Driving Revenue with Science

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How Omni Hotels & Resorts applies data analysis to distribution strategy and challenges.

Driving Revenue with Science

By Andrew Rubinacci, Senior Vice President, Revenue & Distribution, Omni Hotels & Resorts - 05/16/2019
Andrew Rubinacci, Senior Vice President, Revenue & Distribution, Omni Hotels & Resorts

I’ve been involved in hotel revenue management since 1993. I’ve seen this work done the manual, old-fashioned way, and I’ve happily watched more and more advanced technology systems come on the scene to make life much easier.

While revenue managers occupy important roles, at the end of the day, the human mind is limited in its ability to effectively assess the ever-swelling sea of data and arrive at the best possible decisions. At the same time, the potential for computer programs to analyze all the available data and provide valuable decision outputs is virtually limitless. The choice to implement data-analytics software and automate a hotel’s revenue management and distribution processes is a no-brainer. 

Fun Facts

What was your first job? 

I was a paperboy.

What are your hobbies?
I love to cook and watch football.

Sage Advice: Prioritize – so many things go unfinished or too slowly because we refuse to prioritize.

What is one other job that you would like to try? Secret Hotel Shopper

What three people would you invite to lunch? George Washington, Patton and my grandfather

What is your favorite book? Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere I’m with family and friends and not working!

What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life? To leave a positive impression on the world and the people with whom I interact.

In recent years, Omni has focused on increasing its portfolio of city-center hotel properties in places like Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville and projects in Boston and Oklahoma City opening in 2021. These hotels are adjacent to major convention centers and are located right in the middle of these destination hot spots.  

With this strategic market expansion came the need for more effective ways to manage and grow our diverse revenue streams. Being located next to a convention center, for instance, has driven up group business inquiries as well as bookings of meetings and events space. As the evolution occurred, a revenue management system (RMS) was needed that could fully account for that. We also wanted to ensure that we had a partner who could grow and evolve with us.  

IDeaS G3 RMS allows group pricing evaluation of the impact and possible business displacement of any group booking as well as agile, room-type pricing functionality and market-demand insight integrations. The team at IDeaS describes this comprehensive approach as revenue science. 

With IDeaS Smart Space, we can standardize the process of managing our event business revenue across multiple departments. We look forward to having a better handle on booking patterns and an increased understanding of overall demand. This will allow us to sell more instead of locking things down, and that will ultimately help drive up the revenue of our meetings and events business. 

Throughout 2019, we’ll roll IDeaS out across our portfolio of 60 luxury, North American properties to enhance profits of more than 21,000 guest rooms and nearly two million square feet of event space. 

Equally important is the flexibility of the partnership. The Omni system will continue to grow and as it does, its revenue streams will continue to both increase and diversify. Maintaining a technology edge that facilitates what we are doing today, and also permits flexibility tomorrow, is key.

In short, like our roles on property, the field of revenue strategy is fast-evolving. It is also the discipline that drives hotels forward and is most directly responsible for a hotel’s top line. Together with IDeaS, we are happy to bring a new set of tools and technologies to bear on the task. 

About the Author

Andrew Rubinacci is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, with extensive experience spanning sales, revenue management, guest services, hotel operations and e-commerce. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, distribution & revenue management strategy, responsible for all facets of IHG’s channel strategy, pricing, and revenue optimization.

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