12 January 2023

It's time for revenue management to unleash the power of technology

With technology driving efficiencies in every aspect of hotel operations, isn’t it time revenue management caught up?

Automation drives efficiency, optimises revenue, and motivates teams.

After a turbulent and challenging few years, we welcome a return to normality with travel back on, and the lockdowns and restrictions that defined much of the last few years becoming a memory. However, the pandemic has driven some travel behaviours that look here to stay. We are witnessing a different guest than pre-pandemic, one with very different needs. An increased demand for digitisation, automation, and experiential travel, combined with the global economic crisis, has meant that guests are now more careful with their travel spend. But we are seeing more than just changes in guests' behaviour. The labour crisis impacting hospitality worldwide is seeing hoteliers having to achieve a lot more with fewer resources. The pressure is on for hoteliers to rethink the way they do business.

One area forced to evolve with these shifts is the role of technology in hotel operations. Hospitality, and more specifically hotels, have been typically slow to adopt new technologies compared to other industries. Given many back-office processes are repetitive and highly manual, they are ideal for automation. With the pandemic greatly accelerating the digital transformation of the guest, hoteliers are under increasing pressure to look at how they can leverage technology to both plug the labour gap and meet the demands of guests.

The increasing complexity of data sets

While for many hotel departments, day-to-day operations have been transformed by the adoption of technology, the heart of revenue management strategies for many still lies in endless spreadsheets and an unwavering commitment to excel. But with drivers of revenue strategies growing in complexity, pricing decisions based on manual data analysis are proving increasingly unreliable. As data sets grow, precious resources are tied up in making best-case estimates based on erratic historical data. And working against the backdrop of political and economic instability, the resource required to stay on top of market changes and therefore make intelligent pricing decisions looks set to increase. With the GBTA estimating that corporate travel will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, shifts in guest booking patterns, and the cost-of-living crisis having a global impact on travel, historic trends and demand patterns that formed the basis of many strategies and forecasts do not have the relevance they once did. The task of making intelligent pricing decisions manually, when so many factors lack the stability and reliance they once did, is becoming more challenging.

Drive efficiencies

It's time, like never before, for revenue management to unleash the power of revenue management technology. Sophisticated algorithms not only drive more accurate pricing decisions, meaning your hotel can optimise revenue, they also bring operational efficiencies. Manual analysis of data sets, both labour-intensive and prone to error, is replaced by automated pricing suggestions, refreshed numerous times a day, something a revenue manager would struggle to compete with. The frequency of suggested rate recommendations, all driven by AI technology, means strategies reflect the most up-to-the-minute shifts in booking patterns and business on the books and provide far greater accuracy than manual analysis can offer. Hotel Tech Report recently estimated that hotels could save up to 40 hours per month by streamlining revenue management workflows using revenue management technology. That is 40 hours per month to be spent on delighting your guest with superior service.

For those concerned that revenue management systems will lead to a loss of control and visibility of rate strategies, there is the option to prevent rates 'going live' unless they have been 'signed off', so you still retain control, but all the hard work of analysis and making sense of the data is removed. And when you are comfortable with the suggested rates, they can be automatically published to your PMS or Channel Manager, once again streamlining the highly manual process of data entry and mitigating the chance of human error.

Build staff engagement

Investing in revenue management technology can also transform the day-to-day responsibilities of revenue managers within your property or chain. Automating manual analysis and the ongoing tweaks to revenue and pricing decisions removes the more mundane and repetitive aspects of the role, allowing your revenue management department to focus on more strategic activity. This increases engagement and job satisfaction, allows for the development of more sophisticated skillsets, and makes for a happier and more motivated team. With previously cumbersome end-of-day reports now accessed at the touch of a button, an instantaneous snapshot of your business performance allows for trends and opportunities to be identified quickly and efficiently and for immediate action to be taken. Again, manual collation and analysis of this information would take hours but with a revenue management system, this information is all at hand. Reactivity makes way for proactivity as revenue managers can access the information required to make strategic contributions to commercial decisions with ease.

Conclusion

With technology driving efficiencies in every aspect of hotel operations, isn’t it time revenue management caught up? The pressure on hoteliers to make every cent count is more important than ever given the global cost of living crisis. And with staff shortages putting additional pressure on the industry, hoteliers are challenged with having to achieve a lot more with less staff. Any area of the business that can benefit from automation should be explored to allow your teams to focus on more strategic and value-added tasks and responsibilities. This will not take pressure off overstretched teams but will also allow your teams to engage in tasks and responsibilities that provide greater job satisfaction, driving engagement and building loyalty. And commercially, your property will benefit from rate recommendations based on the most up-to-the-minute data, allowing revenue to be continually optimised. Isn’t it time you unleashed the power of revenue management technology?

To find out more about how RevControl’s revenue management technology can help your property optimise revenue and drive operational efficiencies, we would love to hear from you! Contact us now via the buttons below or via hello@revcontrol.com.

Edwin Leenheer, Director Of Operations

Edwin LeenheerDirector Of Operations

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