day and also makes training fast and easy while empowering other key decision makers like GMs to quickly jump in and be able to leverage the tool in their decision making process too. N2Pricing is a fresh, modern take on critical revenue management technology. N2Pricing is a high-quality RMS trusted by the best at a reasonable price point. If your team wants to boost efficiency, revenue, and profit—all at a reasonable cost– you should check out N2Pricing. This content was created collaboratively by Revenue Analytics and Hotel Tech Report.