Phoenix-based IBC Hospitality Technologies has been acquired by a Canadian company that set up its U.S. headquarters in the Valley.
Obasa Hospitality, based in Saskatoon, Saskatechewan, acquired IBC Hospitality earlier this month for an undisclosed price.
Valley native Pam Barnhill, who founded IBC Hospitality, has been named chief operating officer of Obasa. She started IBC (Independent Boutique Collection) in 2008 to provide smaller, independent hotel providers, with the same tools large hospitality brands have to manage inventory, revenue and marketing.
The platform has evolved to support providers of all accommodation types, from the likes of smaller Airbnb operators to the 2,884-unit Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas, for example.
“It really is the perfect addition for Obasa Hospitality,” said Barnhill, a Scottsdale resident. “This allows us to be larger and go global, and it’s an exciting fit for both companies. It also allows us to stay in Phoenix.
Gordon Doell, president and CEO of Obasa, said in a statement that, after starting in corporate housing and serviced apartments, the company is now looking to partner with owners and operators of every accommodation type to help grow revenue.
Obasa is keeping IBC’s 20 employees, with plans to add another six in the next six to 12 months for the office at 1730 E. Northern Ave.
Open positions will include data specialists, programmers, project and product managers, as well as jobs in accounting and marketing, Barnhill said.
“I’m a big believer in the state,” she said. “We’re really excited about the talent pool (in Arizona) and the growth we see coming in 2019.”
The IBC software platforms consists of:
MetaLogic: A digital marketing and re-marketing technology tool that drives direct bookings using metasearch to better compete with online travel agencies, such as Booking.com and Airbnb.
RevLogic: A customizable tool to help hotels manage rates, inventory and photos across all channels while also maximizing revenue per available room, and Google and metasearch distribution.
RoomLogic: An online booking engine with a patent-pending loyalty program that offers cash back, gift cards and free nights of stay. Includes rental car and activity add-ons.
IBC also operates a look-and-book travel site, called IBC.Travel, where visitors can view and book from more than 1.1 million lodging choices, with a loyalty program.
IBC was also chosen as one of Google’s beta partners for its vacation rental program launching in Q1 2019, Barnhill said.
“A lot of people just ask Google where to stay and aren’t visiting hotel websites,” she said.
Obasa Hospitality operates one other business, Saskatchewan-based MyKey Global Accommodations. It works with insurance companies, corporate travel planners, relocation companies, the entertainment industry, and individuals seeking accommodations. The company has been around since 1986 and has 20 employees.
Original article found here:https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2018/12/31/phoenix-hospitality-tech-company-acquired-by.html
It’s extremely important to IBC Hospitality Technologies that as a company we embrace everyone. Each individual, male or female, provides different points of view and experiences to build our team, helping to craft our best possible products and solutions. Having a diverse team helps us to brainstorm more effectively and implement compelling business practices.
Are there certain initiatives within the company that promote advancing women in corporate leadership?
IBC Hospitality Technologies is an equal opportunities employer. We provide equal opportunity to our employees, regardless of gender, to advance in responsibility and to work in corporate leadership roles. As a company, we strive to help cultivate a culture of learning that benefits all employees and helps employees, male or female, to further their career goals and education.
From your personal experience as a female executive, what do you think needs to change in order to increase female representation in leadership positions?
As a female executive I have experienced firsthand the work that it takes to build a successful career. My experience leads me to believe that women and men both go through phases in their careers. This can also be pictured in terms of career “waves” or fluctuations. It’s vital in any persons career path that during these career waves or fluctuations, individuals have support. Females especially are faced with the balancing act (typically) of raising a family while pursuing a successful career and advancing to leadership positions. One big change that needs to occur is providing more support to growing families. Both females and males should be able to feel reassured that they are valued the same as their coworkers regardless of their family status or family goals. Companies could also consider providing more flexibility to employees so long as the job expectations are being performed successfully.
