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Mr. van Meerendonk

Revenue Management

The Brain Drain: How to Make the Most of, and Protect Your Intellectual Capital.

By Paul van Meerendonk, Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions

All staff involved with, and alongside the revenue management team need to be provided with ongoing guidance and support. This investment is of particular importance during any period of time involving the planning and implementation of new sales and marketing strategies, but should also take place throughout normal day to day operations as well.

These strategies will help staff meet their own personal and team sales goals, which will see an increasing rise in worker moral and resultant improvement in overall levels of staff retention. The ongoing success and financial viability of a hotel can often be decided by how pricing decisions are implemented by various staff members. To ensure this process is done with as much preparation as possible, hotels need to invest in the staff behind the decisions.

A recent report in the Harvard Business Review(1) highlighted how Starwood approaches the potentially complex issue of ensuring that their organizations high-achievers and most talented staff are being put to best use and are constantly engaged. Starwood seek out those talented staff members and give their innovators real projects and access to top management in order to 'test people with live ammunition.' This means that the parent company of hotel chains such as Westin, W and the Sheraton lets 'innovators build and manage cross-functional teams to develop their projects and then present full-fledged sales / marketing plans to the company's top executives.'(2)

By protecting intellectual capital and ensuring that adequate levels of staff support are in place from day one, hotels will be going a long way towards protecting their different channels of revenue. When improved levels of staff retention are achieved, hotels can expect to see more consistency in the financial results they achieve.

The effect of losing a valuable member of your wider sales or marketing team can be prolonged and negatively impact upon the financial viability of your hospitality organisation. Revenue managers and all members of the wider sales team for that matter are highly skilled and trusted people. They play an important role in the wider functioning of a hotel, and their loss can have a detrimental roll-on effect throughout the organization.

To help prevent this scenario Andrew Chan, CEO Asia Pacific, for TMS recommends: "'Implementing an overall staff engagement strategy beginning with, when an employee first starts with a company - as opposed to leaving it too late, as this is invariably what happens when employers realize they have unhappy employees, but by that time, it's probably too late and its highly unlikely employees will stay. Addressing the employee attachment factor from day one is essential at all level's of business if employers are to succeed in holding on to their staff."

Furthermore, the loss of key staff within revenue management positions and other key staff during an economic downturn can actually limit how well that hotel comes out of the recession when conditions improve. Interestingly, 36% of corporate respondents to the survey carried out by the Workplace Institute at Kronos said they are concerned that as the economy picks up, they won't have the right resources to meet demand.*

If hotels invest time and effort in their people (much like the process Starwood employs above) and ensure they are content in their current work environment, they will be ensuring not only worker morale but also the ongoing viability of their organization.

Hotels should remember that many individuals within the revenue management and sales team have quite often played an important role in designing and implementing different pricing decisions and strategies. Removing them from the equation will also remove their knowledge and understanding of that particular organisation, something that in this day and age is invaluable.

Hotel owners and managers should look at ways to ensure that their workplace is both productive but also one where the staffs are able to feel involved. During periods of economic downturns, there is no better thing to do than to invest in your intellectual capital. This will help your organisation both weather the current financial storm but also position yourselves to be the first on your feet when the economic rebound eventually does occur.

For a hotel to effectively optimize their revenue on a consistent basis, the right technology needs to be in place alongside the right staff culture, which will only result from long term investment in intellectual capital. Only then will your hospitality organization be able to effectively maximize their ongoing revenue capability. For more information on how your hotel can build a successful revenue management culture whilst protecting you intellectual capital please contact Klaus Kohlmayr at IDeaS Advantage Consulting. Klaus currently holds the position of Director - IDeaS Advantage for IDeaS Revenue Optimization, a SAS COMPANY, the global leader in Hospitality Revenue Optimization (www.ideas.com), and is based in Singapore.

He is responsible for leading and growing the newly established revenue management consulting and advisory division - IDeaS Advantage - assisting Hospitality focused clients to maximize their revenue potential through the creation of a sustainable revenue culture.

Over the last 15 years, Klaus has gained global Hospitality Industry experience working in a variety of Hotel Operations and Regional Corporate Offices environments in Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific across a wide selection of primarily Luxury Hotels.

References:

  1. Lay-offs Hurt Corporate Activity: Survey Results
    Web Address: http://www.plansponsor.com/pi_type10/?RECORD_ID=50173

  2. Finding and Grooming Breakthrough Innovators: By Jeffrey Cohn, Jon Katzenbach and Gus Vlak. Harvard Business Review, December 2008

As Director of Advisory Services for IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Paul van Meerendonk leads a global team of revenue management advisors focused on hotel revenue optimization projects. Mr. van Meerendonk is responsible for global development, management and operations of the Advisory Services team. He oversees the hiring, training and management of industry-leading consultants located in London, Beijing, Singapore and Atlanta. Mr. van Meerendonk also represents IDeaS on industry thought-leadership initiatives related to trends and best practices within revenue management, including authoring a number of white papers, conducting public speaking engagements, as well as leading key client webinars with an average audience of over 200 global representatives. Mr. van Meerendonk can be contacted at +44 (0) 118-82-8100 or Extended Bio...

HotelExecutive.com retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.com.

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OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. READ MORE

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. READ MORE

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. READ MORE

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. READ MORE

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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