Reservations for all types of groups are possible within the RDP system. Group blocks, Internet reservations, direct billing, and invoicing options are available with the Group Reservation module. This page describes the group features in our RDPWin system. For information on using Groups in our booking engine, please see “Groups-Internet”.
The RDP system can handle reservations for groups, companies, wholesalers, conferences, families, and city ledger billing. For example, the following flow of events is possible:
Establish a group block.
Configure the block to use one rate plan before the arrival date, another rate plan during the block, and a third rate plan after the departure date.
Establish a cut-off date to release the block.
Group members can reserve a room from the block by either calling the property or using RDP’s Internet Reservation Module (IRM) to make their own reservation directly on the Internet.
Create group itineraries. For example, if you schedule a meeting at 9:00 p.m. on the day of arrival, this information can be displayed during check-in to inform the group members.
Billing can be split between the individual and the group. If the guest decides to arrive early or stay later, the billing can be appropriately distributed.
Sub-groups can be created for billing. For example, there can be a block of 300 rooms for a group. Any given person could reserve eight of these rooms and pay for those room charges, while the incidentals are paid by the individual guests in each room.
Registration cards, group itineraries, and room keys can be created and printed prior to check-in, so a check-in packet can be handed to each group member without delay.
When rooms are pre-assigned, groups can be checked-in all together to minimize check-in time or separately as the individual members arrive.
RDP maintains a complete city ledger billing system for groups.
Groups, Wholesalers, Companies
The RDP system can be used to handle a wide variety of “multi-reservation” scenarios, including:
A block of rooms can be allocated to a specific group.
Small groups often do not have a room block. For example, a family may want 6 rooms. RDP can handle this situation by using a “group leader” and linking multiple reservations to this leader. The group leader can be billed for all, part of, or none of each reservation. Group check-in/checkout is still possible, along with group itineraries and other group features.
RDP can handle the scenario of a company that sends guests to your property periodically without a room block. The company can have a special rate plan assigned. The company can be configured to pay for all, part of, or none of a given reservation, and each reservation can have different billing scenarios.
The RDP group system can be used for wholesalers. Each wholesaler can have a different rate plan, cut-offs, rolling cut-offs, and billing instructions. Wholesalers can enter their own reservation via RDP’s Internet Reservation Module (IRM).
Group members can share rooms. Up to 99 individuals can share a given room, each with their own folio and group billing split. Group members can move from one room to another and keep the same folio.
Group Direct Access with Internet Reservation Module
RDP offers the Internet Reservation Module (IRM) to provide 24 hour a day, 365 day/year access for guests, travel agents, groups and wholesalers. Having groups, wholesalers, and companies use the Internet can save a great deal of time.
RDPWin allows both inventory and preassign group reservations to be made.
Unique Rate Plan for Each Group
Unique rates for each group, company, or wholesaler can be established using a rate plan. Once a rate plan is assigned to a group, the system automatically uses the rate for all group reservations.
For example, establish a $69 group rate for standard rooms and a $109 group rate for suites, using rate plan “GRP1.” Then, any group assigned rate plan “GRP1” receives these rates.
A given group reservation can have multiple rate plans. For example, a guest may arrive two days prior to the start of a conference and pay RACK at $100/night, then pay the GRP1 rate of $69 during the conference. The system also allows the individual to pay for part of the reservation and his company another part.
The system includes various reports showing forecasted and actual revenue by rate plan. These reports, part of the yield management system, track discounted room revenue, helping to maximize profit.
E-mail Marketing to Groups
E-mail is one of the most powerful and least expensive marketing tools available and has been fully incorporated into the core RDP system at no additional charge. Send emails to groups for particular type, state, country, a single zip code or a range of codes. Send the text in the body of the email or send text as the attachment. Additional attachments can be included such as maps to the property, weather reports, or activity schedules.
The system can determine ahead of time if any email addresses exist with invalid formatting. A report can be viewed.
Mass E-mails can be sent directly from the RDP System – no third party software required. For example, an E-mail could be sent to 5,000 groups who have contacted you in the past with a special offer. They could click on a link in the E-mail, which would take them directly the Internet Reservation Module to make reservations without GDS fees.
RDP abides by all current regulations for anti-SPAM by allowing guests to “opt out” of mass E-mails. Simply check the “Don’t mass email” checkbox on the group master, and any mass emails sent to groups will skip over those with the box checked. It’s easy!
Guest confirmations can be sent via E-mail, Fax, or printed and mailed.
Crystal Reports can be created and distributed by E-mail.
RDP newsletters can be sent via E-mail
See RDP Email Marketing
Tentative/Definite Group Tracking
Groups can be established as tentative, verbal definite or definite. During negotiations, the group is normally marked as tentative and changed to verbal definite after a verbal agreement is reached. Once a contract is signed, change the group status to definite.
All group reports can be sorted by the tentative/verbal definite/definite status. This status is critical for managing the group sales department.
Room Blocks for Groups
Room blocks can be established for each group. The room block can be different for each unit type and each day during the stay. For example, a group can have five rooms the first day, 70 the next four days and five the last day. The room block report differentiates and sub-totals tentative vs. definite groups for each day in the future.
Group confirmations can be automatically printed with the group name, address, and billing information. Also, advance deposits can be applied to groups and appear on the advance deposit ledger.
Split Charges Between Individuals and the Group
The system automatically splits charges between the group city ledger and individual guests. (“Group” applies to groups, companies, or wholesalers).
All group members are not required to have the same billing arrangement. For example, if there are 70 rented rooms, 40 can be established to bill room charges to the leader, 20 can bill no charges to the leader, and 10 can bill all charges. It is also possible to establish billing where the group leader pays for room and food, but not phone calls or other incidentals. Additionally, the individual can pay for part of the stay and his group or company another part.
