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Article: P2P Payment Transactions to Exceed $120 Billion This Year

eMarketer - 18 July 2017
The use of mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as Venmo in the US will continue to grow by double digits through 2021, according to eMarketer’s latest mobile banking and payments forecast. The transaction value of US mobile P2P payments will grow 55.0% this year to $120.38 billion. This figure is on pace to double by 2021.
Article by David Lund

Hospitality Financial Leadership - Ego is Not Part of the Recipe

The Hotel Financial Coach - 17 July 2017
"If you want to be more than a flash in the pan, you must be prepared to focus on the long term. We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small to accomplish what we seek. Because we will be action and education focused, and forgo validation and status in their pursuit, our ambition will not be grandiose but iterative--one foot in front of the other, learning and growing and putting in the time." Ryan Holidays - Ego is the EnemyIn the financial leaders' world, ego will not serve them well. Ego will put distance between them and their audience. Ego would have a leader being the star of the show and there would only be one act in the play.A secret weapon: Knowing how to get non-financial leaders to produce amazing results through their creativity and leadership support to manufacture this product on a continuous stream.If one succumbs to ego they take themselves out of the game as if they were once a star but now they are too important to engage and really find out what the other leaders need. Being ego driven means the financial leader is hiding out. He or she wears the ego like a thin suit of armor to deflect any legitimate acknowledgement that maybe they do not have all the answers after all. Ego serves to tell them they are too important to go to that level of engagement. This is a big mistake because they miss seeing what is really going on and miss the opportunity to change it. "Can't fix what we can't see."Einstein said, "More the knowledge lesser the ego, lesser the knowledge more the ego."This quote really sums things up quite well. Egotistical people really lack the knowledge because they have shut down. They are closed for business. They cannot learn and grow if they are shut down. The game is an incremental day in day out, conversation after conversation, idea after idea, support after support, financial leadership is a relationship-building deposit-based enterprise. Leaders out-give constituents. That is what makes them tick successfully. Ego has no place in this environment.I once worked with a financial leader who made it a point and even verbalized the fact that he only spoke with members of the executive team. He was too important to speak to anyone else. According to him the idea of communicating with anyone else was a waste of time and beneath him.Well, the truth was he was hiding out. He was not comfortable communicating with anyone who might challenge his way of seeing the world of his business. What a waste to leave out so many inputs that are there to help shape and grow a vibrant, continually evolving and growing business landscape!The other interesting aspect of this example is the chief executive allowed and even condoned this behavior. Information is the currency of leadership. If leaders want more currency, they need to embrace leadership practices that allow for its accumulation.Ego and hiding out will not produce more currency.What are egotistical people afraid of? They are afraid of the very real possibility that they do not have all the answers, some of the answers, or even the answer. Rather than giving up their fake self-image they hold onto it and believe in it. Ego is not who they really are and inside they know this is the case. Yet it is too scary to let go, or seemingly to scary. However, ego is only a habit. This is the good news. Let go and have that next conversation and acknowledge that maybe "I don't know everything and I'm willing to learn."If you want a copy of my Rooms Productivity spreadsheet send me an email david@hotelfinancialcoach.comTo get a copy of my financial leadership recipe F TAR W send me an email david@hotelfinancialcoach.comTo get a copy of my Flow Thru cheat sheet send me an email david@hotelfinancialcoach.comVisit my website today for a copy of my guidebookThe Seven Secrets to Create a Financially Engaged Leadership Team in Your Hotelwww.hotelfinancialcoach.com
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Customer Obsession Drives Financial Results: Study

CFO Magazine - 17 July 2017
Companies that aren’t putting solutions to customer concerns at the top of their to-do lists risk losing ground to competitors. That might not be a surprising statement, but new research suggests that CFOs are flat-out obsessed with the idea.

