The action or crime of stealing.
The very word strikes a negative connotation. Endless movies, TV shows, songs, books, and comics have depicted thefts in one form or the other. Hotels and restaurants are no exception to theft. It makes us insecure during our travels. This insecurity has given rise to an entire industry that produces goods just so to keep us safe. From suitcases with chains to safe’s that can be carried around.
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It’s 2015 and businesses have moved forward. Property management systems (PMS), more commonly known as Hotel Management Software are coming to the rescue in many of these cases. It’s a good way for hotels to avoid adopting silly methods of preventing thefts like locking doors at night with multiple locks or hiring extra security at night for VIP suites.
Here are some major problems with theft that PMS’s have helped curb:
Theft of Removable Items
This is by far one of the biggest pains in the industry today. According to a report by a consortium of JW Marriot, Hyatt, Novotel and a few more giants of the hotel industry, almost 35% of items get stolen by guests. The reasons for this may be anything from extracting ‘full value’ from the high cost that customers pay to snob value to pure kleptomania. We don’t know.
- However, PMS or Hotel management software enable guest profiling and their historical analysis. This coupled with monitoring of valuable items through CCTV and sensors can play a crucial role in curbing such incidents.
- Another source of such thefts could be the hotel staff itself. But PMS have an eye out for that too. Housekeeping management is integrated into this software and helps account for all the time spent by staff in various locations within the building.
- Another way to keep track of removable items is by keeping track of everything ‘that moves and is not a guest’. Yes. Employees are nowadays undergoing a thorough background check before being employed in well to do hotels. Not only that, as mentioned before the housekeeping management software helps assign them to particular locations. The work they do is objective and their performance measured in time and cost. The loopholes have been drastically narrowed down.
- PMS nowadays come equipped with features like Material management that help monitor all resources in the hotel including removable decorations, toiletries, utensils, food, trash etc. Any anomaly in the system can easily be detected and acted upon.
- Along with the material Management for general items in a hotel, it also comes up with Kitchen inventory Management. Each and every order placed are traced and inventory consumption is recorded accordingly so that there comes no chance of theft from the kitchen also.
All large hotels have a bank like vaults. Since many VIP’s and HNI visit them, it is essential that they make arrangements for valuables to be stored separately. Also, areas under heavy security have digital locks. how to select best PMS or HMS for your hospitality? PMS helps in managing this vault system in all locations of the hotel.
Often guests try to take advantage of the chaos on reception desks during busy days or simple neglect by the staff.
- Irregularities in bills are now largely solvable thanks to check-in and check-out monitoring by PMS.
- Not only this, recurring charges and suppress rates along with customized plans at PoS are now made available instantaneously by PMS thanks to easy availability of customer history and billing information.
The internet has proved to be a bane as much as it is a boon. Identity theft through impersonation in online transactions with cards or password hacking is common in hotels with public Wi-fi.
Secure Wi-fi connections along with integrated CCTV coverage should be a priority solution to this.
Also, Cloud based platforms like InnkeyPMS, Hotelogix, MyCloud Hospitality assist in online bookings and help lock user profiles thereby reducing chances of fraud by analyzing user history through repeated transactions.
Property management systems don’t guarantee a complete solution to thefts in hotels, but improvements in this direction are sure to make them more integrated with the overall objectives of restaurants and hotels and become like an invisible Batman of the hospitality industry.