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The Changing Role of the Revenue Manager – What Century is This?

What exactly is the role of the Revenue Manager today?  Tactician?  Strategist?  Mediator?  Leader? Innovator?  Software Expert?  The truth is that today, ideally, the Revenue Manager has to be “all of the above”.  He or she has to be an Excel guru, as well as be able to master complex business intelligence tools.  They have to be Demand Managers and Demand Creators.  They have to stand up to the juggernaut of Marketing & Sales (sell the dream…service the nightmare)…and speak their mind to multiple stakeholders at all levels…hotel, corporate, third party, asset, and ownership.  Yes, the role of the revenue manager is ever evolving.  It is not enough today to be a good tactician.  It’s not even enough to be a good traditional revenue manager.  Today’s complex markets and rapidly changing consumer buying behavior challenge the revenue manager to wear many hats.


The Business Intelligence Boom – Where is this Leading & Who Must Come to the Rescue?

As a revenue management specialist I am constantly reevaluating data sources and data sets.  Long gone are the days of relying solely on market share reports, competitive rate shopping tools, and internal metrics to gauge performance and guide decision-making.  Today, strategic oversight of the revenue management effort involves complex data sets from a multitude of sources.  And to make sense of this “big data” end users must take a highly structured and efficient approach to data gathering with the aim of interpreting and presenting this data in a clear and concise manner. Read More.


How Effective is Your Revenue Meeting?
It’s Wednesday morning, 10 am the boardroom’s booked, the report packages are ready…the “usual suspects” enter the room to participate in this week’s revenue management meeting. The revenue manager has prepared the latest pick-up report, updated the rate shopping data, downloaded the STAR report and killed a few trees photo-copying the lot. Read More

Market Trends for Hotel Revenue Management
Hotelier Magazine – August 2013

There is so much going on in the revenue management discipline that I can’t keep up with the pace of change. And this is what I do for living. So how can a hotel, a resort, a management company – possibly keep pace with transformations that have such an extraordinary impact on their businesses? Read More

Total Revenue Management in the Year 2020 – A Futuristic View of Optimal Profitability
Hospitality Upgrade Article – April 2013

Everything evolves. Eventually, processes…procedures…practices…move to that next level – to that next elevation of innovation. Sometimes this movement is mind-boggling – like the biobot…a tiny hydrogel robot produced by a 3-D printer that is small enough to crawl through the body wired with living neurons that detect toxins and then treat the disease. What??? Are you kidding me?? Actually, no I’m not. This technology is on the horizon. Read More

Seeking a New Generation of Revenue Managers
HotelNewsNow Global Insights – February 2013

We created the first generation of revenue managers in what seems like a billion years ago.  These individuals were often reservation supervisors or managers, artificially extracted from their reservation environments (or simply handed the additional workload) and given the title of Revenue Manager. Some succeeded, many did not…read more.


Is Your Revenue Manager a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Generation Revenue Management Professional? – July 2012

Today, consumer buying behavior is evolving so rapidly Revenue Managers must feel like they are trying “to shoe a horse on a dead run”.  Not to mention that technology is more complex, distribution options multiply day by day and business intelligence reports are seemingly limitless.  How does a revenue management professional keep pace with this change and the associated complexities?…read more.


Starting Down the Road to Total Revenue Management
HSMAI Knowledge Center – May 2012

For many hotels the road to total revenue management (Total RM) represents a journey already begun; for others it truly is about starting.  But the commitment to change is slow and plodding, and there is not yet consensus on just what the best “route” to take might be.  In this article we explore the necessary components of a total RM strategy.  And these components include everything from the job description of a revenue manager to the structure of a financial statement…read more.


Revenue Management as a Multi-Disciplinary Business Process, Part 2
Journal of Hospitality Financial Management – November 2011

There are three primary forecasting methodologies used in hospitality – Occupancy, Revenue & Demand. The first two represent constrained forecasts; the last one represents unconstrained forecasting. These three types of forecasts are distinctly different and have very different orientations – respectively they are operational, financial and strategic…read more.


