Company insight

Stay on track of demand and ready for the future

Revenue management has always been an integral part of hotel operations, but the pandemic has placed even greater pressure on financiers to predict and respond to rapid changes in demand. With more data than ever at their disposal, hoteliers need to use this information astutely to account for long and short-term financial fluctuations. Stefan Schlachter, account manager at IDeaS, explains how the company’s revenue management solutions can help with staff planning and hotel operation budgeting.

In what year was IDeaS (Integrated Decisions and Systems) founded, and what products and services does the company specialise in? Stefan Schlachter: IDeaS was founded in 1989 to provide revenue management solutions for the airline industry in Minneapolis, where the company is still headquartered.

on the industry than 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis.

Closed hotels, lockdowns and sudden surges in demand have all been major challenges for the hospitality industry. This is especially true for revenue managers, who are still trying to make sense of the situation, find patterns on their Excel files and execute pricing

“IDeaS prices more than 2.4 million rooms in 143 countries, driving more than 1,000 decisions per minute.”

Today, IDeaS offers a range of revenue management and business intelligence products, mainly for the hotel industry. The company’s services stretch from easy-to-use, entry-level systems aimed at smaller hotels to full solutions for larger hotel groups and global hospitality chains. IDeaS prices more than 2.4 million rooms in 143 countries, driving more than 1,000 decisions per minute. Since 2008, IDeaS has been part of SAS – a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for data science and machine learning platforms. The company has offices in North and South America, the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia, with more than 450 employees in total.

What effect has the pandemic had on the role of the hotel revenue manager or financial planner? Covid-19 has redefined how hotels operate. The pandemic is the most disruptive event we have witnessed in a long time, with an even greater impact


decisions based on gut feeling in the absence of reliable facts and forecasts. IDeaS provides a clear vision of what demand to expect, helping with staff planning and hotel operation budgeting.

Hotel revenue management systems (RMS) have fundamentally altered how hotels and hospitality ventures operate. What key factors account for the uptake in RMS?

Hotels have understood that their beds are perishable goods and maximum revenue per available room (REVPar) i s the best way to optimise return on investment. Traditional pricing points such as low/high season or weekend/ weekday are no longer good enough to optimise pricing.

Hotels have a wealth of information at their fingertips, from both internal and external sources. However, the key to success is to look at the relevant data only and forecast demand type every day, or even multiple times each day.

IDeaS G3 RMS allows hotels to even optimise their pricing by room-type demand and to overbook by room type. External factors such as competition pricing and reputation are taken into consideration and add to the granularity of the pricing decisions.

How can IDeaS revenue

management solutions help hotels better keep track of their finances? IDeaS is dedicated to total revenue management, where it is not only RevPAR that matters but also keeping control of distribution cost rules. Once meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) travel returns, IDeaS G3 RMS can evaluate group business against transient, helping revenue managers and group departments to understand the total financial impact of an event, including food and beverages, meeting room hire and ancillary revenue against transient revenue displacement. IDeaS G3 RMS can compare the cost of sales by keeping track of commission and channel cost while observing rate parity.

The ability to anticipate economic changes and financial fluctuations is a key component of financial planning. How can IDeaS help hotels plan for future scenarios? With IDeaS Optix for G3 RMS, financial planners can visualise business intelligence across multiple properties. Forecasting and pricing on IDeaS can compare budgets such as room revenue with present data and future forecasting for 365 days in advance, helping to control current budgets and build plans for the future.

Hotel Management International /

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