Improve your revenue management – an interview with Kym Kapadia

16th October 2014

Kym Kapadia is one of the most experienced Sales and Revenue specialists in the UK. She has spent 27 years in the hospitality industry, many of which were spent in senior positions, including Revenue Director at Marriott UK & Ireland, InterContinental Hotels Group UK & Europe, Hilton UK, Premier Inn, Le Meridien Middle East & Asia. We questioned Kym about what makes a good Revenue Manager and how they increase revenue for hotels.

Firstly, what makes a successful revenue manager?

They need to be winners!  What I mean by this, is the ability to examine the facts, and be passionate about getting a point across, ultimately resulting in agreed stakeholder action. If I had to give a list of attributes that a good revenue manager would have, it would include:

  • Communicative and determined strategist
  • A stickler for detail
  • Tech savvy systems wise (not just a spreadsheet ninja)
  • They need economic insight
  • Patience
  • The ability to translate detail into compelling language to people who may not have a detailed understanding of the situation
  • Up-to-date knowledge on everything that’s going on in the industry
  • Driven and self-confident.

What is the typical step-by-step process you go through to help a hotel who wants to increase their revenue?

It’s bespoke to each hotel and each owner – less of a “one size fits all”, it’s a step-by-step process that depends entirely on the property and what’s right for that location. The first thing we do is unravel the problems unearthed during the discovery phase – that starts with some remote benchmark tests and simply talking to the teams.

After a few weeks of analysing, researching, scaling and liaising with hotel management, we suggest some remedial solutions, along with our projected returns.

Important things to consider are:

  • Are the right people in the right positions?
  • Is the hotel priced correctly?
  • Is the business mix right?
  • Are they using the right systems and making themselves available for cross-sell across all channels?
  • Is the inventory being managed well and is the forecasting being done correctly?

We then work with the hotel to implement the recommended actions providing help, support and market intelligence along the way. We continuously monitor and review the hotels progress to provide insight and recommendations at every stage.

What is the simplest way for a hotel owner to increase revenue?

Have what’s typically known as the ‘commercial triangle’ in place. A revenue person on his/her own isn’t enough; in addition to someone looking after revenue, someone else is looking after sales and a third person is managing the marketing. I don’t believe one person can look after sales and marketing together in this day and age, the ever-evolving skill-sets complement each other, but are very different.  My view is that a hotel needs a clear commercial triangle, with the General Manager or Commercial Director at the helm.

So, I suppose, the short answer is to ensure you are appointing the right people in the right roles.

Finally, what advice would you offer a hotel owner who wants to measure their revenue correctly?

The top line of the P&L plays too significant a part in how the bottom line looks. Ultimately, ensure the right commercial strategy is identified, and then relentlessly maintained by the right people. Determine the hotel’s position against the competitive market, using a pre-determined set of recognised KPIs, to lay the foundation for future improvement.

Interview with Kym Kapadia – Vice President Commercial Michels & Taylor.