Mike Ford, CEOMike Ford is a man who truly believes in the principle of world with no boundaries. After university he spent some time backpacking, which aroused his affinity towards travel and the youth hostel market. Ford later invested in a youth hostel business, which sparked the idea for SiteMinder—a company which leads the way in connecting accommodation providers to online booking channels.
A fast and efficient online reservation system is a crucial first step in developing trust between the hotel and its customers, avoiding any nasty reservation surprises and improving the chances of rebooking in the future, and SiteMinder offers its hotel customers exactly what they are looking for. The Channel Manager, SiteMinder’s premium product, services the hotel industry worldwide. The offering is the core platform that SiteMinder’s products connect into and it is the network that all hotel systems plug into in order to communicate seamlessly with online booking channels.
Ford believes that hotels are feeling continued pressure from rising customer acquisition costs, shrinking revenues at the hands of third party intermediaries and eroding guest loyalties. With so many moving pieces and challenges, streamlining the various processes has become an essential area of focus for hoteliers who want to stay ahead of the game. The Channel Manager addresses this by automating various time-consuming manual processes, and allowing the hotel to gain online exposure to guests in more corners of the world, so hoteliers can spend less time finding guests and more time delighting them. The platform helps improve revenue and profits, by allowing the hotelier to advertise the property across a number of booking channels, such as Booking.com, Expedia and Wotif.
The Channel Manager provides two-way integration across all technology products and systems. This ensures all systems are ‘talking’ to each other and there is no risk of over-booking as rates and availability are delivered automatically to the Online Travel Agencies, and reservations are delivered directly into the hotel’s Property Management System. Additionally, hotels can attract guests from all around the world, as the tool connects them to OTAs that reach guests everywhere.
"We aim to continually redefine distributio, through innovative platforms that connect the world's hotel to potential guests online"
Avillion Hotel Group, a Malaysia-based luxury hotel chain, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of SiteMinder’s solutions. The client uses SiteMinder’s Channel Manager to connect to booking websites around the world. It also uses TheBookingButton—SiteMinder’s express, commission-free booking engine, which allows travelers to book direct via the hotel websites. Avillion’s premium hotels, resorts and villas have all capitalized on SiteMinder’s automated channel management distribution platform to power revenue hikes and cost savings. “TheBookingButton has helped Avillion achieve cost savings of more than 50 percent across its properties, compared to the previous, financially prohibitive, commission-based booking engine system,” says Helen Tan, Business Marketing and Sales Director, Avillion Hotel Group.
SiteMinder’s cloud-based product and its unique partnerships with the world’s leading OTAs and meta-search channels, such as TripAdvisor—which enable clients to have access to a number of channels to increase their revenue, exposure and profits—are some of the differentiating factors of the company and what make it so positively disruptive.
“Going forward we aim to continually redefine distribution, through innovative platforms that connect the world’s hotels to potential guests online,” says Ford. The company has operational centers in the U.S., UK, South East Asia, Australia and South Africa, and it plans to expand its presence across the globe and be regarded as a global product and service provider. “SiteMinder is not only focused on products that allow hotels to get business through 3rd party