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How is revenue management being impacted as hotel teams around the world find new ways of working, often with fewer team members? How is the on-property revenue function changing? Are general managers getting more, or less, involved?
In early August I took to LinkedIn and created a poll to find out what the industry thought about ‘to what extent should classic general managers be involved in daily pricing?’
It was a topic many in the industry wanted to weigh in on, with 235 votes and 29 comments. The consensus was that everyone needs to work towards the same goal, trust, and delegation is important and that the revenue manager is in charge, but ultimately the general manager is responsible.
Thanks to everyone for their best practice sharing. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the comments this poll received:
Ultimately, the GM is on the hook for the property’s performance and profitability so they should have a say in the pricing strategy of the hotel. Day-to-day pricing should be the responsibility of the RMS and the revenue manager unless it deviates from the strategy.
Max Starkov, Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant & Strategist
Ideally, it's the RMS handling pricing where it can. For the rest, it needs to be the revenue manager who has the necessary insights and understanding.
The role of the GM in terms of pricing is to ask questions and make sure the RM can explain their decisions.
The GM should not need to worry about the details of any of that but give a general direction of where the journey leads.
Christoph Hütter, non-traditional Revenue Manager & Consultant for Independent Hotels
I have found that if GMs are involved in the pricing decisions that they are more likely to listen and work with you. I work with independent hotels that do not have RMS on their tech stack, so property to revenue manager communication has to be clear and timely. If the GM feels invested in the process, it works smoothly and they are more likely to communicate than to blame.
Jenifer Morgan, Revenue Manager at Leisure Hotels & Resorts
In my opinion, revenue management is part of pricing and effective forecasting. Depending on the size and complexity of the business unit the GM's active participation in the forum is very important and sets the example. The GM sets the pace.
As we know, profitability relies heavily on revenue generation. Having P&L responsibilities is the Key. You must know where you are with biz forecast, cash flow, and debt service to keep the owners satisfied. Yes, the buck stops with the GM. That is part of the essential parts of the GM's responsibilities. Each situation is different due to team experience, level of maturity, and the size of the hotel/s.
Mark Elawadi, Hotels & Resorts Asset Management
Right person, right job, right time - fundamentally it’s based on trust, a clear strategy, and achieving the overall objectives.
I’ve come across so many different scenarios where one person pushed for occupancy, another pushed for rate, another pushed for something else … So, having a clear strategy on profitability and creating a revenue culture across the entire team is key.
Having an RMS automate the process is great, being able to interrogate the system is even better.
Alex Bufton, Hospitality Consultant
It was great to see so many people contribute to this poll and so many great comments. The working relationship between a revenue manager and a general manager is key to the success of the business.
Using tools such as Duetto’s ScoreBoard, which provides multiple stakeholders with access to real-time forecasting and reporting, is vital to ensuring everyone is up to date and on the same page when it comes to revenue.
Using a revenue management system (RMS) enables everyone to understand the strategy being employed. Controlled automation, such as Duetto’s AutoPilot and AutoPilot Schedule, enables teams to automate where possible and focus on strategy where it is most vital.
And access to up-to-the-minute competitor data and forward-looking data, such as web regrets and denials, enables hotel teams to strategize and plan.
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