Revenue Management is growing in importance within the hospitality industry
The role and importance of revenue managers for hoteliers is not a surprise anymore, as it became widely promoted within the hospitality Industry. By analysing a large amount of data and combining his expertise with technologies, the revenue manager helps to determine the best pricing and distributive strategy to optimize profitability. Today, revenue managers see new opportunities to perform with different approaches whether with an on-site property, centralized or consulting management.
Outsourcing revenue management has shown to offer many advantages for hoteliers such as benefiting from experts’ knowledge, network, and state-of-the-art technology, reducing staff expenses, and optimizing the efficiency of internal teams. Outsourcing can however appear uncomfortable for those who outsource for the first time and be perceived as a loss of control over the business. This article will therefore focus on the 10 questions hotelier should ask before hiring a Revenue Manager outsourced to be fully confident.
What are the questions to ask before working with an outsourced revenue management company?
Choosing to outsource revenue management expertise must ensure you win time, money, flexibility, and decision power. Therefore, before outsourcing a revenue manager, we recommend asking the following questions:
What is the company background and experience?
Before comfy a part of your business to an external provider, make sure to realize few pieces of researches about the company’s previous experiences and network in order to assess its credibility and knowledge of the industry, and most particularly of your market. Example of criteria to look for are its type of partnership as well as its clients. For instance, Catala Consulting offers its services in more than 20 different locations across 8 different countries. Having famous international brands such as IHG, Hilton or Four Seasons as clients reinforce its credibility and are a good indicator of its expertise’s level. By checking its previous experiences and the type of properties for which the outsourced RM worked, you will be able to compare them with the current needs of your business and have an idea of whether or not its business model will be able to provide a solution to your business’s needs.
How does the company measure success?
Being able to measure and track the result is crucial to assess of the optimization of outsourcing revenue management. That is why it is important to agree with your future partner on the key performance indicators to use to see if your outsourced company’s expertise is bringing a solution to your business. Also, comparing performances only against personal objectives is not sufficient, instead KPIs should be used against both industry and competitors benchmarks.
How is reporting done?
An easy way to see how your future partner is working is to ask for examples of previous projects. Reporting helps to make the most efficient decision by identifying and understanding the cause and effect relationship behind the figures. That is why asking how your future partner will make the report helps to determine his working methodology as well as its frequency of communication. Within the answer, you should be able to see how the company tackled challenges and its approach to it. For instance, if a hotel encountered difficulties to generate decent F&B profit, how did the expert structure the different F&B outlets’ costs and expenses? Which KPI have been used? On which basis were the reports made? Daily? Monthly? Yearly?
How much time would it take?
Outsourcing Revenue Management aims to optimize your business by winning time and efficiency while implementing pricing and distribution strategy. It is crucial to make sure that your future partner will be able to deliver better outcomes in a shorter time than you used to do. Speaking about timelines to reach your objectives is also important to make sure to have aligned goals. Indeed, if you require outsourcing services, it is likely that you expect your partners to drive better performances than you would do and that this gain of time is precious to your business. In addition, you must want to know on which basis your partner will need your input or would report to you.
Which type of technology does the company use?
It is well-known that technology and revenue managers became real allies when processing and analysing data. It is therefore important that your future external provider have a solid knowledge of the software and platforms they will use. If your partner is comfortable with technologies, he will therefore be able to get the most out of them and optimize both collecting and reporting functions. Also, before outsourcing your revenue management department, double-check the type of software your partner will use, is it compatible? Would you need to change of software? Would it impact other department’s working procedures? How much does it cost? Would your team and you need additional training? Understanding to which extent the outsourced revenue management company relies on technologies will help you to determine whether you are ready or not to leverage data, and to what extent it is well-informed about the industry’s last innovations.
Will your partner support security data compliance?
When outsourcing a part of your business, you agree to give up a part of your control and to trust another party. Your partner will therefore have access to sensitive information about different stakeholders of your business. Therefore, information sharing and the protection of sensitive data become an absolute must and your responsibility to ensure when outsourcing services. Before you sign a contract, make sure you feel comfortable that your partner will provide the required level of security to protect your business.
Speciality: what is the company’s area of expertise?
As the number of revenue management consulting companies increase, it is relevant to determine ahead what your future business partner will bring to your business. Try to understand in what the company is excelling. You will be able to identify it based on your interaction with its experts and the selling points they are emphasizing on. Simple questions could help you to better know your partner, such as “How did you make an impact in your last project?” or “what is your biggest accomplishment?”. Quite similar to in an interview, asking about challenges will tell you what is challenging the company’s expertise, and therefore what could challenge its future performance delivery. Last but not the least, analysing the expertise of your partner will help you to judge whether or not the company is likely to provide tailored solutions to your business.
Why outsourcing revenue management become more popular?
One of the biggest challenges in the field of revenue management is to find qualified talent as well as to align its interests with those of the hotel owner, or senior management in the case of bigger properties. Indeed, this expertise is getting more attractive for young people not only for its diversity of responsibilities but as well for the dexterity level this discipline can require. And this is exactly for this reason that outsourced revenue management is becoming more popular. The industry is becoming more strategy-driven due to its highly competitive environment and its previous conservative etiquette that we could give it is step by step letting place to a much more innovative and professional industry.
As revenue management has shown to be valuable for all sizes or types of properties, outsourced revenue management became interesting for many hoteliers, including those who did not have in place the necessary. On top of providing hoteliers with tailored revenue optimization strategies or techniques, the outsourced revenue manager can share relevant market knowledge and become a real game-changer for businesses.
To conclude, revenue management expertise has become very demanded by hoteliers and is now at a crossing path of its expertise. According to its size, market scale or operational structure, a hotel can decide whether to hire a full-time revenue manager to work internally or to hire the services of an external expert. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as each hotel may have its issues and particularities. However, the most important is to select the approach with which you believe your business in good hands and which allows you to efficiently optimize profitability.
If you are looking to outsource your revenue management or if you would like help with any aspects of your hotel revenue management and hotel technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Visit the Contact page to get in touch now