It’s been nearly a decade since I stepped out of day-to-day revenue responsibilities at Wynn Resorts to launch Duetto. Our goal was to improve the daily lives of revenue professionals in the hospitality industry. Our initial objective was clear: give revenue teams the right data and resources, plus better tools to make more informed decisions.
While I’ve watched hoteliers across the industry elevate the importance of the role, unfortunately the core job of the hotel revenue manager hasn’t changed much. It’s been frustrating because, as revenue professionals, we’re still talking about many of the same challenges we were then.
A revenue manager’s role, although increasingly important, remains incredibly complicated and requires hours upon hours of manual work – collating data in Excel, keystroking pricing updates in various systems and crafting reports to share with all of the key stakeholders. In many cases, we find these repetitive manual activities continue even when a revenue management system has been implemented; new tasks sometimes emerge, like spending hours each day doing recommendation overrides, which hoteliers say is common in our competitors’ implementations.
While hoteliers have taken many of the right first steps, we haven’t seen as much progress as we’d hoped. Yes, some operators have adopted the idea of putting the revenue manager in the “quarterback” position, implementing weekly revenue meetings in which data is driving decisions across marketing and sales departments. But many challenges remain.
The hotel supply market continues to be a very complicated and fragmented one, where everyone from owners to management companies to brands and asset managers have a say in the revenue decision-making process. On top of that, many hoteliers are still relying on technology that is out of date and doesn’t interact and integrate well with other systems. These issues create much friction that prevents us from making more progress as an industry.
Change is on the Horizon
It’s time we simplify the manual revenue management tasks and enable teams to spend more time analyzing data and taking more strategic approaches to pricing. On our end, we want to use the right combination of data and technology to automate much of the manual work so revenue managers can do what they actually love to do – dig into the data and coordinate strategies to drive results.
Revenue management is still a far too demanding role. It's 24x365 because at any moment demand could be changing. Perhaps your competitor may have done something that you have to respond to immediately. Such issues still require human oversight at most hotels either to take action immediately or to undo erroneous actions taken by a suboptimal automated decision. And when this is coupled with laborious data entry and manual tasks it’s easy to see how the role can become a stressful one.
As we move forward, Duetto is redoubling its efforts to free hoteliers from a continuous and complicated string of data analysis to a more straightforward approach to revenue management that simplifies the process for revenue managers as best we can.
We’re exploring more ways to save revenue managers time, arming them with the right information and preparing trustworthy recommendations so they can focus on more important tasks. We want our system to highlight just the things that are most important so they can begin “managing by exception,” or only manipulating pricing strategies during times when it can have the most impact.
We’re looking holistically at the role, aiming to improve the quality of life of revenue managers. Of course, this also includes improving the performance of the hotel, which is how a revenue team’s success is measured. But it also includes other intangibles that have contributed to revenue management being one of the more thankless jobs.
Revenue management is a very demanding role. We know it because we’ve sat in those chairs. So we’re simplifying our products and our processes in hopes of giving you more time to strategize. We’re making revenue management less frustrating and less complex with the ultimate goal of improving your lives.
We want hotel revenue managers to be able to spend more time out of the office. We want to give you control to make smarter decisions more quickly and easily. We want to get you promoted faster.
We promise to focus on the mundane tasks and allow you to dive headfirst into solving your hotel’s biggest problems.