How has your personal experience as a female executive helped shape your company’s diversity and inclusion practices?
My personal experiences as a student, employee, mother, wife and now executive have given me the ability to view a situation and workplace through many different vantage points. This allows me to view skillsets of individuals and determine how those skills will be best served and used at our company. This helps our company execute strategy and achieve its goals by customizing solutions to each individual employee.
Are there any daily practices employees engage in that advance gender diversity in leadership?
At IBC Hospitality Technologies we foster a culture of respect and open communication. It’s important to me that each of my employees feel valued and listened to. I encourage all employees of IBC to treat each other as equals, regardless of gender.
Is there any research your company has done on diversity & inclusion?
We haven’t done any previous research on diversity and inclusion but are aware of the importance of gender diversity in the workplace and encouraging leadership in our employees, both female and male.
What do you think your industry can do better to promote gender diversity in leadership roles?
One benefit of the hospitality industry at a property level, hotels, accomodation properties, B&Bs and more, is that there are many jobs and needs for employees both male and female. The hospitality industry at a property level does very well at practicing inclusion and exemplifying gender diversity. However, there is a large gap in senior and c-level positions and their pay levels at global hospitality companies. The hospitality industry can do much more to foster a culture of support for women looking to work at an executive level within the industry. This could include providing more training for females in hospitality and creating awareness regarding the gap in positions and pay level as well as active mentorship.
For companies that have yet to establish a set of D&I practices, what steps can they take to begin?
D&I practices are important to the success of every company. If a company is looking to begin to establish D&I practices its important they start with communication among their team. Ask their employees what their goals are, establish company-wide goals and expectations for employee performance. As companies learn of each employees goals, they should look for opportunities to promote from within.
Original article found here.
Game Change Agency offers their congratulations to GCA Member, Game Changer Pamela Barnhill on becoming a Trustee at the Committee for Economic Development!
Pamela JW Barnhill is the president and COO of InnSuites Hospitality Trust (IHT) with 3 divisions: InnSuites Hotels & Suites, IBC Hospitality Technologies and IVHTravel.com headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. IHT is a publicly traded company that owns real estate, manages real estate, provides software and services for global hospitality and a rewards-based online global travel booking site with patent-pending loyalty rewards program.
Ms. Barnhill has experience in C-level public company oversight and management, hotel operations, strategic acquisition, marketing, branding, technical integrations as well as creating/growing a new global technology company and sales team within a longstanding pre-existing parent company. Prior to joining IHT, Pamela held executive positions at Motorola Semiconductor in the US and SE Asia, Franchise Finance Corporation of America and PRTM Management Consulting. She has served as a board member for the Independent Lodging Industry Association (ILIA) since 2011 and California Lodging Industry Association from 2015-2017.
To learn more about Pamela visit here.
The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, business-led public policy organization that delivers well-researched analysis and reasoned solutions to our nation’s most critical issues.
Since its inception in 1942, CED has addressed national priorities to promote sustained economic growth and development to benefit all Americans. CED’s work in those first few years led to great policy accomplishments, including the Marshall Plan, the economic development program that helped rebuild Europe and maintain the peace; and the Bretton Woods Agreement that established the new global financial system, and both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
CED’s work is based on seven core principles: sustainable capitalism, long-term economic growth, efficient fiscal and regulatory policy, competitive and open markets, a globally competitive workforce, equal economic opportunity, and nonpartisanship in the nation’s interest. CED’s research findings are disseminated widely, achieving tangible impact at the local, state, and national levels.
To learn more about CED visit here.
View the original article published here.
Many say they’re interested in “total hotel revenue management,” a concept that looks beyond rooms to include revenue and profit on restaurants, room service, and meeting space rentals. About 63 percent of those surveyed expect total hotel revenue management to become common soon, where only 10 percent mentioned the concept when Cornell did a comparable study in 2010.
