PO Box 1757
1170 Brumbach Road
Roseburg OR 97470
Phone: 541) 672-5332 or (800)663-4591
Fax Fax: (541) 672-8737
June 7, 1999
Van Osdell, Manager
The San Anselmo Inn
339 San Anselmo Ave
San Anselmo, CA 94960
As you could
tell, I was considerably upset when you said you do not want to
enter daily data about the occupancy and receipts of the San Anselmo
Inn into the existing on-line computer system. I think this response
is wrong headed and uninformed. I also notice that there has been
no recent entry, and this makes me very uncomfortable. There are
several reasons why we want this entry done, and several reasons,
also, why you (or Pamela, if you so desire) should do this small
chore (approximately 15 minutes daily), especially since you have
rightly placed so much emphasis on keeping accurate reservations
A report once
a month, after the fact, is useless as a management tool. We,
as owners, need to have information as up-to-date as possible.
A daily on-line report which shows not only occupancy and receipts,
but has the potential of showing reservations and customer analysis,
provides this information..
I realize that
most line managers are not accustomed to operate a business in a
fish bowl, but it is precisely for this reason that more and more
small (and large) businesses have switched to on-line reporting.
The lodging industry is highly competitive, and a marketing aproach
based on current data is becoming more and more required. Competent
on site operating management is, of course, essential, but it is
not sufficient. Also needed are marketing , financial resources,
teahnical skill, and top level commitment, planning and direction.
Each of these is equally important, and I think you will agree that
each is needed if even a small business is to succeed.
As far as
internet mareting is concerned, It is not sufficient to merely
have a web site (we do), to be listed on other sites providing
links (we are) and to mention this web site at every opportunity
(on print media, business cards, brochures, etc..) because we
do that too. Web sites are important, but they are essentially
passive in nature, as potential clients must come to the website,
the website cannot go to the client. Active marketing in the form
of old fashioned leg work (Pam), web site design and maintenance
(Fran) and letters/phone calls (Renee) are within the purview
of our small business, while a large campaign involving extensive
display ads is far too expensive.
I am constantly
updating the web site, making changes to text, pictures, offers,
etc. These functions are both beyond your skill and far too time
consuming for you to even consider doing. However, my very ability
to access the Internet requires the Frame Relay and the Internet
hosting services. Also, without the ability to react quickly to
the status and current conditions, there is no concomittant ability
to direct marketing staff intelligently, (both on site and off
site).. Again, intelligent and immediate response to current market
conditions requires up-to-date data. Responding to e-mail inquiries,
issuing information and answering inquiries is certainly a part
of marketing, but is far more time consuming than entering a few
lines of financial and occupancy data daily.
The two components
of marketing and financial reporting cannot be treated as separate
entities. They are two sides of the same coin. It will soon become
necessary for us to make and confirm reservations on-line in order
to keep our web site, indeed, our bery business, competitive.
This will be easily done once an on-line reservation system is
constructed and installed. At this point all of us will need to
see e-mail inquiries, and their resultant reservations. Without
an on-line system, this will be very difficult. The preliminary
step to all this is to keep at least current information on line.
To sum up,
I agree with all your well intended efforts to cut costs, but
it seems shortsighted indeed to turn your back on a promising
new technology for the sole purpose of saving a few hundred dollars.
Networking technology provides one place where small businesses
can compete effectively with the big boys.
cc Cyril and