Previously we have spoken about OTAs (online travel agencies): the good and the bad when hiring them, we even introduced some tactics to sell without OTAs. We may have different point of views on these intermediaries, but there is no doubt we can’t ignore them and sometimes they have a high impact on sales.
The strategy for independent hoteliers is to build a diverse sales network that is big enough to be independent and avoid being stuck with a single “vendor”. This strategy will also create activity over the year to limit low seasons.
Working with different online travel agencies (OTAs) is a good option to create new sales opportunities in different markets at the same time. The problem is: each time we sign on a new OTA we find difficulties to manage inventory, rates, promotions and bookings from different extranets – also overbooking can increase!
How to manage different OTAs at the same time?
Basically this is what a Channel Manager does: centralize and manage different OTAs from one place at the same time.
There are 2 major advantages when having a Channel Manager:
1. Administration advantages
Being able to manage from one place all your inventory units, prices and promotions will avoid the time wast dedicated to update several extranets and decrease human errors related to these actions. When you make changes on the Channel Manager, the system will automatically replicate them in all extranets and then the OTA will update all new data on their portal/website.
It must be pointed out that in the hospitality industry the allocated inventories can quickly change and at all times. The automation of inventory gives you the freedom to leave the system manage the updates and closures of units without moving a finger but also prevent overbookings. Every time a booking comes in, the availability is reduced in all extranets, same thing with modifications and cancellations.
2. Commercial interests
A centralized management enables each unit (room, appartment, cabin…) to be sold in different portals simultaneously. It is no longer necessary to split your inventory (2 for booking, 2 for expedia, orbitz 2 for a total of 6) and loose the opportunity to sell units in one channel instead of another.
As we mentioned above, the capability to manage multiple portals from one place allows you to add new online sales channels and multiply the opportunities to sell your inventory without the inconveniences. By saving time and resources you will be able to deploy new strategies of pricing and inventory.
From the Channel Manager to the PMS
Your Channel Manager controls all the bookings made on the OTAs, and so the information is automatically registered on your Clerkhotel PMS. No need to register manually all the reservation made on OTAs and managed by the Channel Manager, they will be replicated on your Dashboard and notified by email.
In the end, a lot of critical actions are performed autonomously and at all hours, so you can sell more but without the investment of time and money to achieve it.
More about Clerk’s Channel Manager de Clerk click here !