Both studies were done by Sheryl Kimes, a professor of operations management in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
More broadly, the latest survey finds that many revenue managers want to look beyond the traditional focus on revenue per available room. For instance, a significant percentage of survey respondents also predict that they may soon measure performance per available square foot.
One hangup that’s delaying this shift from happening is that the most popular benchmarking services from the consultancy STR Global don’t offer standardized alternative metrics.
Hotels’ internal power struggles stymie change, too. One survey respondent often sees general managers overruling them and the financial controllers with old rules of thumb (“Take last year’s numbers and add 2 percent”), rather than rely on data and the latest algorithms.
Skift asked several leading figures in hotel revenue management to comment on the survey.
A few flagged how the pace of change has not been as fast as was predicted in the last survey in 2010.
Erik Browning, VP of revenue management consulting at The Rainmaker Group, says: “I was a bit surprised that training was not mentioned by the survey respondents. If we hope to achieve total revenue management in the next five years, we have to take a good hard look at talent development….”
“In the Cornell survey, 38 percent of respondents stressed the need to be more strategic, which is akin to stating the obvious, since strategy is the very job description of a revenue manager. So, we should ask ourselves the hard questions: Are we properly analyzing the available data or are we stuck in the doldrums of simply creating reports?”
Browning insists: “It all comes back to proper training: edX, for example, has awesome courses on analytics, probability, statistics, and related topics that are completely relevant to our jobs…. As a revenue management leader, I would ask myself: ‘Do I have the right skill set – and do my team members? Have I taken steps to grow those skills?’”
Pamela Barnhill, chief executive of software provider IBC (InnDependent Boutique Collection) CEO and IHT President & COO, says, “Those who are dominating in this space, clearly understand connectivity, distribution and all the data that influences supply and demand.”
Few are dominating, though. “Probably fewer than 7 percent of the 156,000 hotels, resorts, and extended-stay properties that have greater than 50 rooms hotels use revenue management software instead of Excel spreadsheets,” estimates Ravneet Bhandari, chief executive of revenue management software startup LodgIQ.
When do hotels typically update how they handle revenue management? It’s often at the moment when a person at the upper levels realizes that the company is leaving money on the table by not adopting more dynamic, science-based pricing, some experts say.
Not all revenue managers want to make an effort to change. “I bet that a vast majority answering the survey are still using an Excel spreadsheet or, if they are affiliated with a global brand, the software the chain provides,” says Marco Benvenuti, co-founder of software company Duetto. “Too often no one else knows what’s in the ‘black box’ of their Excel spreadsheet, so their work doesn’t get questioned. That’s job security for them.”
Organizations also need to change their structures to encourage teamwork and transparency, says Mike Chuma, vice president of product strategy for IDeaS, a seller of revenue management software. “Too many revenue management teams remain siloed,” Chuma says. He would rather see the teams “integrating with the sales, marketing, and meetings and events teams.”
One way to kickstart organizational change is to demand new metrics, challenging teams to place a greater focus on overall profitability rather than revenue, experts say. Hoteliers can also ask more questions like, “Does a reservation that comes in via a third-party like Booking.com with a hefty commission truly have the same value as one that comes in through a hotel’s website but has a comparatively discounted rate? Can we segment by demographic or by how last-minute a booking is?”
The survey does show some hope for change. Revenue managers predict that gross operating profit, or a similar, profit-centric measure, will replace revenue available per available room as a performance metric.
One person who is hopeful is Cindy Estis Green, co-founder of analytics software startup Kalibri Labs, says, “Revenue managers seem to be evolving from the traditional role of being entirely reactive [to demand changes] to being somewhat proactive…. Some are taking on the responsibility of both stimulating and optimizing that demand. They want to know what it takes to pull the levers, trigger bookings, and manage acquisition costs.”
