IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Working smarter with advanced revenue management systems
Thu, 20th Jul 2023

In a high-speed, complex operating environment, collecting multiple data sets from disparate hotel systems and collating, evaluating and calculating data manually is not only tedious but also highly susceptible to mistakes and missed opportunities. Thankfully today, artificial intelligence (AI) combined with data analytics enables the automation of many daily revenue management tasks.

Advanced revenue management systems (RMS) have the ability to free hotel revenue managers from some time-consuming, manual tasks to focus more on meaningful, strategic pricing opportunities. Therefore it is surprising that some hoteliers, particularly in smaller properties and regional brands, still operate without automated revenue software in place.

How an RMS can benefit your hotel

A modern RMS makes a huge difference to both the top and bottom lines for hoteliers. Through a series of specialised algorithms and calculations, an RMS automatically assesses hotel performance and market demand and deploys pricing decisions across the distribution ecosystem accordingly.

Hoteliers across the APAC region need to understand that when a hotel is underperforming or needs to grow its profits, simply hiring more people to try to improve a property's revenue performance will not help. Put simply, one smart revenue manager operating with the assistance of an advanced (RMS) can outperform multiple revenue managers using older, more manual-based approaches.

The need for pricing automation

Revenue managers, even those working in teams of people operating without automated systems, are unable to perform many of the functions needed to drive hotel revenues today. Take the example of a hotel coming into peak season, where there is more demand than capacity at the hotel. In an uncertain market, peak operating periods are key revenue-generating opportunities not to be wasted and present a situation where the revenue manager must decide which business to take and which not to take.

In a manual environment, the best strategy a hotel revenue manager could apply would be to implement longer lengths of stay. However, using an advanced RMS, the system analytics choose the optimal reservations automatically using a combination of both long, medium and short lengths of stays depending on arrival dates and overall forecasted demand.

Manual versus analytical decision making

The differences between manual and analytically-based decision-making in this situation are significant. Given the sheer amount of data needing to be processed (reservations for two years into the future across multiple room classes and segments, all with different lengths of stay on different arrival dates), there is no way a revenue manager operating with manual systems can effectively drive revenues in this situation, not even if a hotel considers hiring additional staff to strengthen their revenue team.

Revenue managers working without an automated system that unifies key data and delivers meaningful insights, as well as timely pricing changes and inventory control, are operating at a significant disadvantage today. They are having to take on substantial amounts of manual data entry, sit in on meetings focused more on basic logistics and less on strategy, and also have a heavy reliance on limited data sets from which to make reactive pricing and strategy decisions.

To get the most out of their revenue managers’ skills and to maximise all revenue opportunities for their property, hoteliers need to invest in technology and automation to enable proactive strategic decisions that drive business optimisation, efficiency and profitability.