RM CAREER PATH’s & STRUCTURE
By Laura Daquino, Business News Publications.
Revenue management in the hotel industry has seen a dynamic cultural shift in recent years, from being hospitality driven to a commercial business discipline.
As an integral commercial business function, there is no one size fits all approach to revenue management (RM) in any industry.
Having no clear structure or career pathway in a property could lead to missed revenue opportunities and untapped potential talent according to the Australian & NZ Revenue Management Association (ARMA).
ARMA advises its members to search for an unteachable skill set that also extends beyond hospitality employees, when recruiting RM roles.
Whilst it is very important to groom internal candidates for careers in RM, the Revenue Manager of today and tomorrow does not always have to be from a hotel background. There are many skilled analysts on the market today with attractive transferable skills.
Likewise, well trained hotel Revenue Managers are attractive to other industries such as airlines, car and cruise industries.
ARMA managing director Melissa Kalan says RM is vital to any accommodation provider regardless of size, however the level of importance placed on the function to date varies between properties.
“It is important that the structure, reporting lines, remuneration and status are adjusted based on the size and scope of the role,” Kalan says.
“After all, these employees are controlling large amounts of revenue and we believe they need to be recognised at the appropriate management or executive level.”
“Traditionally the path to general manager has been through food and beverage and rooms division,” Kalan says.
“It is important to include revenue management employees as part of your career path plans for general manager roles as well, or ensure all senior management have exposure to the concepts.
“Having a strong development and training program in place is just as important for both new and experienced revenue managers, as is having an internal career path plan.”
Franchised accommodation provider Quest Serviced Apartments is open to potential franchisees who don’t hail from a hospitality background.
During its selection process, Quests looks for applicants with business experience and aligns with the target demographic of corporate travellers.
“There has been a concerted effort to evolve the role of the revenue manager which is great,” Kalan says.
“The absorption of RM roles into junior or mid-management levels in some cases over the last 15 years is partly due to a lack of understanding and sufficient support tools but also driven by candidate quality which has been difficult to obtain at times however this is changing.
“Placing a junior to mid-management level emphasis on RM is not an ideal structure and does not work for the benefit of the organisation, in terms of candidate quality and potential revenue maximisation.”
As a result, Kalan says the hotel industry loses talented revenue managers to other industries.
Large hotel chains, five star operators and international chains tend to have a clearer RM structure in place.
For instance, Mantra Group has separate revenue management teams for its three hotel brands Mantra, Peppers and Breakfree.
The corporate clusters are overseen by a national group director, who is also in charge of rate distribution and central reservation system.
The hotel industry continues to shift towards holding RM at a higher value, within its corporate structure – rather than an amalgamation of marketing.
“In the future it is likely we will see more of revenue management reporting directly to the GM and/or working alongside the director of sales and marketing as an equal,” Kalan says.
“Or even have all revenue management teams and sales report to a head of revenue to balance the integration and goals of all revenue streaming departments in line with property profitability. I believe this is a move or one similar already being undertaken by Hilton.”