REVENUE MANAGERS FORECAST DEMAND WITH IMPROVED HOSPITALITY IQ

Business Intelligence, or BI, is the term used to describe sharing of the right information across the enterprise, with the right people, at the right time. BI enables information workers or business users to make decisions and act on this information in a timely manner. It measures the success of your business performance. It also provides in-depth insights into your past, present and future business activities, so you can answer the following:

  • What happened?
  • What is happening?
  • What is going to happen?

The answers enable you to decide what you want to happen.

BI IN REVENUE MANAGEMENT

In this article, we explore how revenue managers act on the intelligence and make informed decisions to optimize revenue.

On any given day, your goal as a hotel revenue manager is to optimize RevPAR. For this you rely on business-on-the-books information obtained from the hotel's reservation systems. With this information you forecast the hotel's daily occupancy levels, analyzing the peaks and valleys of the business-on-the-books trend line. You also factor in other known or approximate facts, such as actual sales same period last year, average booking cancellation/no-show rate, average booking lead time, and so on. Typically, you would do this by daily exporting data out of the reservation system by running queries and tabulating these data in a spreadsheet application. Because this is a manual process, it is time-consuming and can be prone to errors and limited in functionality. It also can involve a lot of guesswork when making crucial decisions. Such analysis also lacks the single version of the truth, since different revenue managers may use the data differently with varying results and recommendations.

DEEPER INSIGHTS WITH HOSPITALITY BI

A BI solution can automate this process, giving revenue managers even deeper insights into their business on the books than a property management system (PMS) or a central reservation system (CRS) could. Let's see how.

Data within a reservation system, such as a PMS or a CRS, are constantly changing. It is the nature and purpose of these systems to provide an up-to-the-minute view of any given reservation. BI can collect the snapshot of this information at a regular interval and feed the data to a hospitality data warehouse. With this information collected, a revenue manager can have access not only to the business on the books as of today but also to the business on the books as of yesterday, seven days ago, 30 days ago, and so on. This helps managers understand the reservation pickup rate for a given date over time.

In addition to the actual sales for the same period last year, a revenue manager can now analyze the business on the books for the same period last year, as of same day as today last year. This is commonly known as the pace analysis. With the pace analysis, a revenue manager can clearly identify, “How many rooms did I pick up between today and a future day, during the same period last year?”

IMPROVED HOSPITALITY IQ: PROFITABLE DECISIONS

With the added knowledge of the pickup from the recent past as well as pickup for the comparable period last year, revenue managers can forecast demand more accurately. Moreover, they can immediately identify any major dips or surges in demand, investigate them and fix the problem or seize the opportunity early on. The automated loading and processing of the data from the reservation systems into the data warehouse provides much-needed consistency, efficiency and accuracy. A well-thought-out, properly implemented BI solution can free valuable time of employees and managers who can focus on using the information to make better decisions and take timely actions.


Ashu Shende and Stephan Setran. Shende is the managing partner and director of product management at IQubz LLC, a Newport Beach, CA customer relationship management and business intelligence solutions company. Setran holds the same titles in IQubz's sales and marketing division. Reach Shende at ashu.shende@iqubz.com, Setran at stephan.setran@iqubz.com.

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