Taktikon Speaks To
Stockholm, 17th April 2019
By Sara Westin-James
Even though we share the same office, it’s a rare occasion I get the chance to share a coffee with Taktikon’s founder Annemarie Gubanski. This week alone, Annemarie will have been in three countries and needless to say, our Stockholm office is not always blessed with her presence. But today was the day and I got to ask a few less commonly asked question about Revenue Management, from Annemarie’s own personal viewpoint.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did you get into Revenue Management in the first place?
The fact that I started within Revenue Management was kind of a coincidence. I had worked within the Textile Industry when I lived in the Netherlands. When I moved to Sweden, I started to apply for commercial jobs where I thought my experience would make sense. A friend told me to look at the site from Radisson and look for jobs there. I found an application for an Assistant Revenue Manager which sounded really nice. No idea what Revenue Management was, though. I got very lucky to have met Helen de Boer, who was not afraid to hire an inexperienced assistant and give me a chance. The job was in Gothenburg, though. Luckily my parents in law lived there and were so nice to have me live there the first months. I had only met them once before, so we all had to get used to each other a bit.
After about 1,5 years I moved to Stockholm and started to work at Hilton Infra City, after which I started to work in a more central role within Scandic, as one of the Area Revenue Managers in Stockholm. I really enjoyed helping the various Revenue Managers to improve both knowledge and implementing the right tools and there the idea for starting a Revenue Management Consultancy, which later would have the name Taktikon, came to mind. I simply enjoyed helping companies to improve knowledge and result.
Revenue Management is known to have taken shape in the airline industry, then established in the hotel sector. Where next?
When you look at it, Revenue Management is being practiced in many industries, it is not always called Revenue Management, though. I notice that other industries, such as cars and tires are practicing Revenue Management. For the hospitality industry, I would like to see more Revenue Management being applied to restaurants, spas, minibar and conference rooms.
Talking about hotels, what’s the first thing you notice when walking though a hotel entrance?
The very first thing is the feeling it gives me. Cosy, Design, Business Like, Personal, these kinds of questions. For me a hotel does not have to be extremely fancy, I would like to see if there is a heart or a personal touch involved. The second thing I notice is the interaction with the receptionist. Do they notice me or do they just work on the check-in process?
Do you use the principles of revenue management in other aspects of your life other than at work?
For me, Revenue Management is not what I do, but who I am. Revenue Management is all about working with facts and I notice that I find it more credible when people are talking facts. Populism is not really made for me. Also, I cannot enter a hotel, restaurant, department store or anywhere I am without noticing that there always are improvements to make on how staff and routines are organized.
What do you think are the three most powerful qualities of a successful Revenue Manager?
A good Revenue Manager should have excellent analytical- commercial- and communicative skills. Taktikon has developed a Revenue Management test in which we test Revenue Managers on these three skills. Also, it needs a lot of experience. You do not become an excellent Revenue Manager in a year or so. You should have done a lot of testing and preferably have worked in a number of different types of properties in different types of locations to become a successful Revenue Manager.
Name three things about your job that makes you jump out of bed on a Monday morning:
Three things only? First of all I love the projects I work on, no matter which project that is at that particular moment. Secondly, I always have new ideas and improvements I would like to implement. It is a delight that I am able to do this and thirdly; I love to work with the excellent and pro-active minds we have gathered within the company. It makes me proud to have started such a company.