The Dirty Dozen Of Hotel Renovation

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited - 17 July 2017
Hotel renovations are a necessary dread of our industry in order to keep apace with the constantly giving decor trends, star rating requirements and technological advancements. They are also stressful and frustrating. Having gone through dozens of this large-scale projects over the past four decades, I was able to navigate the treacherous waters of my own apartment's scope creep by following a general guideline of these twelve tips.1. Define your objectives. Be as specific as possible, and make sure that these are written and approved by your ownership group. My mistake this time around was that my vision was very different than that of my spouse which resulted in serious cost overruns and time delays.2. Timetables are split in thirds. Whatever you are proposing, figure one third of your time will be spent planning, another third in the actual work and the final third in quality control. Do not underestimate any one of these segments.3. Budgets never last for more than the time they were created. There are more ways for costs to overrun than you can count. I thought our planning was generous but we ended up about 25% over budget, and that includes several areas of great cost savings. It's natural to use a renovation to augment deep cleaning, upholstery renewal, upgraded security systems, LED conversions and any other new technologies. It all adds up!4. What's behind the walls? Our condo is only 15 years old, so there were no crazy surprises like what you would find in a century building. Nevertheless, we discovered significant shortfalls in wiring, plumbing and HVAC that all needed to be corrected before we could begin. Of course, these resulted in more cost increases and time delays, but the lesson here is to thoroughly inspect the state of affairs 'under the hood' before finalizing the scope and budget.5. Hire a great general contractor. Simply put, you have a hotel to run, not a construction site. Don't even think of doing both simultaneously. You need someone who will manage the project on your behalf. The GC became my single point of contact for the project, helping streamline communication and saving me time. He collected all my notes and disseminated them to the multitude of tradesmen onsite. He also fed back issues and prevented potential solutions.6. Let everyone know your deadline. In a residential move, this is straightforward; the closing date of your home's sale dictates the project's drop-dead completion date. While this gave us six months of overlap, the GC understood the final month was set aside for moving. With no secrets, the work was accomplished in the set timeframe. As a senior manager, you put decide what the maximum tolerable length of agony is that your property can endure before irreparable damage is done to its occupancy and reputation.7. You cannot walk away. In order to keep everything on track, I visited the jobsite at least twice a week, in addition to a weekly GC meeting. Apart from the obvious status reports, there were always new items and unexpected issues. The devil is in the details, and you won't discover those details unless you are periodically on the ground with the troops. To note one example, we did not specify the location of the thermostat. Without any direction, the HVAC folks placed it in what they thought was the optimal position, which did not take into consideration the high headboard which would have covered it. Good thing I was there to catch this before it was too late.8. Document all change orders. We kept a running tally sheet of over-change that we requested. While this did not lead to any real cost savings, at least we understood the detailed reasons for the overages. This approach will come in very handy when ownership needs to understand your budget predicament or to reconcile excesses.9. Create a positive work environment. I'm fussy about coffee. So too is my Italian, Portuguese, Lebanese and Turkish workforce. I knew that if I did not provide great coffee, one junior team member would be tasked on a continual Starbucks run. A hundred-dollar Nespresso machine plus lots of capsules turned out to be a wise investment. (As additional learning, the decaf capsules were never touched.)10. What ifs are expensive. Want to move a door, reposition a switch or add a dimmer? Most GCs will never say no. Just about anything can be built or modified; it is merely a matter of time and materials. So, be careful as to what you ask for, as your whimsical idea may be converted into reality but at a price too hefty to properly bear.11. Take lots of before photos. Try to image the best angles and where you stood so that you can replicate them exactly with the new look. The before-and-after comparisons may help you explain your cost overruns to your owners.12. Say thank you to your team. I didn't hire painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers or HVAC specialists. I hired craftsmen who take great pride in their work. It's probably a small job to them, but clearly very important to me. Such professionals will feel similar pride in their work done to refurbish your hotel. No matter what the project is or the size of your property, it costs nothing to say thank you in person or by email, and it will always be appreciated.(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, originally published in eHotelier on Wednesday, March 22, 2017)

Legal rights, job quality, Brexit head up UK discussion

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles - 17 July 2017
It is fair to say major changes have occurred in the United Kingdom in the last three years, with three issues—Brexit, university tuition fees and zero-hours/gig employment—likely to dominate the business and political landscape. When politicians or commentators tell you that country X or Y is going through its most important, pivotal period in its history, I generally dismiss that as a lazy statement, but there is a strong argument in the United Kingdom that the last three years have been just that.
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Separating Group and Local Banquet Sales

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com - 17 July 2017
If your hotel has a reasonable amount of meeting space (+10,000 ft) and your banquet business is a significant contributor in your Food and Beverage Department (+20% of F&B revenue), you are going to want to separate local banquet business from group banquet business on all of your financial statements, forecasts, budgets and daily reporting. At this moment you may be asking, "Why would I want to do that? That sounds like a lot of work."
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Red Lion Sues Hard Rock Hotels for Infringement in Race to Win Over Millennials

skift.com - Hotels - 17 July 2017
When it comes to appealing to Millennials — of which there are now 75.4 million in the United States alone — hotel companies are doing all they can to launch wallet-friendly, yet still-stylish accommodations that emphasize such features as co-working spaces, communal stadium seating, artisanal goods, and craft beers. Often classified as midscale hotels, these brands include the new Tru by Hilton and Marriott’s Moxy, for example. And there are more of these brands in the works: Trump Hotels’ American Idea, for one, and InterContinental Hotels Group’s yet-to-be-named one.
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How Does Outsourcing Reduce Cost?

