How we "GROW": A Glimpse into our Journey toward Optimization

Jeff Winslow, CIO, G6 Hospitality LLC
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Jeff Winslow, CIO, G6 Hospitality LLC

Early in my career I traveled across the country with an Indy car race team, developing technology that would give the team an edge–even if it was a very small edge. I’ll never forget the loud noise of the revving engines, the smell of burnt rubber and fuel and all the excitement filling the air on race day. After hundreds of hours of preparation, finally it was time to witness the fruits of our labor. The past few years at G6 Hospitality take me back to these fond memories of more than 30 years ago. We have our foot firmly on the accelerator to grow our business as quickly as possible. It is race day at G6 Hospitality.

Since the acquisition by Blackstone in 2012, G6 Hospitality has been focused on a complete overhaul of our technology platforms, processes and systems. We are dedicated to find, test and deploy industry leading technology solutions not only to run our corporate properties more efficiently, but also to support our franchisees and business partners. We challenged ourselves to become the leader of the economy segment and have been working diligently to claim that spot in this race. Evidence of this acceleration is the recent transformation of our digital ecosystem, which includes the launch of our new and fully-responsible website where travelers can book a room in just a few clicks, our aggressive renovation program where 75 percent of our portfolio will be renovated by 2015, and the expansion of our brands into new countries.

  Our G6 Revenue Optimization Workspace (GROWTM) has been completely designed from scratch to leverage competitor rates 

In early 2016, we will deploy a state-of-the art, unique revenue management system among our 511 corporate properties. This system will also be available to our franchised hotels within the U.S. and Canada. Although the word “unique” is sometimes overused to attract interest or make headlines, it truly does apply in this case. Our G6 Revenue Optimization Workspace (GROWTM) has been completely designed from scratch to leverage competitor rates, our proprietary Central Reservations system, our exclusive Property Management program and all booking channels to optimize both occupancy and rate. What makes our GROW™ system “unique” is that all transactions will be made in real time. We developed a sophisticated in-line pricing model to look at every transaction coming from all distribution channels to recognize trends and patterns to provide realtime recommendations to our revenue managers. Based on property specific demand pace, the recommendation may be– adjusting the rate to increase the booking pace, or increasing the rate when the intraday demand justifies it. The software also features an intuitive dashboard that allows a single revenue manager to handle up to 50 properties online.

This is a major departure from the way we’ve always managed rates. In an industry where intraday rates could theoretically change several times per hour, our current model wasn’t working. Further, after analyzing the effectiveness of our existing systems, we identified an additional opportunity for incremental revenue; synchronizing our LED pricing modules at the property with our central reservations engine in near-real time. This new information gave us the return on investment needed to justify our Capex investment in the GROWTM platform. When the rate changes in our pricing engine, the outdoor signage will immediately change. This new functionality is currently in place; however, not all properties have been converted. The LED displays are being installed as a part of our renovation program and will be completed by the end of 2016.

We previewed the new GROWTM platform at our Franchisee Convention in September 2015 in Boca Raton, FL and received an extremely positive response from our franchisees. When you say “Revenue Management Optimization” it’s really hard to think people will get excited about it. After previewing the system, we have been working around the clock to finalize the details in preparation to deploy GROWTM in 2016. As you can see, these are very exciting times at G6 Hospitality and this is just the beginning. We entered our race day with our foot on the accelerator, and we have every intention to be the leader in this segment.

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