Hotels are like machinery. There are a billion little parts – staff to manage, complex finances and accounting to take care of, the ever-mutating customer tastes and preferences, guest bookings – among other components that need oiling. If you oil your machinery well so that the million little parts function properly, then you are good to go.
To play safe, hoteliers need to invest in hotel property management software systems – the heart that keeps your machine working optimally.
Critical Factors to look while considering the Hotel Property Management System
What are some of the factors you need to consider when choosing a hotel property management system for your city hotel?
Looking for Hotel Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best hotel management software solutions.
1. Understand why you need to invest in the software solution
There are plenty of PMS out there, but not all hoteliers are using them. In fact, a study conducted by Software Advice found that a whopping 25% of hoteliers are stilling using pen and paper while 16% of them are not using any system. That implies that there is quite a number that doesn’t understand the benefits of a PMS system.
Before you take the plunge, take your time and put down the reasons you would need a PMS solution for your hotel. Engage your staff. Let them express their opinions too. Think about how you would want to implement it and whether it will protect you from ‘anomalies that might drain your bank account’?
2. Understand the types of PMS solutions out there
A software that works for hotel A might not work perfectly for hotel B. Take your time, research and make a decision regarding the type of software systems that would work for your business. Remember selecting hotel management software doesn’t depend on the hotel chains you own or the number of rooms.
There are basically two types of PMS that hoteliers need to be aware of:
- On-premise-based software solutions
This software doesn’t need a live internet connection to work and stores all the data locally. Besides, if you are interested in on-premise software, you have to pay for the entire software. But, as much as you fully own the software, there is always a limit to the number of staff that can use it at the same time. Besides, you need to hire and maintain a team of IT professional for support and maintenance.
- Cloud-based hotel property management system
These are hosted on the cloud. That means hoteliers won’t need to invest in a team of IT professionals to maintain the system. You simply buy for the plan you have selected and you can always upgrade/downgrade to the plan of your choice, whenever you want to. The cloud-based hotel management software makes it easier for guests to make their bookings round the clock. Secondly, the data is stored in the cloud, making it easier to access it from anywhere around the globe. Besides, the pricing plans also include support and employee training.
3. Whether it reduces the time spent on administrative tasks or not
One of the ways hoteliers can increase their profit margins is by cutting the time spent on repetitive administration activities. Investing in a hotel property management system helps automate daily bookings. That way, it frees up more time for staff since they won’t have to update the bookings manually in their database. Besides, it makes it easy for the management to handle room rates, room inventory, accounting, and other housekeeping tasks.
4. Ease of use
Nobody wants to invest in a software solution that takes forever for their staff to learn. Cloud-based solutions, for instance, are easy to learn and use. Once you purchase your plan, you can assign different roles to your employees by specifying different access levels.
Cloud-based products also offer demos. That way, you (and your staff) can experience the software solution without making any monetary commitments. Besides, their subscription plans include round-the-clock support and training. Besides, the dashboard gives you a clear picture of the tasks you need to assign to your staff.
5. Can the PMS solution help you with your sales and marketing?
We are living in an era of digital disruptions where it is either you ship in or you get shipped out. To stay relevant, you need to invest in a system that connects you to restaurant and hotel review sites like TripAdvisor. Your hotel management software should also be able to automate emails, collect instant reviews, seek guests’ feedback or integrate a Facebook booking button.
6. What about upgrades?
If you are planning to invest in a hotel property management system, look for the ones that offer automatic upgrades or patches in case of any security flaw. That way, you will avoid into running into problems in the future. A versatile cloud-based solution, for example, makes the work easy for you. It is easy to upgrade to the next plan based on your future needs.
7. What about third-party integrations?
Your hotel management software of choice must include 3rd party integrations like Chanel Manager, Global Distribution System (GDS), TripConnect, and a payment gateway, Booking Suite, Xero among others. That way, your guests can easily make a booking and make a payment to your website.
8. Does it allow direct bookings?
Prospective guests who look up to your hotel’s website for information and rates needed to be driven to make direct bookings. That way, it helps your hotel retain the entire share of profits. And, that’s where a good hotel management software comes in – integrating a web booking engine on your website that helps hoteliers capture the booking details.
Adopting a hotel property management system can positively impact your city hotel. For you get the best out a PMS, you need to find out the one that rhymes with your hotel. Research, ask yourself questions. Engage members of your team. Your success depends on the choices you make and how your team is psychologically prepared to embrace the new system.