NEW YORK—Infor, based here, recently updated its revenue management application built specifically for the hospitality industry, EzRMS. The additions include a new forecast algorithm, market-influenced pricing and real-time optimization.
The new forecast algorithm allows EzRMS to calculate a forecast of what a hotel’s occupancy and demand will look like for the next 365-plus days, noted Stan Van Roij, VP, hospitality solutions & program management, Infor. He added, “The forecast then prompts the system to recommend the best rates to sell at or if a hotel should restrict business, with the end goal of maximizing revenue by making sure the guestrooms are filled with the highest paying guests.”
Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made forecasting difficult, but Infor was moving quickly at the start of the disruption to create an accurate solution.
“As COVID began having an impact across Asia, Infor began reviewing its development priorities and immediately focusing attention on developing a new methodology,” said Van Roij. “The result is our deep learning-based methodology, which lets the system learn on its own and in real-time rather than having to wait on hotel users to make manual inputs of their own learnings. This is extremely helpful for hotels during COVID times because patterns are changing very quickly and often. This new methodology is the only way a system can effectively help a revenue manager forecast what is going to happen.”
EzRMS has also enhanced its pricing engine to include, in an intelligent way, market information, such as competitor selling rates, reputation score, location and more, according to Van Roij.
“Most competitor systems that use market data (competitor hotels) are limited to competitor rates and then layer on a simple rule, such as ‘my hotel’s rate must never be more expensive than X competitor.’ In EzRMS, we use science instead to automate these actions and also take into account a lot more data, faster than a person could analyze it,” the executive said. “This is useful for hotels during COVID times because hotels are trying to find their feet in terms of what pricing to apply. Since there is less demand, one of the ways hotels try to get market share is by dropping prices, so it’s very important to understand what the market is doing when setting rates.”
Van Roij said of the real-time optimization update: “Other systems either have a fixed number of updates at specific times during the day, or they do updates every 30 minutes and focus on a shorter horizon (for example, the next three months). EzRMS, however, collects data, generates a forecast and provides recommendations on price and restrictions in real-time. EzRMS is also deeply connected to the data, meaning it is able to look ahead to a much farther horizon (a minimum of 365 days). These days, things can change quickly or not, so making sure that the pricing and restriction decisions are based on the most recent data is very important.”
Infor calls EzRMS a “science-based” solution rather than one that is “rules based.” Van Roij pointed out the differences between the two.
“Rules-based systems work by providing recommendations based on the rules a user enters on how they want to run their business. For example, deluxe rooms must be $50 more expensive than standard rooms in low season, or rooms must never be more expensive than certain competitors,” he said. “Science-based systems, on the other hand, don’t require the user to input any rules. The system optimizes and provides recommendations based on the data at hand. For example, the RMS is able to define the price for deluxe and standard rooms based on each category’s demand, and the difference between both may fluctuate by day-period. The RMS would also be able to look at the impact each competitor price has on the hotel’s demand and adjust its own pricing accordingly.”
He added, “EzRMS is a science-based system which, thanks to the extensive hotel and market data we have as well as our predictive algorithms designed specifically for the hospitality industry, is able to limit the manual maintenance by the user and allow him or her to focus on the more strategic aspects of their job.”
EzRMS clients also have access to the platform via an iOS or Android app. On their mobile devices, users can view, edit and upload pricing and restrictions; view competitor rates; gain insights into top days with revenue opportunities; and manage key performance indicators (KPIs), including occupancy, ADR, room revenue, room RevPAR, additional revenues and budget.
Infor’s domestic and international hospitality clients include Accor, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Auberge Resorts Collection, AM Resorts, Kempinski Hotels, Capella Hotels & Resorts, Lux Hotels & Resorts, HR Group, Hand Picked Hotels, Thon Hotels and Le Bristol Paris.
“The colleagues at Infor drive total hotel profit, taking into account all aspects of hotel optimization,” said Nele Neirynck, VP RM strategy, pricing & systems revenue strategy & performance at Accor. “Their growth and their systems will help you drive your hotels profit for years to come.” HB