Empowered Revenue Managers are Driving Hotel Software Procurement
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It is 2021 and the hotel industry is still struggling. In today's economic circumstances hotels are clearly in need of new ways to diversify their revenue base beyond room bookings. Doing what they have always done is not an option for hotels that are determined to survive. So how can operators act on potential opportunities when conditions are fierce and budgets remain strained?
Enter the Revenue Manager The role of revenue manager hasn't changed too much in the last decade. Most revenue management decisions have had the objective of setting room rates and maximizing RevPAR based on unconstrained demand. Cue a pandemic and the pressure on revenue managers has been raised exponentially. But at a time when occupancy levels are aberrantly reduced, no other role in hospitality has the opportunity to help drive the increased health of a property. Their job is to explore all potential opportunities that might create cashflow, no matter how big or small.
Technology is of course, an essential component of any revenue manager's job. A comprehensive approach to revenue management traditionally includes a solution from each of the following categories: PMS, CRS, RMS, rate shopper, and business intelligence. Some solutions offer more of a one-stop-shop, while others overlap. Pre-pandemic any hotel not using the latest tools at its disposal operated at a significant disadvantage. Even so, only 1 in 10 hotels deployed some level of revenue management software. Why? Largely due to the complexity of practicing proper revenue management and the investment required. Similarly, hospitality habitually has a long gestation period for any new technology.
Traditional Hurdles to Technology Acquisition Historically technology procurement has not been the strong suit of any hotel. Investing in or purchasing new technology in the hotel industry - from personal experience - is a complex activity. Reaching a decision and/or approving costs can be populated by multiple stakeholders at every level of the business. In the case of revenue management tools, the decision-makers at the table may include the GM, the IT manager, and even the hotel's ownership representative, such as an Asset Manager. If the hotel is part of a brand of tightly managed group of hotels, there will be even more stakeholders. Each will have a say regarding cost, technology onboarding and the value of the features and benefits.
Traditionally, there was good reason for all this ample caution in spending money on tech. Twenty years ago, hotel technology required immense amounts of capital. Owners would spend money upon acquisition of the hotel, but any big investments after that period fell outside of the typical financial plan. So, senior execs retained all the buying power. They tightly held the purse strings, seeking IT department assurances before parting with any of their dollars.
But the cloud has changed all of this.
SaaS is the New Way to Generate Revenue With cloud, investing in software can now be less of unwieldly decision-making process. There is a dramatic reduction in hardware management, software updates that don't involve ground-level IT staff. There is simply less financial and technical risk involved.
Revenue Managers are now free to innovate and experiment with the new generation of cloud-based revenue tools in the marketplace. An easy start would be to begin with automating and optimizing the room upgrade/upsell process with an application such as ROOMDEX. Follow that by adding an RMS. Many SaaS solution purchases are no longer viewed as an IT infrastructure decision as much as a revenue channel decision - kind of like the way GDS or OTA decisions are handled. Think OpEx versus CapEx. And the pandemic has only underlined urgency in trying new tools to generate new revenue.
In a recent survey from Hewlett Packard's wireless networking giant Aruba, it was revealed that hotels and hospitality have the lowest subscription IT solution adoption rate. Only 24% of those surveyed said at least half of their IT solutions are subscription-based. But when asked what things would look like within 24 months, 41% said they would have more than half of their solutions as-a-service.
And it makes sense. SaaS is a scalable service, provides flexibility, operational unity, security, time-to-market etc. Hotels today have a host of challenges they need to overcome to help get their business back to a level pre-COVID. Cloud-based software has given revenue managers the ability to be agile and creative in their approach to finding new revenue.
About ROOMDEX, INC
ROOMDEX is the technology leader in the hotel upselling software space. Its hotel upsell software automates, monetizes and ultimately simplifies the hotel room upgrade process by putting the power of choice in the hotel guest's hands.
ROOMDEX Upsell Automation uses hotel reservation, guest data and its proprietary True AvailabilityTM and Dynamic Pricing algorithms to deliver personalized digital offers, greatly enhancing the guest experience. The hotel upsell tool relieves hoteliers of the labor time required by other upselling solutions while delivering high margin revenue and a substantial ROI.
ROOMDEX is now the exclusive provider of ABS Upselling. Attribute-based selling re-imagines hotel inventory merchandising, delivering a unique and improved guest satisfaction and increased hotel revenue.
ROOMDEX leverages hotel operational and software experience gained by our team members while in leadership roles at companies such as MICROS (now Oracle Hospitality), Nor1, Duetto, StayNTouch and Shiji to develop our innovations in hotel automation, dynamic pricing, operational availability and attribute-based selling. Since founding in spring of 2020, ROOMDEX has signed hundreds of hotels across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
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