Stonebridge Companies is a privately owned hospitality management and hotel development company. Today, they look after a portfolio of more than 65 hotels across the United States. They work with brands such as Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Hyatt as well as independent properties.
When looking into new business intelligence and analytics tools, the team at Stonebridge had a clear goal: to invest in a platform that could pull, aggregate and share reliable data among all stakeholders in real time.
They wanted a system that would help them create more efficient processes, reveal new opportunities in the markets and free up revenue managers to focus on more strategic tasks.
We recently spoke with Jeff Hinkle, Associate VP, Revenue Management at Stonebridge Companies to see how well Spider ticked all these boxes.
In the past, revenue managers spent the majority of their time on non-revenue generating tasks such as pulling reports and aggregating data. While this was necessary, it left less time to analyse trends, look for new opportunities and develop appropriate strategies.
Spider makes all vital property, demand and market data available in just a few clicks. It presents everything in a clear, concise and customisable overview. This leaves them more time to identify important takeaways since they no longer spend hours creating Excel reports.
"To put it bluntly, Spiders’ live insights and automated reports have transformed the revenue manager role from being a report puller to being a strategist that actively shapes our properties’ performance."
Stonebridge and the brands it works with each have their own standards and terminology when it comes to core KPIs, market segments and revenue management practices. Reconciling these differences and aggregating fragmented data from different systems was a time-consuming process that led to missed revenue opportunities.
Spider takes over the task of collecting, unifying and displaying data from the entire portfolio. That means pick-up details and other demand trends can be identified at a single hotel, across a specific region or for the whole portfolio.
This creates new opportunities to launch or participate in marketing campaigns, host new sales initiatives and track their effectiveness in real time.
"In just a few clicks we can sort our data to reveal new demand trends as they arise. That often gives us the advantage of being the first to react to a new opportunity in the market."
Sharing performance data and aligning goals among the commercial departments used to be difficult. That resulted in sales, revenue and marketing teams often working in silos instead of collaborating.
Spider provides actionable insights for all commercial teams.
The revenue managers leverage live performance data and automated forecasting to optimise pricing and distribution decisions.
Sales staff use the platform to track corporate account production, monitor group performance and check room type availability for new requests.
Marketing teams can base new campaigns and promotions on demand trends and predicted need dates.
Even GMs benefit since the daily Snapshot email gives them a quick and comprehensive overview of their property's performance and opportunities.
"Using Spider has helped us create a solid process around business intelligence and data analytics. The platform provides our decision makers with reliable insights, so they can do their job as effectively as possible."
Stonebridge’s revenue managers look after a portfolio of at least ten hotels. That made creating and maintaining an accurate forecast for all their properties a time-consuming task. On top of that, the forecasts were only ever as good as the data and the revenue manager’s intuition they were based on.
Spider consolidates information from each hotel’s RMS and PMS to understand current OTB business and booking pace. Then it pulls live forward-looking demand and market data. All these insights go into the platform’s automated forecast. This outlook is updated automatically every time the market shifts.
For Jeff and his team, Spider has become more than a revenue management tool.
“Spider allows us to dive into a conversation about the hotel’s performance and immediately access information to support it. This has been instrumental for us since the first hotel to act on new trends and create the corresponding strategy will see the biggest benefit.”