Interview with Rachel Grier , Asia-Pacific managing director, IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Hotelier Indonesia

Hotelier Indonesia Interview with Rachel Grier , Asia-Pacific managing director, IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Questions Answered by: Rachel Grier

What are the key revenue management challenges currently impacting on Indonesian hoteliers?

Revenue management is a process that is driven by a combination of people, processes and technology. Although there have been rapid advancements with the technology in recent years, the practice is still not universally adopted by hoteliers in Indonesia. This is often because property owners need to be convinced of value of these new systems.

A key challenge for revenue managers themselves is that they need to move their focus and expertise away from traditional guest room revenue management to holistic revenue strategy optimisation. Today’s revenue managers need to be technologically skilled, analytical and data driven – but more importantly, they need to be effective communicators. Revenue managers need to communicate across various departments and often to act as mobilizers to gain agreement on key pricing strategies and foster an organisation-wide revenue management culture.

Can you please outline a recent innovation launched by IDeaS?

IDeaS acquired Smart Space Solutions in March of 2017. Smart Space is a cloud-based, visual strategy management solution that will help Indonesian hoteliers analyse the business trends and performance of meeting and event spaces within their properties.

IDeaS is helping bridge the gap between revenue management, sales, marketing and meetings and events teams for the benefit of the Indonesian market.

Global spending on meetings and events continues to rise, and the need for hotel and event managers to understand the impact of group and event business is critical. Smart Space by IDeaS creates a firm connection between revenue managers and event sales managers by providing visibility into meetings and events demand in a powerful cloud-based tool.

It seamlessly integrates sales and catering data to strategically manage meetings and events venues, allowing hoteliers to collaborate and create a demand-based pricing strategy.

Can you please outline how hotels can better grow revenues through function spaces today?

To better maximise revenue opportunities from meetings and events spaces, many hoteliers have begun to fold revenue management strategies into sales and catering processes. Today, with advances such as Smart Space by IDeaS, hotels can analyse and dissect their business trends and meeting space performance. These systems visually consolidate data from other sales tools to help hotel teams strategically manage property functions and collaborate on ideal pricing strategies.

Any increased focus on applying revenue management principles to meetings and events also requires hoteliers to take a well-rounded look at their sales and catering revenues, as decisions they make for their function spaces can have a major impact on the bottom line. To ensure that a hotel is optimising revenues from their function spaces, hoteliers must establish and review KPIs for these spaces. 

It is essential to collect meaningful data, forecast with confidence, and as a result, identify the most valuable business. After all, any demand-based pricing strategy is rooted in clean and relevant data. Easy access to the right data, along with interactive visualisations, provides powerful insights into meetings and events performance, and influences strategic business decisions.

To achieve optimal levels of revenue from meetings and events, hoteliers also need to incentivise their sales team on achieving quality of business, rather than quantity. Having the right forecasting, data and metrics in place may not result in optimal business without the sales team delivering the right piece of business with greatest profit impact to the hotel. 

Sales teams therefore need to be incentivised appropriately on the right measurements, to channel their focus on quality of business, rather than one-dimensional metrics such as sale volume or space occupancy.

How can Asian hoteliers improve their revenues in the future?

Hotel guests have more buying power than ever before. Online channels and social media continue to proliferate and offer consumers more transparency and insight. Guests no longer rely on directly knowing someone who stayed at a hotel to form an impression of the property and whether to book or not. 

They have powerful social media platforms where they can communicate instantaneously to wide groups of potential customers about their experiences – good, bad or indifferent. This has significant implications for any hotel’s online reputation, and can directly impact the hotel’s approach to revenue management, pricing decisions and ability to attract the right guest for the right price.

Hotels need to consider revenue strategy solutions that incorporate a property’s reputation in addition to rate in relation to their competitive set and seek out revenue management systems that incorporate reputation scores into their actual pricing algorithms. 

This is called reputation pricing, and it offers hotels a powerful method of utilising online reputation data to capitalise on additional revenue opportunity. It enables hotels to utilise the benefits of peer-to-peer social technologies to influence the intent to purchase at the point of decision making. 

Revenue management systems that incorporate reputation pricing help hoteliers visualise their market position in relation to both rate and reputation. 

The correlation between a hotel’s rate and reputation over time helps identify commercial areas of opportunity for a hotel to improve on in addition to pricing opportunities.

What are IDeaS future plans for Indonesia?

Indonesia is a key market for IDeaS. We are committed to helping local hoteliers grow their revenues across their entire property, in a complete manner. Using advanced forecasting and innovative pricing capabilities will allow hotels to capture more market share, outperform competitors and drive their business and revenues forward.

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