EDUCBA - 17 July 2017
outsourcingOutsourcing has become an easy and cost effective technique, which is used widely in today’s digitization world. The developed countries prefer outsourcing their business processes to the developing countries like India. Before going any further we first need to know what exactly outsourcing means. Outsourcing is a process in which companies and organisation hand over work to outside vendor. Any work process which can be handled from outside location of the organisation, can be outsourced. This process is also known as offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing allows the organisation to obtain high quality services at a low operational cost.
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Conflicts of Interest in Your Contracts with TMCs & Suppliers

Business Travel News (BTN) - 17 July 2017
Every industry has buyers and sellers, and most have an additional network of partners that ease the pain points between the two. The business travel industry works similarly, but with airlines, hotels, transportation providers, technology companies, payment providers, global distribution systems, travel management companies and others, a travel buyer's supply chain is more complex than most. Though challenging for travel buyers to control, these interconnected relationships help them manage their category effectively.
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6 Reports every Hotelier Needs

Inn-Flow Hotel Software - 16 July 2017
Hotel operations move fast and at times it can feel like there are a dozen fires to put out. As a hotelier, you want to spend your time growing your business and maintaining your vision. But you also want to remain ever-vigilant about threats to the bottom line.Inn-Flow's auto email reports deliver vital labor and accounting analytics in order to free up your time and energy. By automatically emailing out key reports, your managers, co-owners, executives, and departmental heads will be better able to independently keep things on track. Now you can focus on the bigger picture.View the 6 Reports Every Hotelier Needs
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Will Annual Hotel RFPs Ever End?

Business Travel News (BTN) - 16 July 2017
Ask parties on both sides of the negotiating table what they think about the annual hotel RFP season, and more often than not, they'll say it's an inefficient, outdated process. But that doesn't mean everyone's ready to change it.
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A Tech Investment That Could Make Virtual Cards Easier for Midsize TMCs

Business Travel News (BTN) - 16 July 2017
A startup that could make it easier for more midsize travel management companies to issue virtual cards has received funding from CSI Enterprises' financial technology incubator, CSI Kick Start. ConnexPay aims to launch in November.
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Inflation Flat in June As Slowdown Continues

CFO Magazine - 15 July 2017
Inflation continued to soften in June after hitting a five-year-high just five months ago, possibly undermining the belief of some Federal Reserve officials that the slowdown is just temporary. The Labor Department reported Friday that the consumer-price index, or cost of living, was unchanged last month, while the rate of inflation over the past 12 months slowed to 1.6% from 1.9% in the prior month.
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Online Travel Agencies and Occupancy Tax: A Proliferation of Lawsuits

HFTP Connect - 14 July 2017
Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia and Booking.com are the channel of choice for approximately 14 percent of all hotel bookings in the United States. Typically, these channels are responsible for collecting occupancy tax directly from the guest and then pay the hotel directly for the reservations. Recently, OTAs have come under scrutiny for the way they collect occupancy tax. Typically, taxes and fees are bundled together on the OTA website and the guest does not know what portion are taxes and what portion are fees. Furthermore, when the guest selects the option to pay at the hotel, the hotel charges tax on the full rate paid (retail) while the OTA only charges tax on the amount paid to the hotel (wholesale). Since the OTA receives a commission of between 20 to 30 percent, this discrepancy in tax collection can result in millions of dollars of losses to cities, counties and states.
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Yellen Skeptical About Trump's Growth Target

CFO Magazine - 14 July 2017
“In the last five years, productivity growth has averaged a half percent. The last decade, something like 1.1 percent,” Yellen told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, adding that labor-force growth is also on the decline. For the administration to hit its goal, she said, productivity growth would need to rise to “something over 2.”
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CFOs Pumping Out Free Cash-Flow

