Time and money are the lifeblood of just about any industry and hoteliers will wholeheartedly agree that these are two precious resources that they cannot afford to waste. An efficient hotel management software can ensure this
The constant buzz of activity and unpredictable arrival of guests means that managers are usually flooded all day with impromptu tasks, leaving very little time for managing the hotel’s other operations. A large amount of both time and money is often spent tending to human errors and repetitive tasks.
Let’s take a look at how exactly a hotel management software can stop a hotel from burning through these fundamental resources:
- Lowers human error: Humans have a tendency to make mistakes and even after gaining years of experience at a particular task, errors will still manage to creep in. A lot of the hotel’s time is utilised correcting these errors and a property management system can have a huge influence here.
By automating and regulating a number of the hotel’s operations, a hotel management software can reduce the negative effects of human errors.
- Decreases costs: Due to the high staff turnover numbers in hospitality, training costs can accumulate and eat into a hotel’s profits. A good property management software is usually simple to use with a sensible layout that places important features within quick access from the main screen.
Training videos and tutorials are also beneficial for training new employees and getting them up to speed on the basics of using hotel software.
- Offers instant support: Hotel management systems are still software at the end of the day and it’s inevitable that hoteliers will run into the occasional roadblock. By offering live support, managers get answers to issues on the spot, allowing them to address the problem then and there. Front desk staff can also interact with support crew in real-time to rectify any errors, something that can be very useful during busy hours.
- Builds guest relations: Guests are often picky about their lodging and many will scrutinise every aspect of their stay before deciding whether or not to visit again. That’s why it’s crucial for hotels to maintain that quality of service, time and time again without compromising on guest satisfaction. By saving guest preferences and sharing guest data across multiple properties, a hotel management software can help enhance these relationships. The system can also organise email campaigns to optimise review collection. A good hotel system can address a lot of these issues, saving managers time and money in the long run – the changes are so rapid in fact, that returns can be observed in even weeks. Property management software work by simplifying and mechanising the core parts of a hotel’s administration, developing an environment of standardised routine. By achieving this boost in productivity while simultaneously improving the property’s bottom-line, property management systems are becoming a standard tool in modern hospitality.
The right PMS
Buying a hotel management system has never been more challenging – there are so many choices available today that new hoteliers can have a hard time finding the right Property Management System (PMS) for their property. Each PMS will have its own strengths and weaknesses and it’s imperative that hoteliers analyse the system first to ensure that it will be truly beneficial for their hotel.
Here are some of the basic factors to look at before investing in a hotel management system:
- Evaluation: This is a crucial part of the search – without evaluating the system, it can be difficult to make an educated decision about its functionality. Make sure that the PMS you’re interested in offers a free trial.
This allows you to assess the system upfront from end to end and ensure that the features offered are relevant to your hotel’s needs. Avoid companies that complicate the trial process by insisting on several rounds of verification – remember, this is your very first interaction with the system and if you face difficulties here, it’s likely that you’ll have problems later as well.
- 24×7 support: In the hospitality industry, the difference between support and ‘live’ support can often be a deciding factor when it comes to how quickly you’re able to address your guests’ grievances. Hotel management systems are still software at the end of the day, meaning it’s only natural for you to run into roadblocks at some point.
However, what’s important is that you get past these issues quickly without having to waste days waiting for a response. 24×7 support ensures that you’re covered, regardless of your geographical location or time zone.
- Modules: As a small hotelier, it’s advisable that you start out with a comprehensive system that is capable of streamlining all aspects of your hotel’s operation. Many PMSs require some modules to be purchased as add-ons. And while they may be more specialised at their task as a result, it’s usually the larger hotel chains with hundreds of rooms that benefit from this intricate level of control. Even if the system isn’t overflowing with features, ensure that it at least has a dedicated module for your basic operations such as housekeeping and points-of-sale like the restaurant.
- Distribution: This is an important tool for any hotel PMS and having a channel manager can make a big difference to the property’s online visibility. While most hotel management software do not include an in-built one, make sure that the PMS you’re looking at has the option to fully integrate with a channel manager.
The ability to connect the property to the Global Distribution System will also give it an additional boost. It’s always better to spend a little more time looking for the right hotel management system instead of making a hasty decision and going with a system that turns out to be ineffective for your property – this can become a lot more than merely an inconvenience. Switching between systems is often a time-consuming process and the hotel’s bottom line can suffer during this transition phase. That’s just not something small and mid-sized hoteliers can afford to risk today.