For too long, distribution, property, customer and revenue management functions have been handled separately by each property on distinct systems. Historically, these divisions by function have been imposed by the old legacy systems which still infest the industry. The time has come to sweep them away.

With recent advances in technology, we can start again from a holistic perspective, creating an integrated platform that will give hotels a single view of their inventory and the ability to manage it. Users will input rates once into a central distribution system and set the computer to re-enter them in various channels, across the business, at appropriately altered pricing.

In the other direction, reservations will be accepted in real time and logged into a single, authoritative inventory so that hotels have, at all times, clear and instantaneous visibility on room availability. This inventory will also be tightly linked into revenue, customer and property management systems.

As each guest books, all known information on them will be recalled from a central database, available to all hotels in a chain. Fresh supplies of a guest’s favourite gin minibar will be ordered for the minibar even as the service staffs are automatically informed of the mint they like on their pillow.

In the back office, computers will analyse the booking, cross-referencing it with all the others to offer continually revised forecasts and recommendations as to pricing, ensuring optimal yield management. With a click of a button, these suggestions will be relayed through the central distribution system and take instant effect in every channel.

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