As hotel chains around the world experience sustained periods of high revenue levels operators and owners know they can always do more to improve both top and bottom-line results.
In the drive to optimize performance, hotel leadership teams are demanding greater visibility and control over their inventory, room rates, and marketing in a bid to maximize both net RevPAR and GOPPAR.
Many hotel chain owners and operators assume they have a clear choice between a Revenue Management System (RMS) or hiring a revenue consultant. However, more and smaller and mid-sized hotel chains are turning to new technology which is providing a third option to the challenge of how to integrated hotel data to achieve actionable insights.
Business Intelligence solutions align teams around a single source of truth that combines key data streams such as Google Analytics, pick-up reports, inventory and food, and beverage data. A clearly visualized dashboard enables owners, operators and their teams to quickly identify performance improvement actions and flag risks, without spending hours reconciling spreadsheets and siloed reports.
These platforms are a great option for hotel chains of all sizes who want greater visibility and control over the key performance indicators that will impact net RevPAR and GOPPAR at a corporate, regional and individual hotel level. Since the technology is similar to SAAS, it can be quickly and easily deployed, keeping costs down.
How does Business Intelligence compare to a hiring consultant or investing in a Revenue Management System (RMS)?
While an RMS is an effective way of automating the integration of hotel data, none have yet managed to replace the value and insights human interaction delivers. With an RMS, both the integration itself and understanding how to interpret the historic data takes time. An experienced revenue consultant will work in partnership with the hotel chain to share these insights and guide the chain towards to best course of action.
Another flaw most Revenue Management Systems have compared to human support is dealing with sudden changes at the chain – a large conference taking place or an outlier currency, for example – these changes require a human touch.
With a revenue consultant, hotels benefit from the expertise that a person has amassed from working with a range of other hotels. They provide an independent view and can quickly troubleshoot issues and help develop improvement strategies.
However, how data is gathered and used remains largely unchanged. Control and knowledge of how to identify opportunities and make improvements also retained by the consultant.
With a business intelligence solution, a chain’s teams are aligned around the same data – improving collaboration and enhancing decision making internally thus retaining that knowledge in-house and upskilling teams deliver sustained improvements for the long-term.
Your business intelligence provider should be a strategic partner who can ensure the platform will deliver actionable insights as the chain grows and evolves.
As fluid rating becomes an ever more important element for hotel chains’ marketing strategies, the benefits of an RMS are clear. An intelligent system that compares rates across your competitors and suggests rates can be a valuable tool. Yet, many hotels struggle to reconcile those benefits with the cost of implementing the platform.
The advantage that an RMS has over a revenue manager is that it gathers and stores data. An RMS can extract data from a property management system or central reservation system on a real-time basis.
This data contains historical and future data that can be used in the calculations that provide forecasting, inventory controls, and pricing decisions. An example of historical data would be the previous year’s data on occupancy for a hotel while future data would be the number of reservations on hand for a date in the future. RMS software analyzes enormous amounts of historical and future data to provide useful forecasts and pricing recommendations.
A business intelligence platform combines many of the benefits of both a revenue consultant and an RMS while being both cost-effective, flexible and ensuring knowledge is retained by the hotel chain.
Partnering with a business intelligence provider who has in-depth experience of the hospitality industry will ensure that the solution is tailored exactly to the chain’s business needs while some providers such as Fornova provide additional, affordable functionality similar to an RMS which enables hotels to compare competitors rates.
In our next blog we discuss how to choose the right business intelligence tool for your hotel chain – click here to read it.