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April 23, 2009

Real Time Reporting Solutions: Hospitality

By TMCnet Special Guest
Dan Boehm, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Managing your business or department through key performance objectives is a challenge given different sources of information and varying metrics. The challenge is even greater when the metrics are diversified due to the different objectives being monitored. Therefore, each department executive needs to have a customized summary performance report based upon their own metrics.
The real time summary reports are gathered from different sources of data, consolidated, manipulated and sent on a regular basis to the varying stakeholders. This process is automated, were it not it would take manpower and time and often lead to delayed decision making. Many times given the complexity of gathering the data it would not be accomplished at all. In an Automated Real Time Reporting Solution environment corrective actions are made rather than reactive management of the department’s challenges.
Often data is collected from different data sources and manually combined to generate a single view of the department or corporate performance. The value of these views is understood, however, when pressed for time these reports are not always created, mistakes can be made, and decisions are delayed while waiting on an up to date performance report. 
An Automated Real Time Reporting Solution will address the challenges met by decision makers, managers and agents when determining their current performance level. With dashboards, the executive will be able to see performance statistics in real time at the time of their choosing. Department heads, managers and supervisors will be able to effectively manage the team’s performance by viewing group statistics and when available individual statistics. Agents are able to view their own scorecards and are now empowered to improve their performance in real time.  An Automated Real Time Reporting Solution helps any business achieve its business performance goals.
Spectrum (News - Alert) recognizes three departments within the hospitality industry that would benefit from an Automated Real Time Reporting Solution. These departments are: Contact Center, General Management and Guest Services. In each department the ability to proactively manage the business objectives is greatly enhanced through the use of Automated Real Time Reporting. Data sources and metrics for each department are extremely varied even if the ultimate objective is the same. 
Contact Center data sources include telephony statistics from the ACD, IVR and WFM. Metrics to measure from each of these sources are shown below. However, the objective is the same, to answer the contact as quickly as possible with the right information and up sell/cross sell Property amenities.
                ACD                                                       IVR                                                         WFM
                                Oldest Call Waiting                          Calls Abandoned                              Agent Adherence
                                Calls in Queue                                   Calls in the IVR                                  Agent States
                                Agents Available                              Calls Opt Out                                      Agent Performance
                                Service Level                                                                                                      Agent Service Level
                                Abandoned Calls
To provide overall visibility some hospitality organizations will include business statistics and objectives. Information from the Central Reservation System (CRS) regarding occupancy for the week, certain days or for events that are undersold create ideal up sell and cross sell opportunities. Meeting planners that have real time statistics from recent surveys can confidently and proudly provide highest rating results to prospective clients. With Automated Real Time Reporting the Contact Center Agent is proactively involved in taking calls and providing quality information and up selling/cross selling to increase revenue.
General Management business data sources include CRS, financials for the Property Management Software and in- house databases. Occupancy statistics such as Rev/PAR, over sold and undersold dates and Corporate spends address key objectives for any General Manager. Further information on surveys, key accounts, and revenue by department are typical key performance measurements that the General Manager needs to see. An Automated Real Time Reporting Solution provides the basis for proactive management of the property. Data collection from the ODBC databases of the PMS and CRS systems and presenting this key data to the General Managers Dashboard is one of the most effective tools for today’s Hospitality General Manager.
                CRS                                                        PMS                                                                       In House ODBC
                                Occupancy Rates                              Revenue by Department                              Survey Results
                                Occupancy Amounts                      Revenue by Day/Week/Month                 To Do Lists
                                Rev/PAR                                              Revenue by Room Type                                                Schedules
                                Undersold Dates                              Corporate Accounts
                                Oversold Dates
A summary performance report created by an Automated Real Time Reporting Solution will keep the General Manager aware of the metrics and the ability to focus on the metrics that are below the corporate threshold.                     
Guest Services require Automated Real Time Reporting but instead of incoming to the marketing department this would be outgoing to the guests. Property Managers often look for methods to increase revenue from existing guests. The guests can be made aware of functions, restaurants, schedules, events, future holiday specials and even third party attractions while on premise. This may not be traditional Automated Real Time Reporting, but it is possible using the same Software Applications as the Contact Center and General Management Dashboards. 
A Guest Services Automated Real Time Reporting Solution would include LCD/Plasma screens strategically located around the property providing guests with information on daily conference schedules, shuttle schedules, restaurant specials, daily events, night time events, lounge activities, local tourist activities, silent guest paging, third party advertising, weather reports, shuttle bus schedules, airline schedules, traffic reports, parking instructions, rental car instructions, valet information, property activities, or community events. Part of the benefit of an Automated Real Time Reporting Solution for the Guest Services department is the revenue generated by the third party advertisers and the labor/time savings of not having to answer the same guest questions repeatedly.
An Automated Real Time Reporting System in the hospitality industry can be utilized by at least three departments. The same system is capturing performance data from disparate systems and providing the varying metrics to each department. The ROI is now spread across the organization and not one department. 
Businesses in this industry could include: Hotels, Spa’s, Cruise Lines, Convention Centers, Resorts, Casinos, Sorts Venues, Entertainment Venues, and Amusement Parks.
Some of the Key Business Objectives the Hospitality Industry Executives are trying to achieve with Automated Real Time Reporting are:
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Increase Customer Loyalty
Build and Support Brand differentiation
Guest Safety and Security
Differentiate Services for meeting planners
Increase Staff productivity

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Edited by Jessica Kostek

Technology Marketing Corporation

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