7 ultimate reasons why you should invest in a Hotel Channel Manager
August 3, 2017 Aparna Desai
Before we begin the dissection of a channel manager, let us dig in why the tool comes into picture. The hotel channel management has become a buzzword in industry and we have been talking about it since quite a long time now. In the pursuit of connecting with more and more booking sources; you as a hotelier associate with several channels or 3rd party booking platforms that increase your exposure and bring you bookings. Sooner or later, performing such a time and energy consuming task might leave you all worked up and you might start looking for solutions that can automate and effectivize it for you.
Well, for some of your fellow hoteliers; this still might not be a reason powerful enough to invest in a tool called channel manager. If you too are looking for a compelling conviction on why to invest in leading edge distribution automation technology, read on:
Hotelier and Channel Manager: The connection
Room availability and rates; these are prime factors that govern the ROI of your hotel business. You are well aware that managing an optimum level of rates and occupancy is sheer essentiality; and it falls completely under your span of control. Not to forget that this is a continuous process (a full time job for those who perform it manually) to be followed day in and day out at any accommodation.
If front-desk software is heart of hotel to manage operations, channel manager is the brain that gets the rooms booked.
Therefore, it is indispensable to evaluate amount of efforts, time, energy and payroll that are dedicated to maintain them manually. Just imagine, what if you can automate this process and get rid of manual operations? Wouldn’t it be a giant relief? Hence, for you to get a channel manager and ease up, we have accumulated top “7 reasons as to why to invest in a Hotel Channel Manager”.
1. Easily add new booking channels for your hotel. The more the better!
Multi-channel booking strategy is what works best in any season. A hotelier following this does not have to depend on limited booking sources. The more sources that bring you booking, the better and safer it is for your business. Implementing a channel manager at your property gives you access to hundreds of connected channels. A channel manager bridges your property with all those booking platforms, displays your inventory to crowds of bookers looking for accommodation in your city and brings you paid bookings. Moreover, being connected to online platforms has more advantages such as,
- Higher distribution reach,
- Demand generation,
- Higher ROI,
- Variety of booking sources,
- And, get seen by regional as well as global bookers.
2. Single dashboard for strategic inventory and rate management
Tiresome inventory management becomes hassle free once you deploy a channel manager to do that. Moreover,
- You get a single dashboard that gives you an insightful overview of availability and rates distributed on all connected channels.
- Minimized human intervention with system to push and pull data. You can post and manage precise room rates and inventory allocation with minimum efforts.
- You can send out pooled inventory to channels to acquire maximum bookings from any channel, without worrying about overbookings.
- Your room rates and availability are always in sync and latest to the moment across all channels, so that your staff does not need to sit and pass on inventory refill and updates.
- You can post restrictions and inclusions; while processing new, modified and cancelled reservations centrally.
- Rates on different OTAs, vacation rental portals, metasearch platforms and even your own website; manage it from one-place.
- You can manage multiple properties too.
Everything automated. Just send a command and system does it for you. Instead of manual operations, you can focus and strategize better distribution.
3. Time saving automation with even 365 days calendar update
Without a software, inventory and rate distribution across channels is a do-it-yourself task for you. You might miss something, and it can cause errors, double bookings, wrong or delayed updates and a lot many unpredictable mistakes. Duh! And then comes correction part, consuming more of your time. You might lose track of updates. You might never realize if your sent update was never executed at OTA end. What a sad life, isn’t it?
Did you know?
A right Channel Manager can save a couple of hours of manual rates and inventory updates everyday. Think about what would you do with that saved time!
Now think of a channel manager that can magically take all this of your pain away. Yes, a channel manager would not make humanly(!) mistakes or errors, maintain update logs, keep control on overbookings, keep inventory and rates always latest and synced, and notify you of updates communicated to OTA. Take a sigh of relief, I know you are getting a Channel Manager for your hotel now.
Moreover, you can update calendar even for an entire year if you want on channels that support it, in just a click. Let the system take care of rate updates and while you sit back and enjoy your time conversing with a guest or two.
