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By Tracy Dong, Lead Advisor, APAC, IDeaS Revenue Solutions
Technology evolves quickly and keeping up with the constant changes can be difficult. Of paramount importance to hoteliers is understanding the role that mobile technology can play in any business-critical decision-making strategy.
However, the rise of consumers using mobile technology is just one trend impacting a hotel’s operation today. Just as hotel guests are increasingly researching, reviewing and booking accommodations directly from their mobile devices, hotel staff, too, are becoming more mobile. Hotel GMs and their executive teams (including revenue managers) are no longer chained to their desks staring at a computer all day. They work from cars, airports, restaurants, planes and elevators, trying to utilize every minute of the day to capitalize on all available revenue opportunities.
Remote doesn’t mean disconnected
Hotel revenue managers are under enormous pressure to ensure the rates put out by their hotels reflect real-time market trends. They’re responsible for setting prices across multiple properties, across multiple time zones, and have a critical need to be able to access their group’s (or single property’s) systems at any time of the day and in any environment. Adding to these pressures is a rival property’s ability to respond to the fluctuating market demand and change their own room-rates at will.
Importantly, where hoteliers and revenue managers in the past have needed to make pricing decisions at the beginning of the day while sitting at their desks, it is now possible to make impactful decisions on the go, at any time, via revenue management systems as mobile applications.
Mobile revenue management apps help enhance productivity for hotel personnel by providing critical demand forecasts and rate analysis—including historical behaviors, seasonal patterns and recent trends in pricing—that can all be acted upon. In today’s fast-moving and multi-screen world, the ability to make impactful decisions anywhere and assess real-time performance against financial goals may be the competitive edge a hotel needs to thrive.
Hoteliers must ensure their business embraces mobile technologies given the increasingly competitive hotel sector and fragmented booking channels
Based in the cloud, with online syncing to any mobile device, mobile revenue management apps help ensure key hotel personnel responsible for pricing decisions have access to all necessary information, anytime, anywhere. When you’re at the airport getting ready to board a flight, it’s not convenient to boot up your laptop, get on a Wi-Fi network and log into various systems to respond quickly to an email. Through system integrations and aggregated data, app users can view their previous day’s actuals, check the competitions’ rates for the weekend, make a pricing strategy change and even monitor performance against budget and forecast.
In addition to providing revenue managers with 24/7 access to current occupancy and revenue performance metrics from any location, revenue management mobile apps also provide ongoing access to key reporting data. This enhanced reporting access means that hotel revenue managers can deliver up-to-the-minute, accurate data in weekly meetings, or when in talks with senior hotel personnel, in order to better inform critical operational and strategic decision making.
Running a hotel is not a nine-to-five discipline and having the right tools to identify and make the most of revenue opportunities, without restrictions on technology, will help ensure hoteliers are making the right revenue management decisions at the right time.
The rules stay the same
Despite changes in the pace of booking, the method of booking and even a hotel’s way of selling due to the surge of mobile devices in the consumer market, the revenue generating principles for hoteliers remain the same. Hotel revenue managers still apply their knowledge and skill base to their business-critical decisions. But with mobile technology, they are better equipped to continuously monitor key room rate information and the competitive environment the hotel operates within, so that they can make instant, informed choices regarding a property’s pricing strategies. Today, with the right security permissions, hoteliers can use smartphones, in a variety of ways, to easily perform on-the-go- tasks.
Hotels that match the mobile trend and make it easy to book online maximize their chances of securing business in a mobile world. The factor hoteliers need to address is their own ability to track the mobile behaviour and preference of guests and, in turn, provide attractive promotions, packages and cancellation policies accordingly.
The future is mobile
Today’s connectivity and speed of information sharing has forever changed the hotel booking landscape. The need for hotels to keep pace is mission critical. Hoteliers must ensure their business embraces mobile technologies given the increasingly competitive hotel sector and fragmented booking channels. By investing in hotel operational systems tailored toward the mobile market that adjust room and package rates automatically—in realtime—offering immediate access to critical data and analysis, hoteliers can increase their revenues and average daily rates. They can also free up revenue managers to focus on the strategic planning that will put the hotel at the front of its market.