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Vincent Ng Cheng Leng : Why Historical Data is Crucial in Revenue Management

Vincent holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Southern Queensland, Australia; he has his share of rocky adventures in the hospitality, tourism and travel industry. Started his hospitality career in Food & Beverage in his early days and went into Sales & Marketing due to his never-ending curiosity and appetite for knowledge as a new comer in the industry.

Mr. Vincent  Ng Cheng Leng - Business Development Consultant for Dusky Leaf Adventures, a start-up company in Kuala Lumpur specializing in travel, tours, trainings and team buildings.
Mr. Vincent Ng Cheng Leng - Business Development Consultant for Dusky Leaf Adventures, a start-up company in Kuala Lumpur specializing in travel, tours, trainings and team buildings.

He has worked in established brands like Sunway Hotels & Resorts, Equatorial Group, Cititel Hotels, Best Western Premier, Legoland Malaysia and Expedia. Vincent’s last placement was with Vouk Hotel Management and EM3 Consultancy as Business Development Director for the past 4 years prior joining Golden Peak Hospitality & Consultancy Sdn Bhd. Currently, Vincent is a Business Development Consultant for Dusky Leaf Adventures (M) Sdn Bhd, a start-up company in Kuala Lumpur specializing in travel, tours, trainings and team buildings.


Rapid changes and challenging business ideas has always been his passion for growth. This has been an essence of success in his career and life as a father of three. He always believes that the mind-set is the biggest asset and through positive and good daily mind set exercise, anyone can achieve its full potential.


He brings real life experience leading a multi-disciplinary team while delivering actionable solutions in the form of sales and marketing, customer service, analytics, segmentation and insights that produces proven results to the organization he worked with throughout his career.


Additionally, one of his strengths is to be able to identify, exploit, take advantage of, and fully develop any business development opportunities that yield positive solution. With his previous employment, he constantly exceeded goals, and he was valued for his ability to deal with complex situations by coming up with unique and fresh ideas.


Your views of revenue management and it’s importance during Covid?

Revenue management is the process of optimizing pricing, inventory and distribution strategies to maximize revenue growth. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, revenue management has become more important for hospitality businesses to survive and thrive to meet the right demand and supply in highly sensitive markets.


Many hospitality business have faced reduced demand for their products and services during Covid-19. Revenue management can help businesses optimize pricing to attract price sensitive customers while maintaining profitability. Additionally, revenue management can also help hospitality businesses with a data-driven approach to adjust pricing and inventory levels in response to changing market conditions.


In which way can you forecast revenue effectively without historical data?

Revenue can be effectively and efficiently forecasted by taking three suggested filters into considerations such as:

  • Forward looking dates, days, festive seasons, school holidays, long weekends, convention or events in town. This forward looking calendar will have to be as far out as 120 days to forecast your pick-up and up-take based on trends, supply and demand.

  • How is your competitive set doing on a certain date, days, weeks, periods, etc based on market intelligence, survey and customer’s feedback? This is to benchmark your competitive set current and forward looking trends against yours to determine a pattern for further in-depth analysis.

  • What are the price points of your competitive set on certain date, days, weeks, periods, etc? This is to ascertain their supply and demand as well as benchmarking it against your property.


Have you seen any new market segments as result of Covid?

A market segment that I personally see post covid-19 is that there is an emerging trend of travelers who prefer to avoid crowded areas and when it comes to choosing a hotel accommodation, I have seen that the choice of staying in an AirBnB has gained as compared to hotel stays.


This is mainly because people would like to avoid crowded or common and shared spaces. In an AirBnB, they have their own private space, kitchenette and even workspace to freely move about rather than having to share them with others and being exposed too much in the crowd.


What is the role of data analytics in revenue management?

Data analytics role in the hospitality landscape has evolved over the decades and their main task is to collect relevant customers’ raw data, mine them and come up with a trend, pattern or behaviour that could either create or innovate a new competitive advantage over their competitive set which at the same time converting shoppers into buyers and buyers into regular purchases.


Can hotels “win” the war with OTAs? How?

