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Are You Using Yesterday's Technology?
By Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of REVPAR GURU
Tuesday, 20th November 2012
 
Today, we all live in a very fast-moving, high-tech society and yet our technology always seems to be disappointing us.

From iOS 6's crappy map app to Malware infecting our PCs, our technology seems unable to perform at 100%.

Unfortunately for hotel owners and revenue managers, the same applies to most revenue management systems. Most revenue management systems overpromise and under-deliver, promising real-time pricing updates but only delivering once or twice daily. They adjust prices mostly based on historical ratesŠ or pricing trendsŠ or environmental factorsŠ but not all of them together. Overall, they just donıt work the way that hoteliers need them to.

Could this be what is holding back the hotel industry from sustained financial success? Obviously, unexpected factors ­ like the recession and economic crash, natural disasters, etc. ­ have taken their toll on the travel industry over the past five years, but those situations outstanding, the industry is still struggling for profitability.

But that doesnıt have to be the case.

As an industry, letıs put our (figurative) foot down. Letıs stop accepting technology that gives us more work, instead of making us more effective at our jobs.

Hereıs how revenue management technology should be (and it is, if you know where to look!):

Proactive AND reactive

Yes, revenue management systems need to be reactive in order to adjust according to changes in the market, pricing of the competition, environmental factors, etc. But a sophisticated, efficient revenue management system must also proactively suggest rates a year in advance, based on up-to-the minute information. Imagine having to monitor 365 days of data and reports every day (exhausting!), especially since your rates should be changing in real-time, not just once per day or once per week.

Letıs look at an example from a different industry. Remember those old-school GPS systems that would only provide a one-time route calculation? They were a good idea but not the most effective solution for real life. What if you got stuck in traffic or detoured off the calculated route?

You need a GPS that will continue to update its route according to your current position in real-time.  The same thing goes for an RMS; unless you have a reactive and proactive revenue management system, it would be impossible not to miss out on opportunities for new bookings.

Drives business to the most profitable channel

With many RMS, revenue managers are not able to drive business to specific channels. While itıs great to get more bookings, direct bookings are preferable because it earns the hotel 15-35% more by avoiding paying huge OTA commissions. So an effective revenue management system will drive business to a hotelıs direct channel whenever possible.

Integration & automation

Most revenue managers do use technology to help with their daily pricing tasks: a RMS that will give you a daily rate suggestion, and a separate rate shopping report (that you have to decipher), and a channel manager add-on to manually update your changes.

But these pieced together systems end up just making a revenue manager more work (and losing the hotel revenues) because they have to use each component separately and then combine all of the results into one, and then use the channel manager to update results manually. An effective revenue management system is a fully integrated RMS.

Technology is supposed to help, not hinder us

The test as to whether a revenue management system will be an effective tool, or just another time-waster for already overloaded revenue managers, is this single question: does it give me more or less work? Does it help me to do my job more quickly and efficiently? Does it help me to earn my property more money?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, then my recommendation is to get shopping for a RMS that will not disappointŠ I know of at least one that fits the bill!

About REVPAR GURU

REVPAR GURU provides hotels around the world with an alternative revenue management software system designed to deliver maximum bookings and profits. As REVPAR GURU's custom-designed Yield Dynamic Price Engine is the only real-time revenue management system available on the market, it meets the rapidly changing needs of hotels in a very demanding business environment. REVPAR GURUıs system offers dynamic rate optimization, real-time pricing, integrated internet and extranet yield channel management and GDS sales distribution, to increase a hotel's RevPAR intelligently and effectively, while maintaining rate integrity and automated rate parity. Since 2004, hotels worldwide have used REVPAR GURUıs software system to increase occupancy and RevPAR.

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, additional information can be found at www.revparguru.com or by calling +1.786.478.3500.
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