HiRUM Software Solutions

Dealing with Zig Zag Bookings – HiSITE Channel Manager

Posted by HiRUM Software Solutions - 20/02/2015


Dealing with Zig Zag Bookings

When a booking comes through to HiRUM with a unit number that looks similar to ‘NOUU: 2br’ this happens because HiRUM cannot allocate a single room for the length of the booking made, even though availability for the whole period exists.

There is actually availability, it just requires the guest to change rooms during their stay, OR you can shuffle your bookings to make 1 room available for the entire stay prior to the guest arriving.zigzag

You can minimize the chances of this happening by ensuring that bookings are optimised at all times.

M                  T                W                T                  F                   S                   S

Unit1         A                  A                 A                NA              NA                NA                NA

Unit2         NA              NA              NA                 A                  A                  A                  A

HiRUM      1                  1                  1                  1                  1                  1                  1
If a booking came in for 7 days (as you can see from the table above) there is availability across the two rooms. Unit 1 is available M, T and W, and Unit 2 is available T, F, S, S.


So as far as the third party channels are concerned, a booking is available for the whole week, even though in reality it is across 2 rooms. This is where you would have to optimise your bookings in peak times to minimise the opportunity for this to happen.

The reason this happens is that whilst HiRUM deals with individual units, third party channels have no concept of units, they ONLY look at unit classes. And they only look for availability for a single day at a time and not the length of the whole stay.
Unfortunately, if you want 100% of your rooms to remain available there is no way to avoid this happening; it just involves management of your rooms from your end. HiRUM’s auto optimise tool comes in very handy here.
Another option is to make a room spare by taking it off your online availability so that when a zig-zag booking occurs it is much easier for you to move this booking into the spare room.


Note: If wish Support to investigate why this room was a Zig-Zag, charges will apply. Using the above example will allow you to determine the issue and resolve it yourself.



Managing Zig Zag Bookings

The issue we have in busy periods is that many HiSITE Channel Manager customers have availability pooled together into a room type. As a result, you may receive a booking which in actual fact is available over 2 or 3 units for the period of the booking, we refer to this as a ‘zig zag’ booking.


You cannot be expected to tell the customer that they have to move units throughout their stay so we need to identify the problem and come up with some solutions.


Unfortunately the last minute channels (WotIf etc.) have no concept of single specific rooms and as a result we cannot tell the channels ‘yes you have availability but it is over 2 units’.


In this situation we require management from you. If you can see that a single day is only available in one of your room types without sufficient lead in and lead out days you need to stop sell this day to prevent the ‘zig zag’ bookings.


Yes, this will result in the day not being made available online, but this is the only way to stop this from happening.


The second option is to move bookings around in the booking ledger in HiRUM to optimise your rooms. If you can see a gap on the booking grid for your future bookings which will free up another room, then move the booking. You need to be doing this at all times, definitely during your busy periods.


The third option is to take a single room offline. When a ‘zig zag’ booking occurs you can identify it, move the booking into the spare off line room which in effect will then update your availability back onto the HiSITE grid as it was before you received the booking. You can then take a look at your units and stop sell to prevent it from happening again.


In quiet periods using this solution where you know you have a lot of availability, you can always receive online bookings and enter the booking into your spare room so you are optimising your availability.


We have discussed this issue with our developers on many occasions, and unfortunately there is no real solution as we have to abide by the channels restrictions.

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