Taking on a new revenue management system (RMS) can feel like a daunting task, especially for revenue managers who might not consider themselves to be too tech-savvy.
Here at Duetto, we have a dedicated Deployment Team, who help each of our new clients get set up, liaise with existing tech suppliers such as your PMS, and can even help configure your system so that you are ready to start optimizing rates as soon as possible.
There’s no downtime, there’s no disruption to how you are marketing and selling your rooms, we’re with you every step of the way. The Duetto Deployment team will:
- Sets the stage for who owns what
- Identifies what are the responsibilities
- Sets up a regular cadence of meetings to touch base
But there are some areas your revenue team will take responsibility for, including making sure that the new system is configured to match in terms of segmentation and rate codes.
Having had the pleasure of working as a Duetto customer, and with many years of revenue management experience under my belt, I can share with you some of my top tips for managing the onboarding of a new RMS, whether you are swapping out from a previous provider, or this is your first time using a revenue management system,
1. Set up a new base rate
When I was working at Sydell Group we migrated from another RMS to Duetto. We were using Opera as our PMS. Our tactic was to build a second baseline rate, let’s call it Baseline 2. The baseline sets the stage for the rate plan that you are using to feed from the RMS to the PMS. Everything else, including BAR, was derived from that baseline rate.
What made the transition smooth is the fact that we were able to set up Duetto and run it simultaneously with the RMS we were phasing out. We had a good lead-in time and were able to test Baseline 2, enabling us to ease into the transition over time.
This gave me time to then go into all the derived rate plans in the PMS and switch it from Baseline 1 to the new Baseline 2. We did the same thing with the CRS.
2. Schedule your go-live
Every hotel’s business is different. By understanding your seasonality, you can find the perfect time to schedule your RMS deployment.
Our client Boyne Resorts is a great example of this. We timed their change to Duetto with their low season, or because they are ski resorts it’s their ‘mud season’, so that they had plenty of time and resources to take on the project.
"We understood our resources in all departments (revenue, operations and IT) and their availability during our peak season. As a result, we timed our on-boarding with Duetto with our lower demand periods post-ski season. This allowed us to complete our user training with an ample cushion leading up to the deployment phase. Ensuring we would come out of the gate with strong user engagement. Ultimately setting the stage for positive revenue results as quickly as possible."
Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Business Development
3. Understand your distribution landscape
As mentioned earlier, there is no downtime when moving over to Duetto. But it is natural for teams to worry about a loss of business or disruption, or just dropping out of the market altogether.
Understanding what your district distribution landscape is and how the RMS fits into that makes it easier to see that your Expedia listing is not going to disappear overnight.
The RMS may well be the brain powering the rate values in these other systems, but it does not have overriding control.
If you don't have an RMS or if you switch RMS in the middle of the night, those rate values still exist in these other channels. The switch will not impact the distribution of rates.
We test the rate push very early on in the deployment process as soon as we establish the connection with your PMS, CRS and/or channel manager.
"As a standard, we manage our rates through SynXis CRS, not in our PMS systems. We have a lot of Springer- Miller Host PMS properties. There are a couple of hotels that still manage rates in both systems. We're very quickly reconfiguring two of them right now. From the Springer-Miller side, it makes this integration a lot easier. There is much less technical configuration, specifically with the rate and tier calendars. And on the RMS side, a big win is how many of the configuration tasks Duetto takes on. There are far fewer tasks assigned to the user compared to our legacy provider.
The advice I would give is that if you are a company with multiple hotels and don't have standards in place across the board, there will be some heavy lifting if you want to create autonomy across the collection. So that would be a forewarning but well worth the time investment."
VP, Revenue Management & Distribution
Noble House Hotels & Resorts
For hotels starting from scratch, we can even include a default segmentation of up to 10 segments, including consortia, FITs, business, leisure, and SMERF groups. Hotels can use this as a starting point, which is one less thing to worry about as you start to understand the system. The beauty of this is that you can change those segments, or expand on them, as needed moving forward.
At Duetto, our average deployment time from PMS integration is just three and a half weeks. The process is easy, quick, and efficient. But the benefits of adopting an RMS continue for years to come.
Yes, there is an investment in time to get it up and running, but everything you're going to gain from an efficiency standpoint is a huge win.
Those moving from a manual operation will see the biggest time savings, but there are also operational savings and impacts to your bottom line that go beyond revenue. For example, by being able to provide your leadership team with an operations forecast, your team can better schedule labor – which is the biggest cost for a hotel. Having an impact on that is a huge win as it channels greater profitability for your property.
Check out our recent interview with Lucian Kilchsperger for more on the deployment process. Or contact us today to request a demo and find out how Duetto can help streamline revenue and optimize profit at your hotel.