The human factor behind process automation
by Julia Rey - 12 May, 2021
The human factor behind process automation
We are aware of the need for digital transformation, but it is the human factor that will guarantee the success of the implementation of Revenue Management technologies.
The digital transformation in Revenue Management is an undeniable fact that has been taking place in recent years in all markets and types of properties.
In addition, the crisis that the tourism sector is going through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the importance of having agile processes that allow us to know the market well and be able to respond effectively to variations in demand. Hoteliers need to be prepared and this has had a very positive impact on the automation of Revenue Management processes at all levels.
The value of automation
The evolution of the RMS on automation and dynamisation in decision making has been exponential. The clarity in management, the identification of the return on each decision and the certainty of making the best decision, at the right time, make RMSs essential tools in the daily work of an accommodation.
If this automation is added to learning about behavioural patterns and how they influence the automation rules, it is quite clear which is the path to follow in order to have a more competitive accommodation with more optimised resources.
Having tools that allow automating repetitive processes such as the collection, ordering and value of data, facilitates the incorporation of multiple sources of information that would otherwise be almost impossible to integrate into the Revenue Management cycle. Thus, the more information we obtain, the better we will know our business and our market and we will be able to make better decisions.
In the same way, when it comes to distributing information to the marketing channels, the possibility of automating the decision-making process makes it possible to make decisions more quickly and efficiently. If the Revenue Manager can focus his efforts on the dates when there is an extraordinary factor that requires a strategic review, the whole system will have a greater capacity to react in advance to changes in demand.
The importance of the human factor
On many occasions, we find that the hotel sector is reluctant to implement automation systems, as they perceive it as a threat to the preservation of jobs. However, we must always bear in mind that software does not replace a human team, but rather constitutes a work tool that allows us to optimise processes, boost the efficiency of the team and improve the profitability results of the business.
The implementation of Revenue Management technology to improve processes requires the incorporation of a trained team capable of handling this technology in the most efficient way. Coordination between the technological tools and the revenue management team is fundamental to the success of the business.
The team must know when to let the system work automatically and when to intervene, finding the perfect balance between automation and the human factor. We must let the RMS work and adapt to situations and accumulate learning in order to improve decision making. But it is also essential to be vigilant, to monitor decisions, and to intervene when necessary. Sometimes the team can perceive and adopt changes in trends more quickly than the IT systems, and the best evidence of this has been the situation in the aftermath of the pandemic, where although the RMS have adapted, they have needed a certain period of transition.
The Revenue Management Culture
Creating a Revenue Management culture means that every person in the company is aware of what they want to achieve in terms of revenue generation, and that each of them has a particular role to play in contributing to this culture. All tasks and procedures must be viewed through Revenue Management glasses, all decisions must be based on facts and data, and be increasingly strategic.
From this point of view, objectives and procedures must be established that involve all departments. The involvement of the entire team has never been as important as it is today. Roles are changing and the current paradigm makes it vital to have the human expertise and judgement to interpret data and make decisions, based on the information and knowledge provided by artificial intelligence.
In short, automation will be an essential factor in achieving excellence in Revenue Management processes, aimed at optimising business results. But it must be accompanied by a competent team that is capable of establishing and implementing the company’s global strategy, as well as supervising data-driven decision making, in the context of a corporate Revenue Management culture. It is this team that must know what to ask of an RMS in order for the combination of Revenue Manager and RMS to be optimal.