Thinking about how within a few years, we have seen autonomous driving rise, it is only a matter of time until all cars will drive powered by AI.
And of course, this will render the profession of a driver obsolete.
Is the Revenue Manager the driver?
First of all, let’s define what Revenue Management means.
Robert Cross defined Revenue Management as driving “bottom-line increases through top-line improvements.”
For me, Revenue Management is about impact. It is about how to deploy resources in a way to achieve the highest possible return in revenue with the ultimate goal of increasing bottom-line profitability.
Yield management is certainly a key part of Revenue Management and implementing a successful rate strategy is key to great results.
But increasing or decreasing prices is not revenue management. Hotels which practice it this way will be outperformed by the competition, Revenue Managers who only manage their prices will indeed become obsolete. A great RMS is already doing a better job today.
That said, the best RMS is only as good as it’s configuration and maintenance.
I have worked with the same RMS across different hotels and in some, it performed really well, in others it was mediocre at best.
Because it was not well maintained, the data was not clean and things like rate plans and market segmentation not used effectively.
It is within the responsibility of a Revenue Manager to ensure the data makes sense and the hotel’s setup allows a better understanding of the business in order to improve results.
#AI will certainly help to achieve this and to continuously better understand the business.
But someone needs to control the data we feed the systems.
Someone needs to drive improvements on channels, website, processes, systems, etc.
Someone needs to think outside the box and do things differently from the rest of the market. That’s how we can differentiate from the competition.
A Revenue Manager also needs to drive Revenue Management Culture within the hotel organization.
Because Revenue Management does not stop with the Revenue Manager.
Revenue Management needs to be an integral part of all hotel operations.
Only this way will we achieve the highest impact.
And as I said before, impact is what Revenue Management is all about.
So to answer my initial questions, are Revenue Managers the drivers who will become obsolete?
I would say no.
Revenue Managers are more like the engineers developing autonomous vehicles.
Or in other words, Revenue Managers will not be replaced by AI.
They will control it!