Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Raspberrysky is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Highlighting best practice
Director Sally Richards
Hospitality industry experts
Sally Richards founded RaspberrySky in 2006 after leaving
a corporate entity two years prior, where she was a senior
vice-president for global marketing. As a virtual company
operating with international home-based consultants across the
world, they primarily serve the hospitality industry to focus on
commercial optimisation. Sally’s previous experience in travel
and hospitality alongside her work with an American technology
company in Arizona has proven to be invaluable, especially when
it came to identifying the opportunity for a global distribution
consultancy firm 15 years ago. She expands and tells the
how their profile as a straight-talking, commercially focused
consultancy has taken them from strength to strength.
One of the most common questions we ask clients at the beginning of the process
best illustrates our focus: “How easy are you to do business with?” This applies to
both internal and external customers. We focus on commercial optimisation in the
areas of people, systems and processes, looking at how companies can be more
operationally efficient and, as a result, more profitable.
Not your traditional consultancy firm
Our network of experienced consultants allows us to quickly understand complex
briefs. We then use this information to focus on “pain points” in the business in
question and take a holistic approach and look at the whole organisation. From
there, we make insightful recommendations to facilitate transition.
»Director: Sally Richards
»Established in 2006
»Based in Buckinghamshire
»Services: Travel and hospitality
industry expertise
»No. of employees: 15 virtual
consultants across the world
»The RaspberrySky CSR
programme supports a
feeding programme with a
school in the Philippines
It’s important to note that we are
not a traditional consultancy agency
that presents a recommendation
report and then walks away. We
present and provide a clear roadmap
before effectively managing
the implementation of these
recommendations; we are a full end-
to-end consultancy service.
Collaboration with
Our unique approach is grounded
in our close partnership with key
stakeholders for each and every
contract we undertake. We often work
with hotel groups on implementing
strategic plans developed by other
consultancy firms. These undertakings
are commonly driven by a focus on
automation; the hospitality industry
is largely fragmented with regard to
systems, and we find that streamlining
and removing legacy systems and
processes are typically an integral part
of any project.
We also manage what we call system
RFP processes – request for proposal.
These take the form of requirement
gathering of functional and non-
functional requirements, engagement
with vendors and evaluation of the
“best fit” solution. These specialised
reviews allow us to evaluate how
the system meets the client criteria
and objectively examine them
from a cultural, commercial and
Implementing technology to
automate and centralise
Technology is key not only for the
work we do but also for the way
we work. As a virtual company with
consultants across a number of
countries, any cloud-based software
package makes our life considerably
easier. We use a suite of products
including Smartsheet, Xero and
Basecamp alongside our own proven
methodologies, which greatly improve
our efficiency.
Across the travel and hospitality sector,
we work with owners, operators and
asset managers, and we tailor our
approach to meet the differing needs
of businesses from every corner of
Remaining compliant across
such a diverse sector
GDPR has had a massive effect on
the hospitality industry as a whole.
As it’s so fragmented, it has a real
lack of integration and a real lack of
coherent data. Ensuring compliance
in that regard has been no easy feat,
and payment card industry compliance
is another challenge with the same
issues. Without integration of systems,
any kind of data-focused legislation
will continue to be a serious issue.
This is further compounded by the fact
that we work across such a diverse
global customer base. Although
we serve the hospitality industry
and mainly work with hotels, there
are so many distinct types: luxury,
budget, resorts, conference hotels,
Managing complex projects
Our unique
approach is
grounded in our
partnership with
key stakeholders
for each and
every contract
we undertake
Highlighting best practice
private members’ clubs and so on.
We workwith travel agents, hostels,
serviced apartments, tour operators,
student accommodation, online travel
agencies and technology companies
– all of them have different systems,
data and customer journey challenges.
Such a broad spectrum of companies
requires us to be agile and flexible
day to day if we are to continue
performing at such a consistently high
standard. The market is complex,
and each client’s issues differ vastly
from the next. To succeed, we
have to quickly understand each
individual perspective to tackle
the issues and move to resolution
New developments every day
We find keeping abreast of new
technology and new vendors in the
market to be an ongoing challenge,
too. There are new entities emerging
every day serving every sector that
one could possibly conceive of. With
small companies developing software
all the time to alleviate business “pain
points”, we have to stay up to date, or
we’ll risk becoming stagnant.
As a result, we have to remain unbiased
– aligning ourselves to vendors would
mean that we wouldn’t be able to
objectively provide the best solution for
each customerrequirement.
Uncertainty and transience in
the hospitality industry
Extending our customer base with
a small team means we have to use
our time wisely to build networks and
partnerships that will drive referrals.
Most of our business comes from our
network of existing contacts in the
industry; as it’s very much a transient
market sector, people do change job
and move between companies and
roles all the time. Often, somebody
moves from one company to another
and wants a comprehensive “state
of the union” report in the first eight
weeks in the role – we can objectively
outline the key areas for focus which
will have the greatest return.
We’ve found that uncertainty has
proven to be a real issue in the wake
of the referendum decision. It has
impacted the way customers operate,
the way they manage projects and the
way they invest as a result.
Expansion and sustainability
through quality and agility
To combat these problems, we will
have to keep expanding – be it by
referral and recommendation or
tailored marketing – and focus on
securing repeat business from existing
customers. We’re also trying to become
less reliant on project life cycles to
guarantee our own sustainability.
Going forward, we will also strive to
stay abreast of all new technology and
ensure that we are best placed to offer
both the specialist solutions and quality
service that our customers have come
to expect.
Business transformation
We have to
use our time
wisely to build
networks and
that will drive


This article was sponsored by Raspberrysky. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.