There are many different pricing solutions out there, most of which are off-the-shelf systems. A few of these solutions can produce great results, and they all focus on evaluating demand and setting the right price. They are also all very expensive. Some teams are attempting to introduce new data into pricing decisions and optimization, highlighting the efforts to evolve traditional revenue management. So where is the problem?
These solutions don’t fit the needs of a lot of hotels in the market. There are many hotels that are simply not ready to use ultra-advanced pricing systems, possibly due to current lack of bench strength, maybe simply lack of capital, possibly due to other reasons. I have personally stepped into organizations that actually had a system installed and discovered it was not even being used. There are many hotels that in fact might not ever install one of those systems. Important note: That does not mean they do not need help improving their pricing.
Regardless which solution a hotel uses, all benefit from improved pricing. All the big box hotels constantly effort to improve this process… trust me. Sales and marketing are critical to nearly all hotels’ success… yet absolutely nothing trumps the power of pricing.
So which pricing solution is right for your hotel?
To answer that, I’ll ask another question: On a scale of ‘1’ through ‘10’ (1 being non-existent and 10 being expert) where would you rank your hotel’s revenue management strength? If you were about to answer 8, 9, or 10 then by all means go buy an expensive solution and I sincerely wish you the very best. If the number 1, 2 or 3 just popped into your head there is no doubt you are not ready for an off-the-shelf ultra-advanced system.
Ask yourself some additional questions. When evaluating a system that looks great because it offers 17 really cool features, how much ‘bandwidth’ is dedicated to the actual pricing? If the pricing logic is flawed or naïve, the impact will bleed into all the fancy features and you will no doubt leave money on the table… more than you think.
The right pricing solution for your hotel is the one that meets your needs. My advice is take a look around, make sure you understand all your options and get what you actually need… no more, no less. If you simply need help ensuring your price is competitive, moving in the right direction at the right time, and not missing opportunity then you likely do not need an overly expensive off-the-shelf system. Fortunately, there are some great options that produce excellent results.
All the best in your efforts… and mind the gap along the way!
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