We all know of the unparalleled challenges facing hoteliers and revenue teams right now. And as the hotel industry's new mantra “Do more with less” is threaded through every industry blog, article and email, many revenue managers who read it grow increasingly frustrated and tired as they’re left to scramble daily for ways to do just that.
Today, we launch our September release, which also happens to be my first release as Chief Product Officer at Duetto and I’m really excited to share it with you! I’ve never been a revenue manager, but I’ve spent the last 15+ years building products that customers love, and that help them become more efficient and better informed. When I joined Duetto in March, my goal was to spend most of my time speaking with customers to ramp up on the specific needs of hotels. What I didn’t plan on was COVID-19. This crisis focused our customer conversations. The hoteliers and revenue teams we work with held nothing back as they conveyed their fears, challenges and pain points with more clarity, transparency and urgency than ever before.
One of the main reasons I joined Duetto was the company’s uncompromising devotion to a customer-centric approach to technology. Founded by hoteliers, the focus is always on solving real problems for hoteliers. As we spoke to customers and heard of their struggles, we found more ways to help than ever before. Yes, this meant re-evaluating and re-prioritizing our entire product roadmap, but carrying on as if the world had not been turned upside down for hoteliers clashed with our company culture - as well as my own beliefs as a technology builder.
For our September release, we focused on functionality that would ultimately help hoteliers do more with less - but how?
We looked for ways to speed up key business processes while simultaneously giving revenue teams even more control over their rate strategies, staying true to Duetto’s unique offering of controlled automation.
We identified 3 critical challenges and sought to solve them:
As such today we are announcing 3 new functions:
The new Autopilot Schedule functionality in Duetto GameChanger allows revenue managers to choose which segments are on Autopilot and when. Our users can now automate chosen segments based on Date Range, Days Before Arrival, Days of the Week, Committed Occupancy, Demand Occupancy or any combination of the five. Demand has been turned upside down this year. New types of guests are emerging, and they are coming from new markets and distribution channels. Hoteliers need to capture as much of this precious demand as possible. To do this, revenue teams need to create new rate strategies tailored to each new segment.
Our new Autopilot Schedule functionality offers unparalleled granular control over automation and provides strained revenue teams with the ability to focus attention where it is most needed, such as on capturing volatile short-term demand while automating a long-term pricing strategy.
“At the moment, it’s really important that we are saving our time wherever we can. The Autopilot Schedule feature is important because it’s not possible to check all the future dates and also have all the other daily business going on. With Autopilot Schedule we are able to really concentrate on the dates that need our attention,” said Victoria Fischer, regional revenue manager at H-Hotels in Germany, after participating in the beta release of Autopilot Schedule.
This is a first-of-its kind feature in the RMS industry and is now the fastest way to create, manage and deploy restrictions across properties, room types and segments. Eliminating the manual task of adding and removing restrictions on a daily or weekly basis, a Restriction Rule takes only a few minutes to set up or change, and can be deployed at scale manually - or fully automated - for maximum efficiency via Autopilot.
We have seen our customers struggling with the need to constantly re-evaluate restrictions for specific, high-demand inventory, such as self-contained family units, in order to capture today’s volatile demand. Managing restrictions has always been a time consuming task. Prior to COVID-19, it was an exceptional event carried out maybe once or twice a year to accommodate seasonal shifts in demand. Now, revenue teams need a faster way to adjust and apply restrictions in order to keep pace with the new opportunities being presented.
Using our new Notification Center, customers can define which metrics are most important to track, define the benchmark or trigger for the alert, and determine who should be notified. The ability to define the benchmark period of time is critical now as we work through times when STLY is no longer relevant. Duetto customers can now customize the reference period, for example, to look at the last seven days, and receive notifications as soon as current booking levels fall behind the benchmark period.
"The new feature is great, allowing us to analyze rapidly week-on-week pick up trends and quickly adjust pricing strategy. We cannot benchmark on last year's data to understand consumer behavior today. Therefore, detecting week-on-week changes is key to understanding demand volume evolution," said Catarina Figueiredo, Director of Corporate Revenue Management at Pestana Hotel Group.
As leaner revenue teams are left to manage more properties, reviewing every single aspect of the business on a daily basis is impossible and managing by exception is now more important than ever.
Duetto is the largest independent RMS provider in the industry, developed by hoteliers who understand the challenges the hospitality industry is facing right now. See this great blog from veneran hotelier and Duetto’s Director of Customer Success, Gary Glodowski: Revenue Survival: It’s Time To Get Smart, Agile & Efficient, and join us for a live webinar featuring our CEO, David Woolenberg along with hoteliers from H Hotels and Village Hotels, coming up on September 22.
Our aim is to help our customers regain control and optimize on every revenue opportunity. And I am confident that the new features in our September release will help them do just that!