Revenue Management as a Multi-Disciplinary Business Process, Part 1
Journal of Hospitality Financial Management – July 2011

In today’s volatile markets, with consumer buying behavior evolving rapidly, rudimentary revenue management practices are no longer sufficient. Even those hotels that practice sophisticated tactical revenue management are no match for complex demand patterns. Optimal demand management is achieved only with a totally holistic approach to the discipline…read more.


Revenue Management: Social Media’s Impact
HotelNewsNow – May 2011

No matter where I turn today, whether it’s a conversation with a colleague, friend, or family member…or a story in the traditional press…or a revolution in a distant country…social media is at the forefront. I know that for my teenage niece, email is dead. And for my twenty-something nephew, catch him on Facebook or don’t catch him…along with 500+ million other people in the world. And if I wanted to follow the Masters in Augusta last month, Twitter was a good bet. But how is all of this commotion and online chatter impacting hotels? And more importantly…how is it impacting hoteliers’ ability to optimize demand? The answer is: a great deal. So, enter stage left…the revenue manager whose task today is significantly more more.


Thrive vs. Survive – Six Key Steps for Dealing with Price Wars
InnFocus Magazine – Spring 2011

In November 2010, I was honoured to be invited to speak at the BC Hospitality Conference. As I walked into the meeting room I was delighted to see so many familiar faces, and it was a special treat to be at the Fairmont Waterfront – my old stomping grounds.

As fate would have it, my presentation was all about dealing with price wars – clearly the nemesis of many hoteliers during a recession.  Although the economic environment is far worse south of the border, BC hoteliers still have their hands full with aggressive and often predatory pricing…read more.


Best Practices for Dealing With Price Wars – February 2011

Recently I was driving to a client’s and had occasion to listen to NPR (National Public Radio).  The program featured a speech by Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense.  He commented that he’d worked for 8 different presidents, and when a situation elevated to the President’s office there were no good solutions.  If there had been, someone would have thought of it already and taken credit for it.  No…if a problem reaches the President, all that can be done is choose the least damaging of an array of difficult solutions.

So you ask…what does this have to do with price wars in the hospitality industry?  Simply put, when you’re in the heat of battle in a difficult market, there are no perfect, silver bullet solutions…but there are options far less damaging than fighting the battle with price alone…read more.

Revenue Management for the Great Outdoors – Alberta Hospitality – Fall 2010

How does revenue management for campsites and motels differ from revenue management for hotels? The fact of the matter is that it does not. Motels and campsites have the same characteristics as hotels, where the practice of revenue management (RM) is so valuable. That is, all three have perishable inventories, fixed capacity, and fluctuating demand. The principles of revenue management remain the same – leverage existing demand to optimize revenue and the bottom line…read more.


Impact of Social Media – Is Your Revenue Management Effort Ready?
HotelNewsNow – July 2010

I recently attended two conferences in Orlando – HSMAI’s “Revenue Management & Internet Marketing Strategy Conference” and HFTP’s annual HITEC.  At both events a plethora of interesting topics was offered in the programming. But of all the subjects explored, and all the new technology innovations revealed, I was struck by the extent to which social media commanded center stage.  Even breakout sessions that weren’t about social media seem to veer in that direction, as if a strong, invisible magnet was pulling the conversations along. So how do we translate this seemingly boundless dialogue into sage advice? What is the consumer telling us that we need to act upon now?…read more.


Tap Into the Hidden Revenue in Your Room Inventory
Hotel & Motel Management – February 2010

As a Revenue Management consultant I’m barraged with questions about how to handle price wars and imprudent competitive pricing tactics. Strategically changing business mix and tactically “doing the math” before resorting to price reductions is always my recommendation. But regardless of this advice…and that of practically every expert in our industry…price wars prevail in virtually every market…read more.


How to choose the right RMS
HotelNewsNow – February 2010

Regardless of the state of the economy, revenue is top of mind for all hoteliers. Revenue-management systems can be a valuable key to unlocking greater performance, but there are a number of considerations before a system is installed…read more.


The great revenue-management debate
HotelNewsNow – January 2010

As rates continued their downward plunge during the middle of last year, market share versus profit quickly became a hot topic of debate…read more.


