Recently the question has been asked at events, in social media posts and industry articles if revenue management is stuck in a rut. The authors assert that revenue management has not really advanced in the last 10 years and revenue managers are not doing anything differently than in the past. What is your opinion of the state of revenue management in 2020?

Mark Fancourt
Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH

“Nothing that is good can become stuck – and if it is stuck, it can't be any good!”Silvia Hartmann... My observation over the last 25 years of revenue management is constant progress in many aspects of the discipline. That includes education, job roles, influence, scale, visibility, technology capability, technology providers and professional community. When combined with the aspects of distribution that the discipline often encompasses we've moved from a world of limited third party distribution in an offline environment to exponential internal and external distribution on a real time basis. In that time it's almost the case that the entire industry has changed the manner in which product is offered and sold in a digital world.

However, that applies only to room inventory with few exceptions. If I had to classify a 'rut' for revenue management it would be on this premise. By this stage I had envisioned that the discipline and tools would have moved beyond a predominantly room only focus.

Dialogue is emerging on revenue management broadening horizons beyond the room product, although there is limited technical application toward this becoming a reality. Being able to look across a businesses portfolio of products in a meaningful way has also not greatly progressed from an operational or technical capability.

That means there is opportunity. In my view plenty of it. If industry begins to experience a consolidation of operational systems across the hospitality business then the capability will follow to apply revenue management across the business for individual or collective products offered to the guest.

Perhaps the other 'rut' is the level of adoption of technology. Hospitality has a long gestation period for any new technology. Although the path of revenue management technology toward scaled adoption has doubled my normal expectations when compared to other new to market capability.

It's been suggested less than 20% of industry has deployed revenue management technology. Fascinating when considering that room sales process leads the industry in terms of sophistication. What the magic bullet is that industry is awaiting before large scale adoption, I do not know.

Although when speaking on the topic with a fellow industry colleague recently, he highlighted that in hospitality the operator is generally on the search for the feature or capability that does not exist vs. appreciating the opportunity for new capability that can come into a business.

A reasonable approach to replace well worn tech. Not appropriate when considering adopting new technical capability. 

The early bird always catches the worm. 

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