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Transforming Hotel Management: 6 Essential System Features for Success

25 May 2023
Small hotel groups tend to grow organically. For example, a hotel entrepreneur opened one hotel and, after some time, stumbled upon another opportunity to open a second hotel. A few years or a decade later, the hotel entrepreneur built a small hotel group with several hotels. The management style is entrepreneurial and vital decisions are made from the top based on experience and gut feeling. As the hotel company grows, the entrepreneurial type needs to be paired with a way to effectively and efficiently manage the hotel group and all its hotels.
The first action is to decide on how to organize the company. Which functions should be centralized, and which are needed at each hotel? The guest experience delivery is a function at each hotel, while accounting and business control could become more efficient if centralized. How to organize the commercial work depends on the location, size, facilities in each hotel, market segments, and other factors. Managing the commercial work in a hotel group is the most significant decision for a hotel entrepreneur since the success of the hotel group depends on how effectively and efficiently the commercial team attracts guests and maximizes the average spend per guest. Maximizing revenue is the key to making hotels successful, so every team member in the hotel needs to contribute.
The second action is aligning the organization toward the same overall goal. Setting a vision with clear goals along the way is easy. The tricky part is to drive the organization to take actions that will make the hotel reach its goals. Aligning all team members requires managing and following up on the progress toward the goals and activities that will take the hotel closer to the goals. It is challenging to do this manually, so hotel groups need a system that will provide real-time information about the progress and performance of the hotel group. Here are a few thoughts on what functions a system should include maximizing visibility, transparency, and productivity.

Critical functions in a hotel management system

Let's start with a list of functions that an effective management system for a growing hotel group should include. Remember, these systems aim to streamline operations, improve communication, increase efficiency, and ultimately enhance the guest experience. Here are some of the critical functions.
Goal Setting and Tracking: A robust hotel management system should include functionality for setting, tracking, and managing long-term strategic and short-term operational targets for the business. This could involve creating a dashboard where senior management can set goals for individual departments, properties, or the hotel group as a whole. Progress toward these goals should be updated in real-time and visible to all relevant personnel. This can help ensure everyone in the organization is aligned and working towards the same objectives.
Beyond just setting and tracking goals, the system should allow for the breakdown of larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks that can be assigned to specific teams or individuals. Each task should come with defined timelines and performance metrics, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability. Moreover, these goals should be adjustable to accommodate changing business environments or strategies.

Follow-up Mechanisms: The system should incorporate automated follow-ups and reminders to ensure progress on the set goals. This could be in the form of automated emails, notifications, or prompts within the system itself. The system could also generate regular performance reports for review and discussion, enabling quick corrective actions if necessary.

In addition to automated follow-ups and reminders, the system could utilize machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in progress toward goals. These insights can predict potential issues or delays, prompting preemptive actions to keep the project on track. Furthermore, there should be functionality for peer-to-peer recognition, encouraging team members to acknowledge each other's contributions toward goal attainment.

Real-time Reporting and Analytics: The system should provide real-time reports on critical metrics and KPIs to help track performance and make informed decisions. It should allow for tracking revenue, occupancy rates, average daily rates (ADR), RevPAR, and other metrics important for each hotel and across the entire group of hotels.

While tracking standard hotel metrics, the system should also offer customizable report generation. This allows different teams to monitor metrics specific to their roles and objectives. Furthermore, the system should integrate predictive analytics capabilities, helping to identify trends and make future projections based on historical data.

Revenue Management and Forecasting: On the revenue management side, the system should include a robust forecasting module capable of predicting not only room revenues (based on factors like historical data, booking trends, market conditions, etc.) but also revenues from other sources like food and beverage, spa services, events, etc. This is often called Total Revenue Management (TRM). By taking a holistic view of all revenue streams, hoteliers can make more informed decisions about pricing, promotions, and overall business strategy.

In addition to forecasting revenue streams, the system should also predict demand fluctuations and assist in yield management, i.e., adjusting prices based on expected demand. The system should also enable scenario analysis, allowing managers to understand the potential impact of different business decisions or market conditions on revenues.

Sales Management: The system should facilitate sales performance tracking and provide tools for improved customer relationship management (CRM). These could include detailed client profiles, previous interaction histories, and personalized outreach capabilities. Additionally, the system should integrate contract and rate management tools, especially for corporate clients and travel agencies, keeping track of negotiated rates and contract expiration dates. Finally, lead management tools, including lead scoring and tracking, would further enhance sales efficiency.

Marketing Analytics: The system should facilitate segmenting and targeting potential customers, managing promotional campaigns, tracking leads, and measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Beyond essential campaign management and tracking, the system should offer advanced analytics, enabling hotels to understand the customer journey and guest spending to identify successful marketing tactics. Moreover, it should provide insights into customer demographics and behavior, helping to inform future marketing strategies and drive customer engagement.
A comprehensive management system covering these functionalities will ensure effective management and transparency across all departments and enhance the guest experience, ultimately leading to higher profitability for the hotel group.

Demand Calendar - a hotel management system

Demand Calendar has most of the functions described above and is a management system for top management to drive the hotel group toward its vision and goals. In addition, top management can use Demand Calendar to connect all revenue-generating departments, such as the commercial team, food & beverage, meetings & events, spa, and other departments.
The hotel industry is constantly evolving with new needs for system support to become more productive in acquiring revenue to maximize profits. At Demand Calendar, we continuously work closely with our customers to develop new functions that will support them on their way to reaching their goals. The latest addition to Demand Calendar is total revenue management with new dashboards and reports. In addition, the comprehensive Customer Acquisition Cost module will help hotels focus on the profit contribution instead of only top-line revenue.