- Peter Saunders - Group Hotel Sales Manager - Oakman Inns & Restaurants
Oakman Inns & Restaurants
Oakman Inns & Restaurants was founded in 2005 by Peter Borg-Neal, and opened their first pub in 2007. In 2010, they launched their first property incorporating rooms, and now operate a number of pubs with luxury boutique accommodation:
The Kings Arms, Berkhampstead - 14 rooms
The Penny Farthing, Berkhampstead - 19 rooms
The Crown and Thistle, Abingdon - 19 rooms
The Blue Boar, Witney - 20 rooms
The Globe, Warwick - 16 rooms
Oakman Inns were eager to implement a PMS infrastructure that would meet the needs of their growing portfolio of properties and help them deliver their business plan.
Their primary requirements for the system included:
- Centralisation of operations to improve efficiency and reduce resources.
- A more aggressive rate and pricing strategy across the group.
- Improved yield through more thorough reporting and customer insight.
- Rezlynx PMS
- Guestline Distribution
- Online Booking Manager
- PCI Manager
Guestline's extensive training allowed the group to use the system to its full potential right from the start.
A single reservations and sales team for the group instead of separate ones for each hotel. The net result has been reduced labour costs and streamlined staffing requirements. This new team has undergone thorough training and deliver a consistent, on-brand service to customers which have enhanced the customer experience.
Oakman Inns now operate a more group focussed approach and optimise bookings between hotels if the intended hotel is full.
A variable pricing strategy has been implemented and rates are adjusted according to availability and seasonal fluctuations. They can now deliver a consistent, accurate price structure across all channels and close out inventory to specific channels when needed.
Increased direct bookings:
Online Booking Manager has boosted bookings via their website, reducing OTA commissions. Online ARR has been improved by varying rates according to room type and added extras, with packages promoted online through photos and descriptions
Oakman utilise advanced automated emails for pre-arrivals to give customers directions and car park information, with links to group restaurants and pubs to drive dinner reservations. Post-stay emails are also utilised to encourage guests to leave reviews.
The ability to flex rates and sell down to the last room on all channels has increased occupancy, driven rates and boosted revenue. For example occupancy at the Crown & Thistle has increased from 34% to over 86% in the last year.
Automation within the system has saved time, reduced manual inputting and eliminated errors.
Longer lead times:
Lead times have increased with a yield management strategy which has helped forecasting and planning.
"I’ve worked with a few PMS vendors in the past and this is by far the most intuitive and easy to use system.
The Support team are fantastic – a real asset to Guestline - you just don’t get this level of support with other companies. Invariably they are able to sort out the issue there and then which is ideal for us.
To achieve an increase in occupancy of over 50% in one of our properties is fantastic and with the new online booking developments that are due we are confident of delivering even more direct bookings and maximising profits further."