Last summer, after David Millili took over as CEO of hotel distribution company Pegasus Solutions, he immediately spotted problems.
The company's sales pitch to hoteliers was too complicated. Products were too often one-size-fits all. The company was losing hotels as clients.
So Millili launched a company turnaround.
Talking to hoteliers as hoteliers was the first goal.
Early in his career, he was a general manager of the Mayfair New York and the Belvedere Hotel, and Millili knew the company's target clients well, having worked with hoteliers side-by-side for years. Also, as a one-time teacher of a course on hotel distribution at New York University, he knew how hard it can be to explain CRS and distribution services.
In the past year, Millili has worked to have the Dallas-based company simplify its message. He's hired people who know how to talk in a conversational, relevant way with hoteliers: former hoteliers, themselves.
He's made these hires for positions in the C-suite (such as last month's hire of Temple Weiss, former CFO of the La Quinta hotel chain, as CFO) and the sales ranks, such as Gianna Rivera, the new global director of distribution sales (who came over from Accor).
New video sales pitches
Millili also had his team hire LA-based video production company Firestarter Videos to make a clear, engaging animated explainer videos about what Pegasus Solution does. Take a look:
[Like the video? The studio's price list suggests it was done for about $3,000, and that simpler, shorter videos can be created for as little as $1,000.]
Pegasus says a second video is in the works to explain its six-month old Connect products, an RVNG-based tool.
Streamlining the business
Millili has been making other moves to adjust the company's strategy.
For instance, in April, Pegasus Solutions sold off Pegasus Financial Services (PFS), which claims to be the world's largest processor of commissions paid by hotels to travel agencies, to private equity firm HIG Capital.
Last autumn Millili began to sunset Utell, a sub-brand that provided hotel marketing services and that was performing poorly.
He also shifted focus onto new products, such as The Pegasus View, a business intelligence (BI) tool that offers monthly reports on how a property is performing in a market relative to its competitors.
Offering multiple tiers of product instead of one-size-fits-all packages is another goal. New basic level products give a hotelier connectivity and a bare bones enterprise CRS at low cost, customized for geographic relevance.
Mobile is another priority, by providing white-label software. (An example, to be viewed on a mobile browser, is Paris's Warwick Hotels.)
Growth in the India (by bringing connectivity to many new properties) and China (with a closer partnership with TravelSky) is also paramount, says the company.
Overall Pegasus Solutions can still claim it is the largest processor of electronic hotel transactions, with about a third of global volume. It hopes that its changed strategy helps it regain momentum and claim a leadership position in the vertical.