Hotels Revenue Management | Action Logging
If you’re new to hotels revenue management or a seasoned professional, you can benefit from the action logging technique. In today’s fast-paced world of hotels revenue management, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the demands of the market, hotel constraints, technology partners, marketing actions and management demands.
In this post, I’ll explain the action logging technique, when you can use it, how it can work for you, along with some examples of bad and excellent capture methods.
XML activity logs built into channel managers & hotel revenue management tools are exceptional at keeping track of actions put through them, but they have a problem. They don’t reveal the real reasons and related marketing actions that accompany hotels revenue management decisions.
The truth is action logging in hotels revenue management gives more context to logged action. As a result it can keep situations fluid, calm and collected.
When gauging hotel performance, the vast majority of managers opt for historical comparisons, meaning results are either higher, the same or lower than the same period last year. But, a question leads to more questions such as; why is it happening? How can we repeat it? How can we prevent it? What marketing actions were taken? So, how can you ensure you can answer any question that comes up? With a good action log structure and capture method.
Before we get into the structure and capture methods, let’s take a look at some common action types in hotels revenue management.
Common action types in hotels revenue management:
- Rate increases / decreases.
- Minimum stay changes across the board.
- Minimum stay changes – room type specific.
- Closeouts / stop sales.
- Stop sales that are room type specific.
- Special-offers with various restrictions.
- Availability changes across the board or room type-specific.
With the common action types identified, let’s see what makes a good action log structure.
7 Tips for a good action log structure
- Action Type – It’s important to know what type of action was carried out.
- Date Decided – What date was the action decided.
- Period Applied to – What period was the action applied?
- Room Types Applied to – What room types did the action concern? Perhaps you were only trying to push your suites?
- Description – Unfortunately, blame comes up more often than not in hotels revenue management. Here is where you log specific reasons why. Try and capture what the thinking was at that time. Make sure its concise and can be understood. Short, sharp statements are best.
- Marketing – Capture the marketing actions. Perhaps it was a last minute push on social media, an e-mail campaign, loyalty campaign, an external partner was involved. Again, make sure you are clear and concise.
- Approved by – Who approved the action, goes hand in hand with the description.
With a good structure, lets take a look at a simple scenario where the action logging techique helps.
How can the action logging technique help?
Let’s look at a simple scenario.
A hotel manager asks a hotel revenue management officer (could be a revenue manager, internet sales manager, eCommerce executive, yield manager, titles vary by hotel):
Why did YOU remove a special offer for a specific period, when we still have lots of availability? who told you to do that?
Reaction without an action log:
Without any reference notes, it would be challenging to defend the action taken, especially if you made it without approval.
Speed is everything in hotels revenue management and it doesn’t always allow for “time for approval”, to stay competitive and keep driving revenue, changes must apply immediatley. Of course, this answer can be interpretted as an excuse for not getting approval.
Without a definite answer, the situation has the potential to become a time-wasting rabbit hole for everyone involved, boost management frustration and drive concerns over efficiency.
Reaction with an action log:
A quick check of the hotels revenue management action log will reveal all:
- Action Type – Special Offer Change – 20% Early Booking
- Date Decided – 01/01/2018
- Period Applied to – 01/03/2018 – 08/03/2018
- Room Types Applied to – All room types
- Description – Large group confirmed, availability now limited for that period.
- Marketing – No marketing actions accompanied this action.
- Approved by – Revenue Manager & Front Office Manager. Manager in back to back meetings.
A quick check of the hotels revenue management action log reveals that availability was limited due to a confirmed group, so the offer was removed to maximise revenue on the remaining rooms. Now the manager is saying you have availability, this means, the group may have cancelled and the front office manager didn’t inform you. Meaning, the offer should be placed back online.
As far as you were aware, the group was confirmed. If the group cancelled, the front office manager should have informed you immediately to take action.
It serves as a strong position to discuss and move forward. Most importantly it gets to the point quickly and avoids time wasting rabbit holes and unnecessary stress.
Excellent and Bad Examples of hotel revenue management action logging:
Here are a couple of examples of well-documented actions that will help give more context to hotels revenue management decisions.
Room type is out of order due to a broken pipe.
- Bad recording: Room type B closed on all channels.
- Excellent recording: Room type is out of order due to a broken pipe. Full close out applied across all channels. Approved by manager name.
- Notes: The excellent recording provides the reason and the approver.
Rooms are selling fast, increase rates to maximise revenue.
- Bad recording: Rates increased by x% for period a.
- Excellent recording: Rates increased for period a by x%, special offer removed because rooms were selling fast. Alternatively, price scheme switched from x to y for period a. Special offer x% off disabled. Last minute social media marketing applied. Approved by manager name.
Over time, the hotel revenue management action log builds up to reveal manager trends, pace and lots of other useful insights.
3 Top Tips for hotels revenue management action logging success.
- Make sure you document all hotels revenue management actions.
- Get into the habit of documenting specific reasons around actions at the same time; otherwise, you will forget!
- Include relevant marketing actions that supported the action.
- Track actions against a particular hotel rate plan. Have a look at the MyRatesMagic® features.
As marketing & hotels revenue management continue to blend, it’s essential that the log include any supportive marketing actions. It will help provide management with a solid picture of revenue & marketing combined actions.
Hotels revenue management action logging is an excellent habit to get into because it aids in more precise management decisions. As a result more efficient management decisions mean less time spent on time-consuming rabbit holes. Furthermore, hotel managers gain access to new and exciting insights, for example, revenue actions, marketing actions, management approval, offer changes, all compared to the same period last year.
Using this technique, revenue managers will discover they have all the answers, to even the most obsqure questions.
To your successful distribution,