4. Quick stop sale and auto-updates. Do more with lesser efforts
Imagine a sticky situation when suddenly a group demands bookings and you need to use up inventory that is currently allocated to and live on a given travel site. I know there remains a sense of fear while stopping the sale manually. So many to-and-fro operations might overwhelm you. This is when a system like channel manager comes to your rescue.
If you are sending room rates and occupancy details too frequently; you might as well need to ask a particular channel to stop selling a certain part of your inventory. Later on you might release inventory. All you have to do is click on stop sale button and system will automatically put a halt to online sale of your inventory on a that channel. Not only saving you repeated efforts, it also prevents revenue loss you might suffer due to this errors.
Just a channel manager and there you go….No more mismatching inventory, no more revenue leakage, no more delay, no more overbooking. All you have is swift and simple distribution with real time updates at remarkably reduced manual efforts!
5. Minimize over bookings and under-bookings. Utilize complete inventory!
A channel manager comes up with several built-in mechanisms that help you effectively prevent overbookings and under-bookings. Sometimes, you might end up receiving more bookings than your physical capacity, and bingo! your inventory is oversold.
On the other hand, due to uneven distribution, possibly you might not be using inventory to the fullest capacity, that is, under-bookings! Without a channel manager when you go out to resolve this, it can prove to be the toughest job ever.
Just some human or technical errors might cost your hotel loss of reputation, decreased customer loyalty and much more. At such times, channel manager keeps on trying in back-end multiple times until a request sent to OTA is not successful in order to save you from overselling. And it notifies you as well with execution status. So, you need to have that channel manager because you know you cannot afford to sit and keep a tab on updates communicated to OTAs and their statuses.
6. Effortless rate parity maintenance
It can be tricky when you see your demand increased and your want to make the most of it. Might as well you want to give out rooms on discounted rates to your guests, which becomes easy as a pie with a distribution tool.
Channel manager systems are developed to automatically maintain efficient rates to ensure that any changes you make on system are unanimously updated across all platforms in real-time, leaving no room for errors. Thus, you can avoid rate disparity and enhance your hotel’s online reputation.
7. Yield Management features for skyrocketing efficiency
More than just a number Best Available Rate (BAR) is a way to achieve optimal revenue. It’s a brainstorming task to set up a dynamic rate plans and derive the most suitable room price of the day.
It is possible! Based on current occupancy at your property, channel manager intelligence can set up rates that optimize hotel’s ROI.
If you have a channel manager, it can help you sell right room at right price at right time; that too, automatically. Owing to high/low occupancy at your property, system will hike up or slash down room rates to sell each and every room for you. Sounds like a smart idea to increase bookings? That’s the most effective yield management.
Done, there you go! Now that you have assimilated the top reason why you should get a channel manager, there is one more thing you should know about. Before you begin evaluating an online distribution tool for your property, do keep in mind these points.
- Channel manager should give you connection with your already existing booking channels.
- Channel manager provider should be able to quickly connect you with channel of your choice so that you can broaden your reach.
- How about foreign currency conversions in system?
- It should integrate with systems that you use at your property. For example, it should integrate with a hotel PMS or booking engine, so that you operate on a live inventory at any given time.
Final takeaway: The good, The better, the best
Without a channel manager,
- Every morning you rush to update all calendars with live rates and latest occupancy.
- You keep worrying about overbookings or missed bookings.
- You repeat those same time consuming tasks every day.
- You might lose that potential revenue you could’ve earned otherwise.
With a channel manager, you can
- Enjoy your morning coffee while interacting with your guests.
- Leave front desk and take a vacation too. You have a channel manager on mobile to check and update rates if and when you wish to.
- Automate recurring operations to save time and money and master productivity.
- Earn higher ROI with no revenue leakage.
Because you have the tech way to manage it.
Decide now, how do you wish to spend the rest of your life as a hotelier? With or without a channel manager?