Dalmata Hospitality group manage around fifty properties across France which are primarily Accor brands including Ibis, Ibis Styles, Ibis Budget and HotelF1. They also manage fourteen Choice hotels under the brand Comfort.
A limited-services accommodation group like Dalmata has a short booking window at the best of times and the pandemic has made things even shorter. After switching to the revolutionary Mews PMS, they needed a tech stack that included an RMS that could adapt to their needs and drive performance.
We spoke to the revenue management team - Marie-Eugénie Sabatier and Paul Airoldi - about how they transformed their revenue management during the pandemic and kept up their industry-leading performance.
" We never used an RMS previously and we were originally looking for an easy-to-use platform as it’s just two of us running the revenue management for 41 hotels. We needed something that could adapt to our ecosystem and when we started our search we saw that Pace was one of the best on Hotel Tech Report.
“We’ve had some great results - particularly in our one star hotels. We used to change prices twice a day but now it’s all automated.”
To select an RMS we ran an extensive side-by-side comparison between three different RMS. The plan was to allocate six hotels to each solution and compare the results over a period of six months. After three months, we chose Pace as the algo’s strategy was much closer to the way we see revenue management as being purely demand driven and adaptable.
We work with 41 GMs and that’s a lot of different personalities and needs. We wanted something that everyone could use so the design of the dashboard and product were essential. Pace is so easy to use and intuitive - we really need to be able see what’s going on and Pace lets us do that. I particularly love the calendar view as it allows me to seamlessly select the day I want while also giving me a more comprehensive high-level vision of what’s going on.
We use the Mews PMS and they recommended three or four RMS options via their Marketplace. In the end, we didn’t even consider the legacy RMS players as we wanted something that pushed the prices directly into our Mews PMS and that changed prices automatically. We wanted the platform with the most flexibility for a constantly changing situation like Covid. We felt that the legacy guys were basing their pricing on way too many input factors and that kind of philosophy was too heavy for a world impacted by Covid and uncertainty.
In the end, we narrowed it down to a trial between Pace and one other competitor. There was also plenty of obscurity around the product and we couldn’t check the prices like we could with Pace. At the end of the day we are still revenue managers and want the option to keep our hands on the wheel as well!
The support and Customer Success team at Pace has been incredible. We really feel they are always there to help and offer tips and advice on how to maximise the platform. We are always in contact and that’s what good Customer Success should be."
“We first tried Pace out on four hotels in the beginning of September 2020 and then switched on Pace on at two more hotels just two months later to expand the trial. Finally, we decided to roll Pace out to all of our properties in January. For a complex range of properties and brands like we have, it was really impressive and unprecedented.
Importantly, the onboarding fees were nowhere near as high as the rest. Again, Pace was a real winner here as they were always focused on building trust and a relationship with us and the team is always available.”
“We’ve had some great results - particularly in our one star hotels. The Pace pricing was very good and we saw some good optimisation.
Our occupancy has also remained high relative to the market and despite the pandemic. We’ve had a few particularly good performers in May with 100% occupancy on many days, such as our properties in Bourges in the middle of France where Pace has helped us keep our ADR stable.
In general, our strategy has been to lower prices during the pandemic and Pace has really helped keep up with this strategy. But we are now getting back to normal and Pace is helping guide our ADR back there.
I’m a big believer in Pace’s algorithm and the argument they make about focusing on primary data instead of secondary data. We trust that, in the end, demand rules everything. Pace’s pricing algo adapts much better than all the other algos we looked at as it’s driven by demand and not by CompSets. Pulling in every piece of data possible into the RMS is not something we subscribe to at all.
Furthermore, focusing on historical data is not really relevant for most properties. When we were choosing an RMS that was also a major factor as we didn’t want historical data to be super important.
We’re really looking forward to the new restrictions capabilities that Pace are iterating on and rolling out. It’s going to be a game changer for us.”
“We’re huge fans of the alerts function in Pace Analytics. We need to be able to see if something happens that is out of the ordinary and Pace Analytics is able to send us this information without logging in - it works great with one of our other BI tools that we use to give a real bespoke solution!
Beforehand we had an old static system and we really wanted an analytics tool that was more adaptable. The combination of our old tool evolving to do what we need along with Pace has given us a modern and flexible tool. We’re looking forward to all the product updates and investment that Pace is making in Analytics!”