Established in 1998, South Beach Group offers boutique hotels in the heart of Miami Beach, an area famous for its art-deco hotels and night-life.
The hotel franchise has everything ranging from 2.5 star accommodation targeted at the “younger-party” market to quieter 4 star apartments that cater to families, as well as longer term corporate and production groups.
Prior to implementing SiteMinder’s Channel Manager solution, South Beach Group faced a range of issues including:
- Time wasted submitting requests when room changes were needed
- Submissions not processed and constantly out of parity
- Reservations received with incorrect rates or dates that should have been closed
- One-way interface not providing live updates and often no notifications of failed submissions.
Stephanie Balazs, Managing Partner, describes the process with their former channel manager as very frustrating, as 60% of submissions were failing to be processed.
“With our former channel manager, we weren’t being notified of the failures and our rates were constantly out of parity. All day I was getting emails to fix the problems and it was taking up all of my time.”
With 85-90% of South Beach Group’s hotel bookings sourced from the internet, the hotel franchise needed a channel manager that offered a two-way connection to ensure the process of managing channels was less time consuming, and inventory would be processed automatically.
With such a high turnover of rates and date availabilities, the Group required a channel manager that could keep up with its submissions.
South Beach Group knew that switching to a more automated channel manager would result in better exposure and more revenue.
After detailed research, in mid-2013, South Beach Group decided to switch its 12 hotels across to SiteMinder’s Channel Manager. Stephanie says:
“The customer service received has been great; very responsive. Setting up 12 hotels all at once, I had to depend on SiteMinder’s support team heavily, and it was great as they did everything I required very quickly. It was a huge project but it was a breeze.”
South Beach Group saw improvements across a range of areas, particularly:
- Pooled inventory: Inventory is now automatically shared across all channels, eliminating the previous issue of over selling.
- Rate parity: The automation provides rate parity across the various online channels, resulting in improved placement and conversions. Says Stephanie:
“Now all of our rates are in parity across the different sites, helping their ranking, conversion and production.”
- Self mapping: The self-mapping capability has given South Beach Group the ability to make changes to room types, master rates, and availability linkage on their own with the click of a button. The interface is user-friendly, allowing Lauren to change rates, close out and add restrictions with ease.
Stephanie is particularly impressed with the time-saving capability of the self-mapping tool. She comments:
“The self-mapping tool alone saves us an insane amount of time. The proven reliability of SiteMinder when it comes to our yield submissions has completely turned around what was previously a nightmare situation.”
Since moving across to SiteMinder’s Channel Manager, South Beach Group has seen a significant increase in bookings, with annual revenue up 17% in 2013.
With the opening of a new hotel in 2014, the Group also added a 13th property to their SiteMinder account and successfully managed to have new channels mapped and live within a couple of days.
Due to the significant improvements in managing its online inventory, the boutique group has decided it will not sign to any new 3rd party or wholesale contracts unless that company has an existing integration with SiteMinder.
Stephanie concludes with a recommendation to other hotel franchises:
“If you’re considering using SiteMinder products, go for it. Honestly, I have been pushing SiteMinder’s Channel Manager to every hotel I come across at different trade shows or networking events. A lot of people ask my advice and I have been actively recommending SiteMinder ahead of the competition.
“Choosing SiteMinder was one of the best work decisions we’ve ever made.”