Implementing new tech can be a daunting process, but to move forward things often need to change. Oakwood, a leader in the serviced apartments industry in Asia Pacific, onboarded all its properties in Japan on Duetto’s ScoreBoard application for intelligent reporting in December 2020 – right in the middle of the COVID pandemic, but also right in the middle of a period of rapid growth for the company in the Japanese market.
Oakwood was opening properties in Yokohama, Kyoto, and Tokyo. The timing was right for the company to move from a manual revenue process run on Excel to a more automated, cloud-based solution that empowered all revenue ambassadors.
“We had three new hotel properties in the pipeline, so we had to have a tool that centralized reporting because we spend so much time on making reports. We needed to focus our attention on analyzing” explains Raphael Moser, Regional Revenue Manager, Oakwood Japan.
Today, Oakwood operates four properties in Japan under a hotel license and nine properties under a long-stay license, with a minimum 30-day length of stay. Raphael manages revenue for all 13 Oakwood properties. There are no on-property revenue managers, just reservation agents.
Raphael and his team saw immediate benefits from adopting ScoreBoard, not only in saving time on reporting but also in being able to forecast more accurately. Raphael uses ScoreBoard for both short-term and long-term forecasting, fitting with the business models of the various Oakwood properties.
“We now do all of our forecasting and budgeting in Duetto, which before was on Excel. That was a very fast and big value-add,” explained Raphael.
“There’s so much data because the market is moving so fast. You cannot take all the information and compile it in one place yourself. Duetto helps us to do that. As a revenue manager, your job is not to go and compile all the data from everywhere and then do a report. I think that's a misuse of your revenue manager’s time. Our time is to analyze whatever report is generated and then build a revenue strategy out of it,” Raphael added.
Another benefit Oakwood is enjoying is the data coming through ScoreBoard from the brand’s website, including regrets and denials.
“This helps us see the demand on specific days, if they have a lot of rejects or a lot of inquiries on a specific day we can react accordingly,” Raphael explained.
Taking a new property to market is always a challenge but taking three new properties to market amid the restrictions imposed due to COVID is even more testing. However, the Oakwood Suites Yokohama hit the ground running, finishing 2021 at number two in the market in terms of RGI.
“As a new property, that is very impressive,” said Raphael.
This success is being replicated in other Oakwood openings in Japan. The Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Azabu, Tokyo opened in January 2022 and is also already trending well.
“We jumped up to number two in the market just two months after opening. The hybrid model really works. We have a long stay base, and then we push on the short-stay closer to the stay date,” Raphael confirmed.
Another value-add as Oakwood was expanding quickly was that Duetto enabled the group to scale quickly and efficiently. Raphael believes that property general managers should be able to ‘self-serve’ certain elements of their revenue management, and all GMs in Japan now have access to Duetto to enable them to pull reports, forecasts, and budgets, leaving Raphael in charge of revenue strategy.
Duetto is also now used by the Oakwood Sales team, Finance team, and Operations, with special reports set up for Housekeeping to help them organize staff rotas according to upcoming occupancy. All of this helps drive efficiency and profitability.
Summing up the move from Excel to Duetto ScoreBoard, Raphael said: “I'm much faster now in getting a clear holistic view of what's actually happening across the board and we're much more flexible with rates than we were before.”