Increase profitability in hotels by better commercial workflows

02 November 2021
Before the pandemic, it was unnecessary to have the most productive workflows in the commercial roles in hotels. Every function worked in its silos and had its workflows. Each position reported to the GM, and the GM rarely had insights into precisely what they did and how they did it. It just worked, and the business kept coming into the hotel.

The situation has changed dramatically. Business is not automatically flowing into hotels anymore. Hotels do not have the same number of people in commercial roles due to financial reasons and lack of talent. Working in silos does not work any longer, and GMs try to grasp all the systems that the commercial roles used in their jobs. It is a mess in many hotels, and there is a need to renew positions, processes, and procedures.

Objectives

The first part is to set objectives for which target groups to attract to the hotel. The demand from different segments has changed both due to the pandemic and due to long-term trends. A changing segment mix has vast implications on the commercial work, and this alone is a reason to revisit the workflows for the commercial department.

Definition of a workflow

A simple definition of a workflow is the way people get work done. It is a process that completes a series of steps from a start to an end to finish the job. A workflow consists of people, systems, combinations, or other processes. The workflow can be individual or team effort. When thinking about productivity, the opportunities are in improving the workflow, not making the team members work harder or longer hours. A typical workflow in a hotel is the check-in process which involves the guest, employee, systems, and a standard operating procedure.

Fundamental workflows

There are a considerable number of workflows in commercial work in hotels. There is no way a commercial department in a hotel can design, document, and improve all workflows. The focus should be on the most fundamental workflows to attract guests and their revenue. At Demand Calendar, we base our system development on workflows and have defined over 15 major workflows to make commercial work more productive in hotels.

Attract guests (B2C)

The primary workflow to attract guests is to create and run a campaign. In our version of the workflow, there are ten tasks with about 70 subtasks. The workflow involves analytics, creative work, distribution systems, and follow-up of campaign results. Having a solid workflow will make the process faster, more accurate, and produce a higher impact. Over time, the team can improve every part of the process to produce better results based on learnings and insights from the workflow.

Contracting customers

Another workflow in sales is contracting customers, such as corporate agreements, travel agents, and tour operators. Again, tasks and subtasks performed by salespersons and system automation free time for building great relationships with customers to optimize business from each customer.

Total revenue forecasting

A third example of a workflow is total revenue forecasting. This primary workflow for the revenue manager includes tasks and subtasks performed by people and systems. Again, a well-designed workflow will help the revenue manager to forecast faster and more accurately. When the workflow is solid, top management can trust the figures and make better long-term decisions.

Improve commercial workflows

The commercial manager is responsible for designing and implementing workflows in the commercial department. This job is vital for increasing productivity in commercial work, which will immediately impact the total profit for the hotel. Start this work by defining the three to five workflows that will significantly impact the hotel's profitability.