Rate-assurance, auditing and sourcing platform
provider Tripbam today announced its latest iteration of Smart Sourcing for
hotels. The company revised its RFP tool with input from major hotel chains including
Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Accor to increase visibility for
hotel global sales organizations, even when requests are targeted to specific
properties. Tripbam expects the new functionality to launch in April.
Since its rollout in 2019, Smart Sourcing has
enabled travel buyers to send transient corporate travel bids directly to hotel
properties at any point in the annual cycle, without waiting for traditional
'sourcing season.’ The tool tracks market rates and automates discount
proposals based on buyer volume. At the same time, Tripbam's rate-assurance
functionality and auditing has enhanced transparency, and according to buyers
has kept hoteliers on their toes when it comes to providing competitive rates
to corporates, especially as local markets fluctuate.
Smart Sourcing in its first iteration,
however, did not loop hotel global sales organizations into the proposal
process. That caused problems for hoteliers, obscuring local deals and keeping
above-property sales teams from offering bigger-picture value, according to
hoteliers speaking to BTN. Covid-19 compounded the problem as skeletal
resources at many individual hotel properties were challenged even to respond
to the RFPs that did come in.
Collaboration First for Tripbam?
The solution to these issues, according to
Reynolds, was to work with the hotel companies on a “new piece of technology
that integrates with [the hotels’] internal systems."
It was important to Reynolds, however, that
the buyer stay in control. With the new functionality, the buyer will choose
which properties and proposals are open to the global sales team and which ones
remain solely at the local level. And "if the property doesn't respond, [the
buyer has an option] to go to the national account manager,” he said.
The option is a gamechanger for the
above-property sales teams, Hyatt VP of global sales Gus Vonderheide told BTN.
“That toggle switch, which was not
available in phase one, now gives the customer options to send the RFP directly
to the property as well as to the global sales organization. Allowing my team
to communicate the process to their customers will keep everyone connected and
involved,” Vonderheide said.
Tripbam’s collaboration with hoteliers also
represents a welcome change in what has sometimes been a contentious
Said Vonderheide, “We both exist because hotels exist. It's not the other way around.
And we both have the responsibility to bring value to the properties. Tripbam,
in allowing global sales to be involved from the very beginning and to work
alongside in completing the RFP process, will result in a win-win for everyone