Boutique independents and midsize chains like to blame the rise of third-party distributors like Booking.com for their narrowing profit margins. But this stock excuse is rarely matched by much new in the way of innovation in revenue management. Droopy leadership aside, the most critical problem facing hotels is a stunning lack of knowledge about exactly how much falls to the true bottom line for any given reservation.
The Cornell survey appears to represent the top end of the hotel market well. But revenue management is an issue for even smaller properties.
Ironically independent hotels and small chains are being educated on the concept, thanks to Booking.com’s heavy marketing of hotel revenue management software through its BookingSuite business services division (the outcome of its 2015 acquisition of Pricematch, a Paris-based startup).
Other startups educating the market include New York-based LodgIQ and Denmark’s UnitPal, both of which launched last year.
Chains have been more successful than independents in taking brand share away from the online travel agencies. But as the distribution battle moves beyond black and white, revenue managers at the globals need to advocate for a faster pace of change.
Chuma at IDeaS says revenue managers need to move “to a deeper understanding of selling the ideal room, to the ideal customer, at the ideal price.”
Others call for more leadership at the top. A case in point: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide spent more than $50 million on a next-generation revenue optimization system that the brand says helped boost its demand forecasting by 20 percent since 2015. Marriott International, which acquired the brand last year, may toss it aside. The company has already decided to move Starwood properties over to its antiquated, mainframe-based reservation system rather than upgrade Marriott’s properties to Starwood’s more modern platform — a move that doesn’t bode well for other decisions.
It isn’t fair to single out Marriott, though. Other global chains have been slow to integrate the latest pricing techniques and data, too. They may need to invest in revenue management software as part of their overall refresh of their tech stack.
The broader point is this: If Cornell’s survey of hotel revenue managers in the year 2022 is going to produce better finding, hotels of all sizes need to act now. They need to ask their team members some questions. Are you passionate about hotel revenue management? When was the last time you sampled the services of revenue management software used by many competitors? Who do you admire in the revenue management sector? Do you even like hotels?
The sector’s growing quest to understand who books what and when and why is also being powered by a broader a megatrend that Skift is tracking in 2017 of hotel owners and management companies analyzing their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to Airbnb, Google, and other players.
Caryl Helsel, president and CEO of Dragonfly Hospitality Resources, and the author of a widely-used textbook on the topic, says, “It’s time for systems, reporting, and key performance metrics to catch up to the reality that defines revenue optimization success.”
Article originally published here.
Pamela Barnhill, president, COO, and founder of InnDependent Boutique Collection (IBC) and president and COO of InnSuites Hospitality Trust, has been a fan of unique properties long before they became trendy. Because of her love and passion for boutique hotels, Pamela Barnhill has created a successful boutique hotel company. IHT has two divisions: InnSuites Hotels & Suites and InnDependent Boutique Collection (IBC) Hotels. The network comprises more than 6,450 hotels with more than 600,000 rooms and suites. Because of her success in the hospitality industry, Pamela Barnhill was a finalist in the Family Business category for EY’s 2016 Entrepreneur Of The Year award. Denver Business Journal highlights Pamela Barnhill’s nomination in an online article.
Read an excerpt from the article below:
Posted on June 24th, 2016 by Denver Business Journal
“Hotel professional Pamela Barnhill travels a lot for her business, and has stayed in all kinds of hotels. But she wants the same things in any hotel room that most people do.
‘I just need a room to be clean, well maintained and have fast Wi-Fi,’ she said.
Barnhill also prefers the boutique hotels she built her Phoenix-based business, IBC Hotels LLC, around. IBC, which stands for InnDependent Boutique Collection, is an independent hotel network that provides sales, marketing and operations functions for independent boutique hotels. “
Read more of the article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2016/06/24/with-hotels-pamela-barnhill-believes-in.html
In March of 2016 the InnDependent Lodging Executive Summit at HI Connect was held in Nashville, TN. This hotel conference is the ultimate idea exchange opportunity. With expert panels, meetings and educational sessions, hoteliers from around the world gathered together to network, learn and cultivate new relationships. This summit focused not only on branded hotels but also on independent hotels, putting a new focus and emphasis on the owners. Hotel Management, an online hotelier company, recently posted an online article featuring how this years InnDependent Lodging Executive Summit bridged the gap between branded and independent hotels. IBC Hotels co sponsored the summit, and Hotel Management focuses on key points and speakers from the summit to summarize important themes.
