The most common question in my meetings with potential and current clients. I have prepared some guides that I am sure will help you in this journey.
It is key that you begin with recommendations that transcend the RM team and have been very valuable through my career:
#1 Be the owner of your own schedule
If you start your day having a work plan and at the end of the day you realize you dedicated yourself to many other things but none of the ones you planned or if you feel that you work too much but achieve too little then it is likely you’re managing a reactive schedule. Take the lead of your schedule: define your week’s or day’s priorities and be very careful with the “schedule breakers”.
#2 Efective meetings
Stablish an effective work culture around you. When you are invited to a meeting or you set one up ask first what is its objective and make sure that the duration and participants are defined based on that. We fall many times in the standard duration of 1 hour but in many cases only half the time is needed to reach the objective. Punctuality at the beginning and end is key.
When we talk about the weekly schedule of a Revenue Manager it is always important to consider time for the following duties/responsibilities:
The analysis of results is what allow us to learn and adjust the strategy. Also known as back-casting, this process measures the incremental impact of the commercial decisions/actions comparing the “affected” period with a similar one in seasonality and market conditions.
Analysis of the booking curve and elaboration of the forecast.
The entry of reservations, also called “booking curve”, allow us to have a look at the alerts and opportunities that we have as we compare the development of our reservations this year in quantity and price against a similar period (could be last year same month or another month). If I am well above them, it could indicate me an opportunity to raise the rate and if I am well below them it will indicate me that I have to evaluate commercial actions to reactivate this period.
Coordination of structural and tactical commercial activities
It is very important to structure a tactical commercial process in which results, diagnosis and opportunities found by the commercial teams can be visible, and coordinate the tactical actions (e.g. special offers) and structural (e.g. changes in the rate grid) to implement for a continuous improvement of the results. All leaders that are involved in the generation of results should participate in this table: revenue management, sales, marketing, e-commerce, etc.
Accompaniment/supervision of yielding actions
A Revenue Manager will not have time to check the loaded strategy (prices and availability) for the next 120 or 365 days for the actives it is responsible of (hotels, planes, busses, etc.); however, it could check this for the days with a higher demand than the expected (forecast). Likewise, it is important to provide guidelines to your team for the strategy for the days with less demand.
Seasons and special dates planning
Given that seasonality is predictable, results should not take us unexpectedly let alone should we resign ourselves to get the same results than last year if we can learn of what was done right and wrong in the previous seasons and improve our strategy. A season planning taskforce will always be an investment with a very positive return.
Preparation of results report, diagnosis and perspectives
A Revenue Management team bases its autonomy on the trust it can build. In this sense, it is key to establish a weekly reporting instance to visualize results and what is behind them (in a future post I will further develop this point).
1 on 1 meeting with the team
The secret to an excellent Revenue Management is to have the best talent managing results. To refine in the best possible way those diamonds it is necessary to give the team a close accompaniment, and the design and implement of a professional development plan – for each one of your members – that builds itself upon technical knowledge and soft abilities.
I know what you are thinking: when do I do all of this? To succeed it is key to have all the support tools automatized to be able to dedicate the valuable time of the Revenue Management team to think, design and generate strategies and not prepare reports. Planning is key!
Daniela León is a founding partner of Rentabiliza, Peru’s first Revenue Management and Pricing in Perú. She has an MBA by Chilean University Adolfo Ibañez and is an economist from Peru’s Universidad del Pacífico. During her successful career, she specialized in the Revenue Management, Strategy and Commercial Management fields in organizations dedicated to the provision of services in the hotel, tourism and commercial aviation sectors.