Hotels can definitely “win” the war over OTAs who have been charging as high as 25% compensation for every room night. Some of the winning strategy that needs to be aggressively implemented and carried out are:


  • Aggressively promote direct brand website in all areas from social medias to various online channels, SEM and even online ad buys by promoting lowest price guaranteed.

  • Evaluate your brand website to ensure that its user friendly, mobile friendly and has dynamic pricing in place.


  • Connect your brand website directly to PMS and RMS so that the entire revenue management processes are automated rather than the traditional way of inputting data.

  • There are many CRM in the market these days. Source for an affordable CRM that are able to also automate your room booking processes which can also do upselling, suggestive selling, etc through AI instead of human communication.


  • Ensure that your brand website has the lowest price tier as compared to all other segments especially OTAs.

  • Sell room only on your brand website and allow optional purchases such as breakfast, late check-out, etc.

  • Have the less restrictions and terms for all bookings via brand website. The more restrictions and terms, the more you are turning your potential customer of from booking directly with you.


Your view on Google’s step into distribution via Google Ads?

It will be a distinctive need and requirements for hospitality businesses to embark on Google distribution channels using Google Ads. This allows hospitality companies to expand its reach and influence in the e-commerce space. By integrating a distribution feature into its advertising platform,



Google can provide businesses with a one-stop-shop for advertising and selling products and services. However, it is also important to note that Google is not the only distribution channel for online e-commerce advertisements. Others such as Amazon and FaceBook have similar platforms, technology and reach depending on its target markets, demographics and geographics of the desired target market.



Your view on Total Revenue Management (TRM)?

TRM is a strategic approach to maximizing revenue across all revenue streams in hospitality businesses. It involves the integration of revenue management techniques across multiple departments and functions, including sales, marketing, pricing and distribution.


Overall, a TRM plays crucial role in maximizing revenue and profitability for a business by taking a holistic approach to revenue management and ensuring that all revenue streams are optimized to give greater results while reducing opportunity losses.



Your view on new revenue management metrics such as Net RevPAR? RevPOR?

These metrics are not new in the hospitality landscape. Revenue managers and senior leadership have been using this track its overall room performance to benchmark its potential against expenses or available rooms or even rooms sold, etc.


A far more in-depth analysis is required than just measuring Net RevPar and RevPOR. Such metrics are for example, Revenue per Sq Feet of your property to determine the overall value to your property which is your asset for ROI towards the owners and board of directors.



Do you see revenue management playing a more strategic role in hotel business?

Revenue management will definitely play a strategic role in every aspect of the hospitality business not only in rooms or F&B as traditional revenue contributors but as well as departmental expenses such as utilities, wastages and other areas of customer contacts.


With more data accessibility and availability, revenue management is an everyday tool and mechanics that have to be adopted, learned and embrace at every level of work be it at the rank and file all the way up to the senior leadership team.



How do you see Revenue Management Systems (RMS) evolving and it’s use of data science?

RMS have already been evolving rapidly over the decade and this trend is likely to continue in the coming years. One of the key drivers of this evolution is the increased use of data science and machine learning in revenue management which is still far away in terms of knowledge base and experiences in digital transformation within the Malaysian hospitality players.


Hospitality businesses will be able to forecast more accurately based on demand and supply for the coming years ahead. With rich data availability, it is important that revenue managers analyses it and make full use of the data collected to be able foresee what are the expectations and preferential of not only current or regular customers but for potential ones as well.



In short, revenue managers will have the capability to search, initiate and generate a promotion or marketing campaign for customers to purchase way before even before an actual purchase happens.


I foresee that RMS and the role of RMS Managers are essential where hospitality businesses around the global are moving into digital transformation. RMS will be the key to unlock the pandora box in the industry through automation and using of artificial intelligence. Gone will be the days those customers looking for five-star hotels that provide personalize service and fine standards.


What is coming is an entire new concept where knowing what your customer wants in advance wins instead of personalizing your services to meet their expectations, the new customer would prefer a digital communication experience over human touch!


 

2 Comments

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank You Vincent Ng for your views, insights & opinions on the subject. Looking forward to future collaboration.

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Askar DG KAMIS
Askar DG KAMIS
Feb 27, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Revenue Management should also consider other source of historical datas. It could be your website traffic.

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