Independent hotels were in the spotlight during this years summit event. The summit featured panels, meeting and educational sessions on lodging and hospitality related topics with a unique focus towards independent hotels and independent hotel owners. As the president of an independent hotel company with 6300 members in 170 countries, Pamela Barnhill was the perfect person to contribute insights and co-sponsor this years summit. Pamela Barnhill said that “the conference’s second annual showing was a mix of branded and independent operators, creating a number of networking opportunities for those in attendance.” The article posted by Hotel Management highlights key points and speakers from the summit.
Below is an excerpt from the article:
Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Elliott Mest of Hotel Management.
“What attracted Barnhill to the independent space was the level of involvement the average independent owner has with his or her property, as well as the ability to swiftly make changes and evolve based on what guests are looking for. This aspect of the business is what pulled Michelle Nelson away from her post at a national chain. Nelson, who is owner of the Arbuckle Lodge in Gillette, Wyo., attended the conference for the first time to meet with other independent owners and get information on how they promote their properties…..
Another major hurdle facing independent hotels is consumer loyalty, with Barnhill saying that an underwhelming number of independents are embracing loyalty programs. Part of the problem is that a number of independent loyalty programs exist, but they are inclusive and target primarily the upper-upscale market. Eric Gravelle, VP, revenue management for North America at Diamond Resorts International, said that another barrier to the success of independent loyalty programs is that independent operators are often just as picky as the programs they wish to join.
“We’ve looked into loyalty programs in the past…but your program must have some kind of value your customers want and will become a follower of,” Gravelle said. “We need to be at the top of their wallet.”
Gravelle also urged operators and vendors to consider attending an independent conference. “Bottom line is this is a quality event,” Gravelle said. “Just about anyone involved in lodging can get something out of attending this. Don’t pigeonhole yourself.””
Read more of the article here: https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/summit-bridges-gap-between-branded-hotels-independents
Lodging Magazine is the official publication of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Recently, Lodging Magazine conducted an interview with Pamela Barnhill, President, COO and founder of InnDependent Boutique Collection and president and COO of InnSuites Hospitality Trust. The interview highlights how Barnhill has built a career out of spotlighting independent and boutique hotels with technology and collection tactics that drive RevPAR. Pamela Barnhill has been a supporter of unique boutique properties long before they became popular. As the daughter of an independent hotelier, Barnhill has authentic, first hand experience in the boutique hotel industry.
Posted by: Lodging Magazine on October 20, 2015
Over the years at InnSuites, we’ve owned and managed independent, Holiday Inn, and Best Western hotels. From what I experienced, the independents had a significantly harder time driving both top-line growth and bottom line expenses. Unless they had a really good relationship with their vendors, it was very hard to get a good price on a good quality service or product. Because of my relationship with the vendors from the branded hotels, and because I managed and owned more than a few properties, they were willing to give me really good pricing that they weren’t offering to other independents.
While I was first experiencing the cost discrepancy in a vacuum, in 2011, I was asked to be on the board of the Independent Lodging Industry Association. When I joined the association, I found that other independent hoteliers have that same challenge. Bringing everyone together and creating a community where we can pool our knowledge and resources to drive RevPAR, or at least provide a level playing field for the independent hotelier to be able to compete, just seemed to be the right thing to do.
