The hospitality industry is a fiercely competitive space and inventory management plays a critical part in overall hotel success. Here are four ways to streamline inventory management to maximize revenue opportunities.
Integrate your channel manager: Integrated systems are now necessary to improve the overall performance of your property. A hotels channel manager (CRS) solution should interface, seamlessly connect, and share data, in a real-time manner with both the PMS and revenue management systems. With an integrated system comes real-time inventory management making it easier for hotels to manage room bookings, rates, and distribution of inventory across multiple channels and properties in a single click. Channels that are not updated properly encounter reservation errors, overbooking and missed booking opportunities. Integration ensures that room rates and inventory availability update simultaneously and accurately across all booking channels and provides operators with the flexibility needed to optimize inventory for maximum occupancy and revenue.
Make data-based decisions: When it comes to rate setting and inventory allocation decisions, data, not instinct, should drive marketing moves. With seamless integration, hoteliers can monitor performance metrics such as RevPAR, ADR, occupancy, booking source etc. and not only determine their best-performing channels and price points that are best fit for their target market but also gauge the impact of their decisions. Similarly, hoteliers can combine and analyze various data sets simultaneously such as customer segmentation, seasonality, special events, booking trends, competition rate setting etc. allowing hoteliers to forecast demand and create appropriate pricing and promotional strategies aimed at different customer segments. Armed with the relevant data and utilized effectively, owners and managers can then make more timely, informed and sophisticated rate and distribution decisions, maximizing revenue opportunities and hotel performance.
Leveraging mobile technology: Real-time visibility is important in making timely informed decisions. With a cloud-based mobile PMS managers’ can view live performance, monitor operations, access key reports etc. remotely, on the go, anytime, anywhere even if they are not physically on site. Likewise, revenue managers can access the PMS and make strategic decisions about rates and inventory and can react to hotel and market conditions in real time and make inventory adjustments. Information that can be accessed instantly from almost anywhere helps to further streamline inventory management; employees are better informed, can make more accurate, faster decisions, deliver the right inventory to the right people at the right time, maximizing revenue opportunities.
Push your book direct channels: We all know that it is far cheaper to encourage a repeat visit than it is to find a new customer. And while that is all well and good since we have become tethered to our digital devices in recent years, our booking habits have moved online and as a result, the fight for online bookings between hoteliers and third parties has grown. The issue is also compounded by a number of factors, such as the unwavering contracts that exist between the OTAs and hoteliers, the commission paid by the hoteliers – anywhere from 15-25% of top-line revenue in commissions (painful!), the strong online presence OTAs have (supported by unbelievable marketing budgets) along with the consumers belief, and have been trained to believe, that the best prices can be found on third-party sites.
With the right technology in place, maximizing return on your inventory and increasing the hotel’s revenue is much more achievable. By leveraging the power of a cloud-based property management system and other strategies you will not only be able to collect the right data and analyze it in a way that is meaningful but also use it to make smarter and potentially more profitable decisions