Taking action and making decisions based on mapping insights in order to manage capacities more effectively is what transparency allows a company to do. This is of profound importance: it enables you to implement restructuring to optimize existing processes that may be stuck in the past. Interestingly enough, one of the most important processes in the travel industry is the least optimized and discussed: hotel mapping. Many of us unknowingly use mapping solutions that are simply outdated and therefore lacks abilities that are possible today. While hotel mapping is a must for every OTA and supplier, mapping tools and services often lack automation and insights, leaving room for a vast array of errors.
No transparency – no insight into mapping quality
What exactly is missing from these outdated solutions and how, if those gaps are filled, will a company be affected? In the past, and unfortunately still in the present, many hotel mapping tools and services don’t provide their clients with any transparency into their mapping data. A major aspect that is not shared is the amount of inventory that is actually covered during the mapping process. Suppliers send their inventory files to the mapping provider, which then maps it to their own codes and passes it on to OTAs. Neither the suppliers nor the OTAs have any insight into what is mapped or not mapped.
The OTA receives the mapped files without any knowledge of which properties that the supplier thinks they are providing them with, and which in actuality do not appear in the file because they were not mapped by the provider. Additionally, the OTA has to manually map the file to their own inventory, and adding missing properties becomes a daunting and problematic task. Had this information been included with the mapping results file, the OTA and supplier would have the opportunity to make corrections to their inventory information and get more of their properties mapped, and therefore available for sale. As a result of the current status quo, many suppliers and OTAs miss out on a vast number of business opportunities.
How information can show the need for optimization
Although mapping providers miss a large percentage of suppliers’ properties, it allows them to claim nearly complete accuracy, as this only applies to the properties that are mapped. In addition, the manual mapping that takes place afterwards results in a great deal of human error, impacting the inventory quality even more. All of this happens unknown to the OTA / supplier as they have no insight to give them control of the process. A host of questions are left unanswered: Which properties aren’t being mapped because of rectifiable mistakes? Were there technical issues? Which properties are my bestsellers? Without insight into historical data the occurrence of errors also remains unknown. Only transparency with complete automation can prevent this.
How do you know if your mapping can be improved?
- How long does your mapping process take? Days or even weeks? With today’s technologies mapping should only take you up to a maximum of 24 hours.
- Are you restricted with regards to adding properties to your inventory? Sometimes there are codes missing for properties which restricts you from adding them.
- Are your missing insights into information such as how many of your properties are mapped correctly?
With the advancements in mapping technology, hurdles and hassles that were an intrinsic part of the process have been eliminated. Only new technologies can solve the struggle of finding a way to process the huge amount of inventory data in a way that allows for the maximum amount of properties to be mapped within a reasonable time frame, while having the ability to give valuable insights that can be used for optimization.
Empowerment through visibility
Many OTAs and suppliers are unaware of the capabilities that access to such data would offer them, and therefore transparency is not on the forefront of demands to mapping providers. Industry awareness of the importance of data transparency and the opportunities it creates to expand business opportunities, improve customer retention, and increase revenue, must be increased.
Transparency, access, and ownership of one’s mapping data is vital to any OTA and supplier to keep up in today’s travel market. Next time you need to map your inventory, take the opportunity to check if you are getting the visibility and transparency you need.
To learn more, feel free to get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website.
Gimmonix is a technology company that helps travel businesses increase their revenue and boost efficiency through automated mapping technology, API connectivity, and profit optimization tools. Gimmonix pushes the limits of technology to help travel businesses minimize waste and maximize performance with its cutting-edge, cloud-based products.