5 questions every revenue manager should be asking
HotelNewsNow – January 2010

While presenting at the Hospitality Leadership Forum in early November, Mark Lomanno, president of research firm Smith Travel Research, made a statement ominous enough to send chills up the spines of revenue managers everywhere…read more.


Market share vs. profits-an oxymoron
HotelNewsNow – January 2010

Webster’s Dictionary defines “oxymoron” as “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words.” And recent comments by some industry experts suggest the following two statements are mutually exclusive…read more.


Revenue management meets social media
HotelNewsNow – December 2009

Do you ever contemplate the dizzying catalog of online travel agencies and deal aggregation sites and throw up your hands up at the very prospect of getting a handle on the whole thing?…read more.


Upsell: Capitalize on the most profitable incremental revenue
HotelNewsNow – September 2009

During these difficult economic times, we continue to see price wars in almost every market, even though reputable studies show discounting doesn’t increase volume as much as it decreases revenue…read more.


Winning the price war ‘Part 1’
HotelNewsNow – May 2009

During the past 12 weeks, I’ve worked with hotels in 11 different cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. City after city, the question remained the same: “What do I do when my competitor keeps dropping price?”…read more.


Rate resistance, so now what? ‘Part 2’
HotelNewsNow – May 2009

OK . let’s say you’ve tested for rate resistance, and it’s there. And you’ve had success with adding value and well-fenced promotional specials. But you’re running out of options. Now what?…read more.


Total revenue management and the downturn
HotelNewsNow – December 2008

In the past eight weeks, I’ve spoken at three different conferences as well as a widely broadcasted Webinar. At every event, I’ve been asked: as a revenue management consultant what would I recommend to deal with the current economic downturn?…read more.


Revenue Management – A business process approach
Alberta Hospitality – 2008

As hoteliers, we all practice some form of revenue management on a daily basis. We know that in our business of high fixed costs and low variable costs, the key to profit optimization is leveraging revenue opportunities at all levels of demand…read more.


Dynamic Pricing – Friend or Foe?
ACTE – Association of Corporate Travel Executives – White Paper 2007

Dynamic Pricing is becoming more prevalent in today’s hospitality industry. Whether it is welcomed, tolerated or rejected, varies by organization. There appear to be differences of opinion on everything from the definition of Last Room Availability to the applications of the various elements of dynamic pricing. One thing all interested groups can agree on is that dynamic pricing is being introduced, to a greater or lesser degree, into the corporate, contracted hospitality industry and that there are diverse opinions concerning this strategy…read more.


Ready for RMS? Knowing When a Revenue Management System is Right for Your Property
The Bottomline – June 2007

It’s been almost a year since I shared the stage with three esteemed colleagues at HITEC 2006 and talked about the challenges of acquiring a Revenue Management System (RMS). Since then, although I’ve had innumerable discussions with clients about RMS acquisition strategies, the number one question remains: “How do I know when I’m ready?” You would think the central focus might be on system functionality or integration issues; or implementation and support; or on the vendor’s background and list of clients. But these questions take a back seat to the fundamental question of knowing when you’re ready for an RMS…read more.


Market Share Forecasting – A valuable exercise or not?
Hotel & Motel Management – February 2007

Regardless of our 24/7 mentality.there are only so many productive hours in a day. So if I’m going to advocate yet another Revenue Management process, I’d better have a good reason…read more.


Top five “Must Dos” to raise room profitability
Hotel Online – June 2005

The industry is in a healthy recovery. Nevertheless, you might find yourself asking, “The hotel market is finally booming; so why is everyone’s revenue up but mine?”…read more.


Strategic Pricing – New rules for an age-old game
InnFocus – Spring 2005

I once worked for a General Manager who would frequently comment that “nothing has changed in the hotel industry since there was no room at the Inn in Bethlehem”…read more.


Solving the mysteries of market indexes
Hotel & Motel Management – January 2004

In this day and age we have access to an extraordinary amount of market intelligence. However, the reality is that although we have this information, it does not mean that we understand it or are able to interpret it…read more.