CFO Magazine - 14 July 2017
On the heels of last year’s economic recovery, U.S. companies have improved brilliantly this year as generators of free cash flow, mostly by tying up less cash in working capital, a new study finds. “CFOs as a group have once again demonstrated their ability to improve on the generation of cash,” says Charles Mulford, an accounting professor at Georgia Tech and co-author of the study. “And they’ve done it across the board, in terms of the levers they have to pull and the metrics that we have to measure their performance.”
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Restaurants challenge NYC's plan to enforce menu labeling

Restaurant Business - 14 July 2017
The legal arm of the National Restaurant Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to block New York City from enforcing menu labeling requirements while a federal hold on disclosure rules remains in effect until next May. The move has implications that extend far beyond New York City. The industry fears that other jurisdictions might follow New York City’s lead and begin enforcing the rules themselves, leaving restaurant chains with a patchwork of requirements and potential penalties from coast to coast.

Are hotel brand dotcoms the new Amazon?

Tnooz - 14 July 2017
Here’s the great news for hoteliers: travelers love you more than you know. Recent research fielded by Phocuswright indicates that travelers want to book as much as possible through hotels: sightseeing tours, museum and event tickets, dining and other in-destination activities. This means your greatest competition – OTAs – haven’t won the battle for heart, mind and wallet. Current research also shows that 18-34-year-olds prefer to see extra travel-related offers through Google.

Renovation While Treading Lightly on Tradition

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited - 14 July 2017
For those whose knowledge of Montreal is limited, a short history lesson is mandated. The province of Quebec, including Montreal, is predominantly French-speaking. Yet, there is a distinct Anglophone culture in this its largest city which steadfastly had maintained a strong influence over the province through political appointments and strong financial influence. This led to a mini-rebellion (quite significant in a Canadian context) in the late 1970s, ultimately culminating in a vote to separate from Canada in 1995 with the yes votes losing by less than a percentage point. Today, through a stream of legislation, both the city and the Ritz Montreal are truly bilingual. Those 'Anglo traditions' which the Ritz has nurtured for a century now blend seamlessly and form just a portion of its wider target audience.But history alone does not make a hotel, and the property closed its doors for several years to make way for a top-to-bottom renovation. In January 2013, after consuming over $250 million in capital, a new slimmed down Ritz-Carlton Montreal with 129 guestrooms and 45 private residences opened. Superficially, the property maintained its traditional exterior, lobby and oval-shaped ballroom. The original restaurant was expanded in seating and renamed Maison Boulud after a partnership with the famous Parisian chef, Daniel Boulud. Under the skin, there was very little if any of the old property that remained.Despite the name, the property is not managed by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. It is affiliated from a marketing perspective and half of the ownership is held within the Torianni family. Taking the helm as CEO and general manager is Andrew Torianni. A self-proclaimed 'hotel brat', his father Marco retired from the Coiffure Hotel du Rhone Geneve in 2012. Andrew owes his deep knowledge of the hotel business to a 24/7/365 infusion, having lived on property for most of his years.On a recent visit to the hotel, I had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Torianni in the Bar Boulud to discuss not only the property, but more importantly his perspectives on the state of the hotel industry.What are your thoughts on the sharing economy?You have to look at the accommodations industry a little like television. In the past, there were just a few channels. Now, with cable and satellite, there are many more options for the viewer. It took awhile for the TV networks to adjust, as they had to up their game with not only better content in general, but also productions that targeted at specific market segments. The same holds true for the accommodations industry. Where we now have many more products, including Airbnb, we need to understand how to make our products focused at specific market segments. Be clear in the definition of your target guest, then narrowcast your product and message to those audiences accordingly.Do you expect to see any business lost to Airbnb in the luxury segment?In a word, no. There are three aspects of hotels that Airbnb cannot duplicate. First and foremost, it is service. A hotel without it is really an oxymoron; it simply cannot exist, especially at the luxury level. The second is a vibrant lobby. We tend to underestimate the strategic feeling of camaraderie that comes from guests' interactions within. The third is food. Guests want great food, not just quick-serve equivalents. With these priorities well-established, a good hotel can weather this sharing economy storm.The Ritz has an older, well-established Anglo-Montreal client base. Yet, as I sit here, I'm estimating the average age of the patrons to be mostly in their 20s and 30s.This has been a critical focus for us. We retained the Palm Court off the lobby, and it still serves a traditional tea just as Cesar Ritz initiated in 1913. But next door is the Maison Boulud which breaks the mold. Here, we find an open kitchen with high top tables that seat a dozen, thereby encouraging a younger audience. Today at Maison Boulud, it is hard to tell if a patron is French or English speaking. The two societies often blend together, which at first seems incongruous yet somehow in our setting it works.Speaking of youthful audiences, how can a hotel best approach the millennial market?Think food! While it is probably incorrect to lump millennials into a single segment, one commonality is their focus on food, not just in terms of consumption but rather from the standpoint of experiences. Think of each meal as an Instagram or Facebook impression. Follow this and you will undoubtedly be successful.I see the pond. Where are the ducks?(Smiling) It's still a little bit too cold. They'll be here eventually, as they have been for the past hundred years.(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, published in Hotels Magazine on June 2, 2017)
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The New Machine-Learning Booking Tool for Road Warriors: Travel Startup Funding This Week