Master Folio for Group Leader
The system produces a master folio for the group leader which can be printed before, during, or after checkout. For example, if the group leader wishes to inspect the bill the morning of checkout, print it instantly. Or, if the group leader calls two months after checkout with a billing question, re-print the group folio in its entirety. Folios for group leaders and individuals are stored forever, limited only by available disk space. The system allows various group leader formats, including:
Condensed format, showing one line for each group member with the total billed to the group leader.
Detail format, showing the total from each group member and all charges transferred from each member to the group.
A “one page per group member” format that prints a separate folio for each group member, including all charges. This is often used when the group leader distributes folios to all group members for reimbursement.
Folios for Each Individual
In addition to the various folio formats available for the group leader, folios can be printed for each group member. Individual folios can also be printed before, during, or after checkout. Normally, individual folios show incidental charges not billed to the group leader. However, all charges can be printed if required.
Print up to Three Individual Folios at Checkout
The system allows for automatic printing of up to three individual folios at checkout. For example, a company may not have billing privileges at the property and the guest requests two folios. He may wish to pay for room charges with a company credit card and incidentals with a personal card.
In this example, the system automatically routes incidental charges to a separate individual folio. At checkout, the system prompts to print “each folio with a balance”. Separate payments are entered and noted on each printed folio. The system tracks both payments and charges forever, limited only by disk space.
Quickly Assign Rooming Lists
Groups or conferences often provide full rooming lists which are quickly input from one screen. With RDP, each individual on the rooming list can have a different group billing arrangement. And, up to 50 sharewiths are allowed for each room. The system prints rooming list reports and itineraries.
Fast Group Check-in and Check-Out
The system checks-in or checks-out entire groups with one keystroke. For example, if a bus arrives with a sports group, and the rooming list has been pre-entered, the entire group (up to 1000 rooms) can be checked-in by entering a “G” (for group check-in).
Pickup from Group
A common reservation scenario is a convention where a group is allocated a room block and special rates, and each individual guest contacts the property for reservations. With RDP, this type of group is established with a unique rate plan and room block. When the reservationist receives a call from a convention guest, the system automatically calculates the correct rate and indicates a room pickup on availability reports. Billing for each pick-up can be different. For example, one guest bills the group for room only, another for everything, and a third paid 100% by the guest.
A deposit can be requested, tracked, and collected from the group and each group member. Additionally, confirmations can be printed for the group leader and each guest. The group room block report indicates total rooms allocated and rooms picked up for each day of the block. Additionally, cut-off dates are tracked to indicate how quickly a given conference is filling up and to help decide when to release blocked space.
Small Group and Family Reservations
“Family” reservations require more than one room but are not large enough to justify a room block or a special rate plan. The reservationist quickly adds additional rooms or sharewiths. One family member can be designated as the “group leader” and charges from other members billed to this reservation. The system checks-in or checks-out the entire family with one keystroke.
City Ledger Billing
In addition to groups, conferences, and families, RDP allows for company billing. For example, assume Hewlett Packard (HP) frequently sends employees to your property and has a special rate plan. Employees make their own reservations and are responsible for their own incidentals. HP is defined as a city ledger account and reservations automatically use the special rate plan created for HP. The system bills HP for room and tax and produces an incidental folio for each guest.
Unique billing departments can be established within one company. For example, HP’s Research and Development department has one billing address while the sales department has another. Additionally, each HP employee has a different billing arrangement. The president has all charges billed to the company while other employees only bill room and tax. RDP’s flexibility handles each of these scenarios.
Open Item/Balance Forward Statements
Company statements are printed at any time using either a balance forward or open item format. The balance forward statement shows the balance from the last billing period, less payments made, plus new company charges. The open item statement shows all open charges (balance due not equal to zero), regardless of when the charges were made.
Charges include transfers from folios and incidental company charges, such as conference room rentals. Samples of both open item and balance forward statements are included in this section.
Aged Accounts Receivables
The city ledger system prints “outstanding balance due” reports in several formats including a “one line per company” and “detail” format. The one line format includes the balance due per company, aged as 30, 60, 90, 120 and over 120 days. The detail format shows not only the balance due but also each open charge for every company. Samples of both formats are included in this section.
Integration to General Ledger
Group reservations, conferences, families, and all other reservation scenarios integrate to the RDP general ledger system. All individual folio transactions, group leader, and city ledger accounts automatically post to the general ledger daily.
Complete Historical Group Information
Complete historical information is maintained in both an on-screen and report format for every group, company, conference, and individual. For example, quickly inquire on a group to see their history, including how many rooms rented last year, total dollars spent and total room nights. Complete group leader folios can be reprinted from last year, five years ago, or 10 years ago, limited only by disk space.
This historical information is useful when negotiating with a returning group. For example, the group may have negotiated a deep discount last year based on a projection of 400 room nights. They may have only booked 150 room nights. This information may lead to a lower discount, increasing average daily rate and profits.
Group Statistical Reports and Marketing
The system tracks month-to-date and year-to-date revenue for all group masters. Totals are printed monthly for the current year, monthly for the previous year, and quarterly. RDP’s powerful report writer allows you to change these reports to meet exact specifications.
Groups are a tremendous source of revenue to many properties. The RDP system provides marketing tools to make sure groups return yearly. Also, with powerful group reports keying on the group status field (tentative vs. definite), prospective groups are efficiently tracked, ensuring no business “slips through the cracks”.
The system prints mailing labels and customized letters to groups based on a wide variety of criteria. For example, a letter is written once and re-printed inserting every group’s name and address who stayed at the property the past five years. A different letter is written to all tentative groups that negotiated with the property but did not confirm.