Omni Hotels is in the process of integrating a new company-wide property management system (PMS) into its central reservations system to produce a fully-integrated, highly efficient reservations system which will include a state-of-the-art revenue management system known as OmniCHARM (Centralized Hotel Automated Revenue Management). Utilizing the latest in technology, Omni Hotels is banking that OmniCHARM will be the charm to Omni Hotels’ success in the new millennium.
“Omni Hotels’ long-term business plan calls for maximizing revenues and building customer loyalty,” says Jim Caldwell, Omni Hotels president. “To accomplish this goal, we must focus on creating a dynamic service culture and leveraging technology to help us achieve higher levels of service excellence while maximizing revenue.”
Caldwell says the OmniCHARM system is expected to increase Omni Hotels’ overall annual revenue by as much as eight percent, adding to the more than 20 percent premium Omni Hotels currently holds over its upscale hotel chain competitors. Omni Hotels anticipates having the new revenue management system in place and operating by the fourth quarter of this year.
So unique is the new system that Cornell University and the American Hotel Foundation have awarded it a 1999 Best Practices Champion Award.
“In the hotel business, there is nothing more fundamental than knowing how many rooms we sell and at what price,” says Caldwell. “With OmniCHARM, we will be able to capture and utilize our full forecasting and rooms tracking potential.”
In an unprecedented move, the privately owned upscale hotel chain is flipping the bill to equip all of its 43 properties, franchises included, with the new revenue management system. The company has also taken the necessary steps of setting up beta testing sites at select Omni Hotels properties around the country to work out the technology kinks before unveiling the system company-wide—unlike many of its competitors. And finally, Omni Hotels’ specially designed revenue management system will allow the company to not only manage its room inventory, but also develop a detailed, multipurpose customer profile database to use in conjunction with the company’s frequent guest program.
Why OmniCHARM Was Developed:
The primary reason for developing OmniCHARM was to maximize company-wide rooms revenue by improving efficiencies. Taking advantage of new technology has allowed Omni Hotels the opportunity to develop the revenue management system at a very affordable rate. Development and installation costs are expected to run between $4 and $5 million. Other benefits from the installation of OmniCHARM will include significantly improved customer service levels.
How It Will Work:
Designed to help the company sell the right room to the right guest for the right length of stay at the right rate, OmniCHARM will process all of the company’s booking transactions, incorporate user adjustments and update the company-wide forecasting database on a nightly basis. Information recorded in the property management and central reservation systems will be used to determine the most accurate rooms forecast for selling purposes. OmniCHARM`s ability to compare historical same-day information along with current booking trends will provide the most accurate rooms forecasting system more accurate than the standard process of comparing historical data or analyzing current booking trends alone.
OmniCHARM will also be able to forecast cancellations and no-shows, which will help the company set appropriate overbooking limits to help balance the risk of walking a guest on a sell-out night against having unsold rooms for the same night. Flexible overrides will allow users at the properties and central reservation center to fine-tune the system for optimum performance. From a technological standpoint, the most amazing feature of OmniCHARM’s forecasting process is the large number of transactions that the system will perform each night—between 100,000 and 150,000 algorithms.
Use of Windows Technology to Reduce Associate Training Costs:
To make OmniCHARM user-friendly for associates, Omni Hotels had the system developed for the latest Windows NT software. According to Caldwell, no one else in the industry has a standardized, Windows NT-based revenue management system chain wide. The windows-based system significantly reduces Omni Hotels training costs to teach associates how to use OmniCHARM. It will also help promote accurate loading of information.
OmniCHARM was developed for Omni Hotels by Talus, a multinational company based in Atlanta, Ga., that specializes in offering revenue management solutions and services to companies. For more information on Talus contact Cara Lewis at (650) 691-1925 or visit the company Web site at www.talus.net.
Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Omni Hotels is a privately owned chain of 43 first-class and luxury hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Omni Hotels properties offer four-diamond services ranging from gourmet dining, fitness facilities, tennis, golf, wine tastings, tours of local attractions, music festivals and children’s activities. Omni Hotels will continue an aggressive agenda for expansion throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information on Omni Hotels, call 1-800-THE-OMNI or visit the company Web site at www.omnihotels.com.