skift.com - Digital - 14 July 2017
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. The companies we note this week have together raised more than $17 million. Comtravo, a Berlin-based startup, has received $9.7 million (or 8.5 million euro) in a Series A funding round after two years of development. The venture capital firms Project A and Creandum led the round.
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Article: Listen In: The Ins and Outs of Data Management

eMarketer - 14 July 2017
In the latest episode of eMarketer's "Behind the Numbers" podcast, analyst Lauren Fisher outlines the issues involved in data management, and the ways that marketers can think about, organize, integrate and analyze data to shift their focus from channels to audiences.
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Foreign Governments On Notice To Share Security Data or Face U.S. Travel Sanctions

skift.com - Transport - 14 July 2017
The clock has started to tick on a 50-day deadline for foreign governments to meet new U.S. standards for passports and sharing information about their citizens. Failing to meet the deadline risks having some categories of nationals banned from traveling to the U.S. The State Department on Thursday sent a cable to all U.S. embassies and consulates instructing U.S. diplomats to inform their host governments that the 50-day period has begun for them to meet the new criteria, devise a plan to meet them or face the possibility of travel sanctions. The seven-page State Department cable was obtained by The Associated Press.
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Falling Global Tax Rates Make U.S. Less Competitive

CFO Magazine - 13 July 2017
The ayes have it. Our panel of tax and accounting experts, whose opinionated essays are gathered here, voted 3-1 in favor of a major cut in the federal corporate income tax rate. But whether congressional Republicans will have better luck fashioning a new corporate tax structure than they’ve had coming up with an alternative health-care scheme remains to be seen. Many of their opinions are reflected in this package of essays.
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Why Lawmakers Are Seeking Greater Transparency on Foreign Landlords

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 13 July 2017
Commercial real estate in the U.S. has always been—and likely will always be—open to foreign investors. In some cases, however, the federal government believes foreign ownership’s details are not transparent enough, at least when foreign entities end up owning buildings where federal agencies conduct high-security affairs and handle sensitive information.

The decline of shopping malls hits US hotels hard

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles - 13 July 2017
The boom of shopping malls in the United States gave hotel owners and developers ample room to build, but malls’ fall in popularity means the hotel industry needs to think about the future of retail space. The boom of shopping malls in the United States gave hotel owners and developers ample room to build, but malls’ fall in popularity means the hotel industry needs to think about the future of retail space. It might not seem obvious, but the fortunes of the hotel business—especially in the United States—are linked to the bricks-and-mortar retail industry. And as you’ve probably read, retail in general and shopping malls in particular are in economic trouble—a trend that presents both challenges and opportunities to hotel owners and developers. While it’s hard to quantify how many hotels in the U.S. depend on nearby retail for large chunks of their business, a lot of data exists showing the rapid erosion of the country’s retail business. So far this year, according to Fung Global Retail & Tech, the number of retail store closure announcements increased 218% over last year, with 5,321 closures to date and more certain to follow.
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Five Best-Practices for Managing Digital Marketing Content and Assets

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration - 13 July 2017
In today's digital world, marketers manage thousands of images and videos. These digital assets consist of a variety of file types, from JPG and TIF to PNG, GIF, RAW, MPEG, MP4, and many others. Marketers use these digital files for e-books, whitepapers, infographics, social media, webpages, and other branded materials. Finding the right version of the right file—right when you need it—is key for staying productive, and that's why digital media libraries have become essential.

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