With the constant improvements in technology and the seemingly up to date consumer, technology undoubtedly increases efficiency and opens new opportunities in every aspect of the hospitality industry. Recent advancements have allowed hotels to efficiently offer a variety of contactless procedures such as check-in and check-out, in-room delivery, payment and mobile keys, all ofwhich have only grown in popularity significantly over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, a study by A.T. Kearney found that acceptance of contact-less technology among American consumers was only at three percent in 2018, compared to the UK,where approval reached 65 percent. Fast forward to 2022 and contactless commerce, including contactless payments, QR codes, etc., has skyrocketed. The reality of the pandemic forced our industry to embrace and implement this new technology at an accelerated rate.
Although there are many benefits to technological advancements, especially those that have helped us adapt to the “new normal’, this abundance of systems that Revenue Directors and Managers use every day to complete a task has greatly increased. Often, there are anywhere from 15 to 30 systems we useeveryday,apart from the various branded or corporate tools each company prefers to use, such as month-end commentaries or a home-grown upsell program in aformat more easily rolled up for portfolio viewing.
The revenue systems are vital because they analyze a combination of competitor rates as well as market dynamics, historicperformance, inventory levels and future pace that can help forecast demand and recommend rates during any given time. These systems are important in maximizing our revenue and profitability. On top of revenue systems, we are also using OTA extranets, PMS, CRS, Sales and Catering Systems, Rate Shopping systems, Rate Parity Tools and Comp Set BI Portals just to name a few.
"Although there are many benefits to technological advancements, this abundance of systems that Revenue Directors and Managers use every day to complete a task has greatly increased"
How does one go about tackling this challenge of being an expert in and maintaining multiple systems? I prioritize and separate each task into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks. It’s important totake a deep look at what each system can do for you and your hotel, and spend timefiguring out how much time needs to be dedicated to each one. Setting reminders can be extremely helpful to ensure you stay on task. I also recommend looking for opportunities to cut out manual connectivity and maintenance. There are instances where a report might not need to be updatedeach week, and instead, once a month to include more comprehensive data. By including more data in each sample, it can be easier to make more strategic decisionswhile also saving time.
It is important to focus on building a revenue management culture in the hotel. This takes time and consistency, but you would be surprised how many colleagues in all areas of the hotel have a genuine interest in revenue management. Where it makes sense, involving others to spearhead finding and implementing new online tools, or even to help train others on systems or revenue enhancing processes, increases the collaborative effort of maximizing revenue and at the very least, you can nurture that interest and grow it into a revenue management talent pipeline.
In the hospitality industry, we need to continue to seize technological advancements in a proactive way. Welcoming these systems with open arms can in turn help us improve our staff and enhance our guest experience. Technology isn’t going away and will continue to be a necessary roadmap in the hospitality industry.