We have way more flexibility in our independent properties than we do in our branded ones—and we can have a lot more fun running them. We’re able to cook creative, delicious, and in-season foods and serve fresh, nutritious fare at breakfast. We’re able to have more fun when choosing the amenities we have at the hotel and in the rooms. The paint colors can be more vibrant and whimsical. There’s just a lot more creative energy. Independent hoteliers like this freedom and embrace it. They like having their personality show in their properties. On the other end of the spectrum, the larger, institutional buyers typically prefer the easier, branded properties because they provide so many resources and enough regulations and restrictions that they’re easy to follow and execute.”
Read more of the interview here: https://lodgingmagazine.com/checking-in-with-pamela-barnhill/
Lizanne Falsetto is currently a world renowned speaker, philanthropist, foodie and nutrition enthusiast. Lizanne host’s a weekly radio series for Sirius radio called “Female Rock Star Entrepreneurs.” The program features female CEO and entrepreneurs with interviews on financing, marketing and networking. Lizanne has a unique and inspiring page on her website where she summarizes these radio interviews and highlights women who are pursuing their dreams, building successful companies and changing the world. Lizanne Falsetto recently conducted a radio interview with Pamela Barnhill. Pamela Barnhill is the President and Founder of IBC Hotels Founder and also serves as President and COO of InnSuites Hospitality Trust. She is an active board member of the Independent Lodging Industry Association who advocates for, owns and operates independent hotels worldwide. The interview covers everything from Pamela’s favorite business quotes to her advice for starting, growing and funding your own business. If you are interesting in starting a business, or are currently an entrepreneur, make sure to read the entire interview for great tips from a successful CEO and entrepreneur, Pamela Barnhill.
Below is an excerpt from the interview:
Posted on May 8th, 2015 by Lizanne Falsetto
The simple act of starting was difficult for me. I am a perfectionist and would continually find reasons not to start for fear of failure. Growing has been more fun but takes different skill sets especially involving my ability to hire, train and manage to my dream. For funding I’ve not sought out the big money yet and again this goes back to my starting dilemma as I haven’t done it before and I’m afraid of failure. At the crux of it all, find people that will champion and push you. I have been fortunate to have my family and a handful of friends and colleagues who do that for me
I am a big proponent of collaboration and consensus to drive team’s success. I’m constantly surprised by people that don’t treat others the same way. It is important to keep a positive attitude with your eyes open, follow your gut, persevere and always treat others with respect. The world is a small place.”
Read more of the interview here: http://www.lizannefalsetto.com/business-rockstars-women-pamela-barnhill/
Globe Newswire is one of the world’s largest news-wire distribution networks, specializing in the delivery of corporate press releases, financial disclosures, and multimedia content to the general public. Recently, Globe Newswire published an article featuring how IBC Hotels, leading independent hotel network community connects with eZee Centrix for seamless connectivity and HMBookstore offering e-Learning and Training for independent hoteliers.
Posted on February 20th, 2015 by Globe Newswire
“IBC Hotels (InnDependent Boutique Collection), one of the world’s largest Independent hotel companies with more than 6,500 Independent boutique hotels spread over 170 countries worldwide, is pleased to announce its live connection with eZee Centrix. The 2 way XML connectivity with the channels will enable participating hotels to make real time availability, inventory and rate updates. eZee Technosys is a leading hospitality solutions provider catering to more than 3,000 properties with cutting edge solutions.
IBC Hotels has established a strategic partnership with HMBookstore, enabling IBC Hotel Members to access over 60 Hospitality Education & Training Programs. HMBookstore provides essential web-based training and certification for all employees through a cost-effective, interactive, easy-to-use eLearning platform that rivals programs offered by large brands and expensive in-person training programs. Courses may be customized to incorporate your hotel’s own independent and boutique messaging and standard procedures – ensuring all team members embrace your hotel culture and deliver consistent, remarkable service to drive loyal repeat guests and obtain hotel certification.”
Read more of the article here: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/02/20/708539/10120363/en/IBC-Hotels-Completes-2-Way-XML-Connectivity-With-eZee-Centrix-and-HMBookstore-Strategic-Partnership.html