September 23, 2013

Revenue Manager job title feels outdated? Let's light this fire, shall we? This is all debatable, of course.

I met lots of General Managers from different part of the globe, and there are still confused of what does a Revenue Manager do? Back in 2005, some USA Hotel chains initiating a different reporting line to integrate revenue management part of their decisions, some others train their General Managers on Module 1/2/3/4 in dedicated Revenue Management Academy. Surely it may work for the companies that embrace revenue management for a decade already.

There are loads of possibility that may vary from a hotel chain to a group of hotels. The opinion may range from analyzing, understanding, reporting and recommending the business strategies for a particular business unit.

So should not it be the time to evolve the current revenue manager position into a Business Analyst Role title? Savvy business analysts know that they need to define SMART requirements, and they know how to do it! SMART, in this context, stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Testable.

Like in Bank or Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Industries, the Business Analyst use their problem solving skills to define the correct, statistics requirements for the business needs. The candidate performs his/her roles while building strong relationships with its Account Managers and / or Business Development managers.

Some current revenue manager job holders, may spend only less than 60 minutes a day analyzing data and making decisions, while the rest of the time is spread over long meetings, reports printing, data inputs, availability management, room allocation, rate restriction.

Since Revenue management is a business development area, which requires people to take initiative and research the right facts through data, a revenue manager should then dedicate his time to analyze not only the rooms, but other ancillary revenues across the hotel property or the business unit that lead to a revenue generation enhancement. The Revenue manager could then handover all of his price decision to the reservation manager or the e-commerce manager.

Dreaming of a Business Analyst Role

This job title is somewhat rare in the hotel industry...A business analyst is, in simple terms, a professional who will evaluate and analyze a business and the way that it runs. The Business Analyst role could be to improve the current business, find solutions to any problems and how to implement any new developments or changes. Their main objectives are to help companies improve their efficiency, productivity and profitability.

So let's link it tentatively to the Hotel Industry by asking those questions:

  1. Which hotels enjoy to develop relationships with 250 target accounts and see only 20% of them materialize 80% of the revenues?
  2. Which hotels enjoy that its corporate clients find cheaper rates through an Online Travel Agencies ( where the hotel will end up cutting a 20-30% commission per night?
  3. Which hotels invest in a direct marketing program but does not succeed collecting guest data upon checking (Email Address target)?
  4. Which Revenue Manager like to think that they prepare over 30 reports, and notice that no one come back to them every day?
Business Analyst and Team Player Role

To succeed as a business analyst, you need to be extroverted, friendly and self-confident. You should be able to work well in teams because working with operations or sales/marketing professionals will always require you to be a good team player.

If you are the kind of person who tends to think that your idea is the best idea, you may struggle as a business analyst.

Business Analyst must Lead by example

  • While other swirl, you focus - provide an agenda and stick to it,
  • While other rush to the middle, you start at the beginning,
  • It is NOT about being the smartest person in the room,
  • It IS about being the most ENGAGED person in the room,
  • Act like you own the analysis - because you do,

Too few Revenue Managers lead by example, either due to their business environment exposure, or the type of hotels there are working for. There is always best practices on many websites, to read, or the opportunity to participate to Professional Meetings.

The future of hotel industry should merge into Business Analyst with the following skills

Good listener, quick and continuous learner, analytical skills, problem solving approach, thinking beyond the box, tech savvy, distribution system savvy. Team or people management, lead by example (requires experience), solid communication, documenting skills, team player, new solutions, market research, and financial acumen.

Happy to read anyone in the fields, please provide your comments, but avoid placing a business URL links, because your comments will not be published.


Romain Saada
RSVP Hospitality

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