There are many areas an organization needs to manage. People, products, projects, budgets and schedules are among the more pressing issues companies need to oversee. Managing demand, however, is a concept starting to become better known to managers all over the world, especially in hotel management. Demand management enables business objectives to be aligned with the available resources. A balance is created by adjusting marketing strategies, customer outreach, and even how your sales force operates. The concept is present in many industries, including retail, construction, Information technology and hospitality.
Hospitality demand management brings together a number of disciplines for hotels to accurately forecast and manage demand for hotels and hospitality services. Some of the areas of measure for demand in hotels include estimation in pricing, revenue management, inventory and merchandising, marketing and channel distribution. Having data on all these areas helps hotels understand the needs for storage management. It’s all about managing distribution methods, understanding portable storage requirements and more inside hotels and customer timing and balance. Demand management impacts the success of a hotel business from concept down to the storage solutions used.
What is Demand Management?
Demand management involves analysis, control, and tracking of requirements in various parts of your business. Volume is the main focus, rather than individual products, services purchased and costs. Through demand management, businesses can address external spending, waste disposal, purchasing, and supplier relationships. In some circles, it’s called strategic spend management, while others refer to it as consumption management.
The basis behind demand management is to create a balance. There are six basic components to be most effective at this. Each of these impacts a business’ ability to address demand.
- Identify demand: Assess the resources needed for each project, product purchase, or service contract to put all the information in one place, especially if your organization uses sophisticated software and database tools.
- Define business objectives: Compare your objectives to each project to gauge its business value. You then have the opportunity to adjust demand allowance, only if business objectives are shared beyond the executive level.
- Acceptance criteria: Define the conditions on which projects, service requests, bookings, etc. are accepted. If these criteria are followed, then automation is possible and your business can run more smoothly.
- Resource visibility: All managers and employees need to see resources available to determine if more are needed, how they can be re-allocated, or whether certain criteria need to be changed.
- Cost-benefit: The potential costs of and revenue generated by a project or initiative are very important. If cost-benefit can’t be quantified then it’s feasible to go in another direction by using resources in a different way. Demand can effectively be limited and thus managed.
- Anticipating unplanned work: IT is often faced with unplanned requests, such as broken down computers, but the potential for the unexpected exists in any industry. The resources, budgets, and time frames required must be adapted to address capacity demands. Marketing, storage needs, and room inventory and services in hotels must often be adjusted quickly to accommodate an influx in guests. In any business, anticipating demand is akin to making a forecast. The details of this forecast affects how decisions are made and assets are handled.
Demand management looks at historical purchasing and what’s expected of products and services. The purchasing process is further analyzed with considerations such as volume discounts, order timing, supplier quality, and contracts. In any form, demand management lets organizations act on supply quantity and spending trends and reinforce supplier relationships where necessary. Let’s see how these concepts apply to the hospitality industry.
Demand Management in the Hotel Industry
Hotel operations are impacted by room demand, event space, seating, and other services like transportation and dining. The flow of business, leisure, and group travelers can be managed and accommodated. In the midst of all these business operations, remodels and refreshes at hotels take up time and energy of hotel managers. They might have to replace room furniture, room carpets, lighting fixtures, TV monitors and more. When all this remodeling is needed, the use of storage containers is often a required element.
Hotel businesses can address demand management in a number of ways:
- Reach out to prior guests to target a flow of return customers.
- Create incentives for referring others to their hotel.
- Invite guests to write reviews online.
- Offer discounts, promotional offers, and other loyalty incentives.
- Lower prices to attract increased demand.
How Portable Storage Units Help Hotels
One of the applications for storage containers is seasonal inventory. Hotels in many locations see peak guest rates in summer or during holidays. Industry trade shows and expositions often bring an influx of guests. In hospitality, these convenient storage units are ideal for stocking away furniture, cleaning supplies, seating, and other items which would be a burden on resources during off-peak times.
Some of the benefits to hotels include:
- On-site storage: Containers have space for furniture, fixtures, carpets and more. They are easy to access when storing or retrieving items. Hotels can keep them on the property, avoiding the hassles of shipping items off-site.
- Added room during renovations: Hotel renovations can be extensive. A storage container as a temporary solution keeps furnishings and supplies out of the way, and can also be used to store accessory and construction materials. The work can be done more efficiently and the hotel back in full capacity sooner.
- Special event preparation: Storage for conferences, galas, and other events, or for items which need to be moved out of the way to make room for large gatherings.
Demand management is so integrated with the hotel industry there are career opportunities in the field. There are higher education programs specifically for this segment, such as Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Read more on how demand management fits within the hospitality business.
Storage Needs for Hospitality Companies
Storage demand can change seasonally or periodically based on the volume of travelers and many other factors. Convenient, secure storage containers can help any hotel business with its supply and demand response, and its overall success. Through its 100-plus branch locations, Mobile Mini affords access to portable storage assistance for hoteliers. Options include:
- Standard, eight-foot widths in various lengths
- Extra-wide, 10 foot containers
- Units specialized for storing sensitive records and documents
- Single- and double-door vaults, plus vault/inventory units, are also available