Implementing an RM tool, not as scary as it sounds!

While launching an RM initiative no longer puts anyone off, especially as we emerge from the crisis, implementing a Revenue Management tool scares many people. A nightmare, one might think. That’s true if you don’t get it right. So let’s take a look at the right approach. 

First of all, the loss machine: draw up a complete and strict set of specifications (80 to 100 pages) to avoid any nasty surprises, put together a large project team, go through the bids and interview the Providers . Huge analysis gap. 2nd set of specifications. The same thing happened again, until we chose a solution that wasn’t suitable (but we had to move on). Configuration, testing, deployment. It doesn’t add up. It takes a long time. It’s disappointing. And it’s expensive. So much for that.

I’ve been lucky enough to start as a customer with 3 experiences of deploying a new tool, then as a consultant on several occasions to help customers with such projects, and now as a publisher with N&C and our RMS revbell platform. 8 licensed customers already.

What can I learn from this? The longer it takes, the less effective it is.

The 3 steps to implementing an RM tool:

1) A simple statement of requirements, 3 or 4 pages long. Description of the context, architecture of the existing IS, scope of the solution, Pricing model, distribution structure, etc. Then, list of prioritised functional requirements: expectations in terms of forecasting, optimisation, access to data, expectations in terms of levers, ergonomics, parameterisation possibilities, connectivity (a few days to document).

2) Then an iterative phase of discussions with no more than 3 pre-selected Providers, including a demonstration of the solution with a set of the customer’s data. Discussions on the suitability of the solution for the customer’s needs, and on the possibilities for parameterisation, workarounds and upgrades to better meet the customer’s requirements. Particular attention is paid to the Provider‘s ability to understand the requirement, to make a commitment, to deliver, to support the solution over time, and to develop it in line with a shared road map (3 months). Enough to choose the right one.

3) Implementation of the solution (3 months) on the core business with possible adjustments/enhancements for future releases. On a restricted perimeter, then full deployment.

We have seen implementations fail after 2 years of effort. But we’ve also seen some great successes in just 6 months, and sometimes less.

The key word: agility

Keywords: RM tool, Revenue Management, specifications, RMS revbell, pricing model