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Enterprise System Pitfalls: Summary
Today I’m wrapping up a series of posts on the broad topic of Enterprise System Pitfalls. In this series, my hope was to help shed light on the primary problems that cause us to miss budgets, fall short on capabilities, or completely fail when implementing an enterprise system. 

The Year in Review
 
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to count our blessings. One of mine has been the privilege (and fun!) of being able to reach out to so many interesting companies and get them to tell me what they’re doing that’s different, disruptive, and game-changing. The list of things I have to write about in future columns has only gotten longer in the nine months since I started writing this column.

Sustainable Innovation
 
Sustainability can yield multiple benefits to hotels. Saving energy and water yields direct cost savings. Revenue can be generated by guests who prefer to deal with businesses that minimize their environmental impact. And many would argue that conserving scarce resources is simply the right thing to do.

Meetings Innovation
 
The sale and delivery of groups and meetings is perhaps the most significant and under-automated functions for many hotels. Even though groups often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, most group bookings are still handled manually for most if not all of steps, as they move from a meeting planner’s research to a confirmed booking.

The biggest enemy to any system is complexity. In a system of inputs and outputs, such as an enterprise system, more complexity means more parts are used in interaction with inputs to create the outputs. Every part that must be built and maintained costs time and money



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The Distribution Landscape in 2015

01/22/2015
by Estella Hale

The recent shifts and changes in the landscape of distribution continue to take form in 2015. With fragmented distribution, fierce competition and better-informed consumers, guest loyalty is elusive and costly. Transactions via mobile are increasing exponentially and bookings shift from what we used to know as walk-ins, to mobile app bookings with a lead time of zero.

But even as distribution fragmentation continues, and even expands, also expect tighter integration of the entire landscape. It is now common to expect brand websites listing reviews from third parties, and those same third parties directing traffic back to brand sites, or even processing the booking. These integrations level the playing field for independent hotels, giving them the ability to engage and profile their guest from search to retouch if abandonment occurs, to booking, and even pre check-in.

The key to this new era will be significant content; integrations will mature from room and rate availability to descriptive content, images and other items that foster engagement. Traditional channels such as GDS will continue to remain steady as they work to bring additional qualifiers and indicators to agents. Alternative lodging sources, such as bedroom rentals, are here to stay and new distribution channels such as Alibaba and Amazon will need to be considered. 

Metasearch sites are very popular with guests so it is important for the hotelier to have an understanding of cross-context search in order to compete with OTAs. The consumer now uses multiple devices to complete a booking, so it will be important for hotels to ensure their own booking engines are responsive. This will also be a factor for the now popular mobile only rates, which will most likely disappear as technological advances make the more important cross-context booking easier for the multi-screen user.

The landscape of distribution is ever changing and understanding these opportunities with a mindset that our consumer is constantly connected allows us to use innovative technologies to reach them. Having associates or partners who understand this landscape and can help navigate the various channels and tools available will be crucial to a hotel’s success in 2015 and beyond.

About The Author
Estella Hale
VP of Products
Sceptre Hospitality Resources


Estella Hale is the vice president of products for Sceptre Hospitality Resouces.

 
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