From standalone software components to a centralized and integrated system that encompasses all hotel functions.
From manual management of core hotel operations to automated management of core hotel operations.
From rudimentary data analysis to robust analysis that yields actionable insights and provides a real-time view of hotel performance.
The Roadmap Diagram shown below, from The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (click here to access), offers a migration path for hoteliers to keep in mind along the journey toward a next-generation PMS. In many cases, of course, buyers will already have a system in place and the goal will be to upgrade, expand and improve their current capabilities.
Putting the right technologies and data foundation in place is only half the battle won. Having the right business processes, organizational resources and performance metrics in place also rank as critical success factors. Here are two recommendations:
Focus on data analysis and business intelligence
Analytics tools are becoming increasing sophisticated and serve as a core function of a next-generation PMS. The tools should inform the decisions made in multiple departments and functions across the organization.
The insights gained from the tools can have benefits ranging from improving marketing, sales and customer service effectiveness to generating competitive intelligence. Key revenue stakeholders can monitor hotel occupancy trends, guest demographics, market position, and channel profitability.
One of the most practical things to monitor is source of business. Simply knowing what percentages of guests book their stays via travel agents, online travel agencies (OTAs), or the hotel website should have a direct impact on revenue management and marketing strategies. If, for example, it becomes clear a specific OTA is bringing in guests who stay longer at a higher ADR, then it may make sense to invest in improving the hotel’s ranking on that site.
Simply put, hoteliers need to understand relative channel performance at a granular level and place their bets accordingly. With the new breed of BI tools, tailored to meet the needs of the hotel industry, they can.
In fact, 92 percent of hotel operators agree these tools are, or would be, either “effective” or “very effective” in helping them manage and optimize their market and channel mix, resulting in significantly increased hotel revenue and profitability for the same amount of marketing spend.
Focus on building a revenue management strategy and culture
A revenue management strategy is a blueprint for improving financial performance over a specific period of time. It should incorporate all of the revenue streams from across all parts of the hotel as well as all of the revenue drivers, from the sales department to the online distribution channels.
The strategy should be built upon a solid foundation of revenue goals using targeted RevPAR, GOPPAR (gross operating profit per available room) and other relevant metrics for tracking progress. It should include a timeline with key milestones and spell out the tactics for achieving success.
The strategy should be as specific as possible, detailing, for example, how the property approaches pricing. Done right, the strategy will help create cognitive alignment amongst all employees regarding the value of revenue management.
The Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (click here to access), now in its fifth edition, is widely regarded as the industry’s most authoritative and comprehensive resource for maximizing hotel technology success.