An independent hotel management group, Symphonie Hotels Group offers a new vision of high-end hotel management in France. Four hotels make up the portfolio; the Projet Paris Notre Dame (opening September 2022), Holiday Inn Paris St Germain-des-Près, Courtyard by Marriott Boulogne and Courtyard by Marriott Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle. A sense of innovation and value is placed along with a human element, aiming to set the right tone for each hotel. Their expert team is driven by the desire to create value for their guests through dynamic environments and vibrant experiences.
We chatted to Caroline Trolliet, Cluster Director of Business Strategy at Symphony Hotels Group - where she oversees the commercial team of all four of the properties in the portfolio - to discuss her experience using Rate and Revenue Insight, and how she uses them to maximise the top line of her properties.
I have to report our daily revenue performance to our HQ, and I always need data to understand what kind of business has come in. Previously, I would spend 30 minutes or more on a daily basis looking at the different reports. With the use of Revenue Insight, it's done in five minutes. It's my daily check, and the routine is done half an hour quicker. I am able to properly challenge and understand the business that comes in on a daily basis.
It's also really easy to play with the data in a dynamic way. By clicking various filters, I can see the type of business that has been coming in over the last three, seven, or 14 days and compare it to other periods. Before we had access to this kind of data we used to have to extract it from the PMS and then analyse it, but because the tools are integrated we are able to save all that time. As a result we are able to readjust our rates quicker, and we are quicker to analyse the behaviour of the markets, as we can compare what the changes have been to the previous day to see if there has been any deviance. Importantly, we save time, which in itself is huge, and as a result we can now use it to trigger actions rather than just comparing data.
"The data itself is dynamic and allows me to save a lot of time and allows you to focus on the actions and not on collecting and checking the accuracy of the data. You then have more time to test things and learn what the impact of your actions are."
With Revenue Insight, I directly know how the corporate business is performing, which companies are booking, and which aren’t - a good alert for the sales team to trigger an action. During our weekly meeting, we will look at which kind of companies have booked over the past few weeks and gauge what the prediction is for the coming months. I can track the pace to see what my pickup is like which will give us a good idea of the trend which we can then use to implement specific actions. On the contrary, if the pickup is weaker than what we would like, we receive a clear alert and we will deep dive into our rate positioning, into even greater detail than what we would normally do on a daily basis. Once we have reviewed this, we can rethink the percentages on specific rates, advance purchases and our stay-and-save promotions, and perhaps defer them for a specific period.
I also have the ability to gather market segments and map the room types into one pool, which makes reading the data much easier. I can see rates by room types, twin beds, king beds and so on, and I can quickly filter this by room type, segmentation of the market codes, and customise it in a way we want to have the data displayed.
In Revenue Insight we can then pull reports to analyse the room type performance so that we can adjust our supplements amongst room types and see the RevPar performance for each room type. If there is something not performing well we can consider adjusting our supplements based on what we learnt from Revenue Insight The goal is to trigger actions. It's nice to see the data, but if it doesn't trigger any actions, then it's useless. One of our hotels was supposed to close for renovation in January, but at the beginning of October, we were told the work would be delayed by a month so we should reopen January sales. Thanks to Revenue Insight, I was able to evaluate how much business we might have lost due to the change of plans, without taking on further risk on the rates or other segments to recoup occupancy.
With the strategy tab in Rate Insight we look at what the supplement is for breakfast or the BB rate and has it evolved in the market over the last couple of days, or weeks? Are we still well positioned? Should we be more competitive on our BB rates? What are our compset doing over a two day period? Do they have the semi flexible rates or just non-refundable?
We know that guests prefer to have flexible cancellation conditions, but we also need to know what percentages are being offered by the competitors on their advanced purchase or semi-flexible rates. We tend to privilege the semi-flexible rather than the non-refundable rate and we may want to offer a semi flexible with a discount that will be as high as competitors non-refundable offering. By being as competitive, or even more competitive than their non-refundable, with our semi-flexible conditions we are able to capture some more market share.
"I can track the pace to see what my pickup is like which will give us a good idea of the trend which we can then use to implement specific actions."
Rate Insight really supports our daily decision making and tactics. We can see our OTB, the market OTB, as well as the OTB progression compared to a specific date. At one of our hotels, the revenue manager extracted a Rate Insight report to Excel and we were able to see by how much our occupancy has progressed compared to our competitors in the last seven days. We were also able to see an average evolution of the rates by the competitors, and that our occupancy had grown by four points more than the competitors. With that information, we could implement some yield adjustments.
Rate and Revenue Insight are easy to use and provide a great user experience, especially with the way we can play with the filters and customise the way the data is displayed. The data itself is dynamic and allows me to save a lot of time and allows you to focus on the actions and not on collecting and checking the accuracy of the data. You then have more time to test things and learn what the impact of your actions are.