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April 14, 2022 - 5 min read

Here's how Open Distribution stacks up against channel managers and bed banks

Laura Holt

Travel Writer

Like all great ideas, Open Distribution was born out of frustration. For us at Impala, it came down to a frustration with existing tech and an ever-increasing cast of middlemen making hotel selling difficult and indirect. 

Where did those intermediaries come from? After the first hotel booking systems surfaced in the 70s, a costly, complex distribution path emerged which involved multiple steps and multiple people to manage them. Delegation was the only way forward. But that meant drafting in bed banks to bulk-buy rooms and channel managers to preside over the platforms. All of which have divided profits, drained time and disjointed the direct relationship between hotel and room seller.

Here, we look at how Open Distribution stacks up against the old third-party models of bed banks and channel managers, so you can see how Impala’s future-focussed system might work for you. 

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More control for hotels and room sellers

In principle, bed banks, channel managers and Open Distribution seem to be doing the same thing: selling rooms. But in practice, only Open Distribution connects hotels with room sellers directly, cutting out third parties and the upfront costs they require in the middle.

Think of it this way: like bouncers at a club, bed banks and channel managers are asking you to get in line and pay a fee upfront before you’re allowed in. With Open Distribution, your name’s on the list and you’re heading straight through. Hotels and room sellers can agree commission at source, adjust rates and target engaged clients – no middlemen needed. That means more control for both parties over their own businesses.

Less cost to third parties

The current system sees hotels and room sellers handing hefty fees to the intermediaries needed to connect them. That means a decent chunk of the value of each booking is handed over to third parties. But by connecting hotels and room sellers directly, Open Distribution means fewer people to pay, so more money in your pocket. 

Impala’s platform cuts out the different stages of distribution. The pie stays intact – and so do your profit margins. Shorten the booking path, save on commission. Simple. 

Greater transparency overall

Hotels, who’s walking through your door this morning? With bed banks in the way, you probably don’t know. The distance between customer and check-in is stretched in the old system, due to the amount of steps behind the scenes of each booking. It’s more difficult to tailor that special welcome – a bottle of champagne on arrival, a room with a special view – if you don’t know who’s coming. 

Like any business, you need to know your audience in order to build relationships and entice guests back. Imagine you have a long-stay digital nomad checking in who’s booked through RemoteDream. Open Distribution means you can see where they’re coming from and create the perfect welcome. 

Easy, speedy onboarding 

It can take months in the old system of bed banks and channel managers for hotels to connect with OTAs and room sellers. With integration-free Open Distribution, it takes 48 hours. 

Signing up to Impala opens the door to a world of new markets and new guests. Our technology pulls in all rates, availability and intel into one space, and everything is regularly updated, so you don’t have to worry about spinning those plates. Mix yourself a drink. 

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Smarter technology and infrastructure 

Currently, hotels use channel managers, and many room sellers rely on bed banks — and multiple, inefficient systems try (and often fail) to link all the parties in between. 

But the simple system of Open Distribution streamlines the booking flow and strips out the middlemen in one snappy step. 

Room sellers access hotels through this easy-to-integrate API, hotels manage their new partners through one dashboard, and everyone is free to build the travel experiences their guests actually want.

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