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Why Dynamic Inventory is the Key to Revolutionizing Hotel Management

Imagine crafting a beautiful hotel where every room is meticulously detailed, even if they share the same interior design, look, and feel. Yet, by selling these rooms in generic categories with uniform pricing, you're leaving money on the table and creating false guest expectations.

 

Just take the birthday present for my wife's 50th birthday. I booked a luxury spa hotel for an indulgence weekend, specifically requesting a nicer room because, you know, it's a birthday present. Of course, what happened? The room allocation was changed upon arrival, the information about the birthday got lost, and we ended up in a room above the kitchen, apparently that room was in the same room category. Really? Why is this happening?

 

Traditionally, the hotel industry has simplified room unit inventory to ease operations and manage the distribution of rates and availability across channels in real-time. The entire operating and distribution technology has been built on these principles.


However, this approach has major flaws, especially in the age of AI, where more granular data points are key to putting machine learning to work. Even if the interiors of rooms look similar, the location, views, and lighting will always differ at a minimum, along with potential variations in bathroom, bedding, or other characteristic setups.


Besides, why would you want to sell a standard room anyway, when there is no standard guest?

With the rise of new technology, especially generative AI and large language models, granular data points are crucial for meaningful insights and actions. Yet, the hotel industry still clings to simplified room categorization. The truth is, with a simplified category data structure, we can never fully leverage AI to manage experiences based on real estate. So, why are we still sticking to categorization?


Historically, hospitality innovations have focused on pricing, neglecting inventory management. This oversight is a significant mistake. Consider how inventory management practices have revolutionized other industries. Take IKEA, for example. Their flat-pack and low-touch process transformed how furniture is sold, providing a competitive edge across the industry.


Similarly, Amazon’s success with tactics like “other people who were interested in this also bought that” cannot be replicated in hotels using the current inventory management model. Selling hotel rooms as “other people who were interested in a standard room also looked at a Junior Suite” is odd and ineffective. And what does a standard room mean anyway?


This is why we need a new language to manage real estate inventory—a language meaningful to consumers, much more granular and capable of utilizing AI to optimize operations, sales, distribution, revenue management, and marketing.

 

This new language and inventory management logic is called Dynamic Inventory. It decouples the physical space from the virtual product priced and sold.

 

Dynamic Inventory allows positioning the same physical inventory (rooms and ancillaries) differently for each target group, highlighting relevant features for each audience, and distributing it across various channels with different prices, conditions, and availabilities. At the same time, sales fulfillment can be automated by translating reservations to a room unit level rather than a category level.


How Does This Translate to Traditional Systems Like Property Management Systems (PMS)?

 

Dynamic Inventory is actually an enhancement module for a PMS, enabling various products and services once connected. The unique identifier used to interface with a PMS is the unit (room) number. Different PMSs have different best practice setups, ensuring that Dynamic Inventory can work for any accommodation operation today, as long as they are using a cloud-based PMS.

 

Common Use-Cases of Dynamic Inventory:

  1. Automated Hyper-Personalized Selling: Utilizing next-gen booking technology for personalized experiences.

  2. Intelligent Room Assignments: AI-based room assignments and re-assignments to optimize occupancy.

  3. Differentiated Distribution Tactics: Controlled distribution tactics and incentives to drive more direct sales.

  4. Total Revenue Management: Innovative revenue practices that monetize every asset, room attributes, and guests' willingness to pay.

  5. Micro-Targeting: Driving more effective customer campaigns and engagement through targeted marketing.

  6. Novel Guest Data Points: Leveraging new buying behaviors and contextual travel intelligence for better decision-making.

 

Contact us to learn more about how Dynamic Inventory can revolutionize your hotel's operations and maximize revenue.



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