Infor has announced the release of Infor ExRMS (version 20.x) its hospitality management suite. This release includes improved analytics that look to maximise the revenue potential for hotels and a better look and feel to the product.
Bernard Ellis, CRME, CHTP, vice president, Industry Strategy, Infor Hospitality summarises the Infor approach to the new version by saying “The hotel industry is in a constant struggle to boost profits, while remaining focused on providing guests with a personalized experience. Leading organizations understand that a revenue management solution should not only allow its teams to be more strategic by automating routine forecasting and pricing tasks, but also by providing them with the accurate, real-time information they’ll need-when they need it-whether they work at a large global company, smaller chain, or independent hotel – to improve the bottom line and help maximize occupancy and revenue.
“Infor has invested in staying at the forefront of revenue management solutions, and by finding ways to harness the mass amounts of data available to the industry, is delivering an even more agile system that can help customers navigate through rapid changes in market conditions and demand trends.”
One of the Infor strengths as a company is some of the investments it has made over the last few years. Two of these, the Infor Dynamic Science Labs and the Hook & Loop design team based in New York are leveraged in this latest release.
More profit through analytics
Infor Dynamic science labs has worked with the ExRMS Science team to improve the modelling capabilities of the EzRMS solution. Having Infor boffins working on the existing modelling solution has meant that the solution has evolved to include an adaptive learning framework and is able to use more granular information from the data collected leading to greater accuracy in predictions, actions and potentially profit for hotels.
For hotel chain owners this takes the solution a step further. Each individual property learns its own forecasting method based on its own uniquely changing market dynamics of mix, seasonality and booking curve. Improvements include a greater granularity around length of stay buckets and also forecasting renewals. For hotels this may mean that potential trends are spotted quicker enabling hotels to consider whether three night stays are becoming more popular.
Having done some research after looking for three night deals it generally appears as though there are very few of them across hotels. It may be that in certain months at certain locations there has been a missed opportunity and one that the Infor EzRMS can reveal for an individual hotel.
Another improvement has been to improve the overbooking logic. During peak demand periods, the bane of many hotels is cancellations. As hotels look to overbook rooms, their worst nightmare is to find themselves in a situation where they have to relocate guests to alternate locations. They also do not want empty unsold rooms during the peak season and its subsequent loss of revenue. The algorithms supporting the calculations have been improved with the help of the data scientists
Improved User experience
Infor EzRMS also appears to have gone through another iteration by the Hook and Loop team, delivering a new look and feel that is optimised for the hospitality user base. Berengere Brohan, group revenue director, The Hoxton certainly appears to like the changes saying: “It is great to have a fresh look and feel, which is much more modern and up-to-date, and in line with our own hotel product. It is also good to see that not just the design has been improved, but that functionality as well as forecasting and optimization have also been enhanced.
“A key feature is that the solution remembers the reports we looked at, and can easily be referred back to, which saves a lot of time. It is also great that the regional module has become so intuitive, giving far more flexibility. The additional filter and selection options give us a tool with which we can really make use of the wealth of data that we have in EzRMS. We are excited to take advantage of the results of the new algorithms and how much better our forecasts, pricing and optimization can be.”
What is Infor EzRMS
EzRMS is just one component of the Infor Hospitality suite. It is designed to help optimise revenue by forecasting demand and recommending appropriate selling strategies using data such as day-of-week patterns, lead time figures and the number of guests per room. It is part of the three pronged approach to hospitality that Infor solutions deliver.
Infor Hospitality aims to streamline operations for hotels and chains, improve revenue potential and help build a better customer experience. Behind this there are several solutions that Infor can provide which can be customised to suite everyone from individual hotels to large multinational hotel chains, such as Accor.
From Brohan’s comment there actually appears to be more to this release than is included in the press release. However what is clever of Infor is ensuring that each of their different business units works together to deliver a better product. For Infor having a separate Science lab, means that the lessons learnt from this hospitality solution improvement can be taken and reused in other applications as well. Using their best data scientists to work on finite projects allows them to leverage maximum benefit across their entire software portfolio and Infor EzRMS will have gained from the previous work the data scientists will have done on predictive modelling.
While these enhancements have been included in the latest release they are not apparently evidenced by Infor in the press release and companies looking to deploy modelling solutions will want to ensure that they are confident that the solutions are proven. There is always a risk with new improved modelling techniques from any company that localised variables may have been omitted and certainly implementation and acceptance of recommendations should always be tempered with a common sense and experience check. As the analytics improves though it will be interesting to see what other variables the new forecasting solution brings into its list of variables to be considered.