If you are still using Excel sheets to manage your hotel operations, you might want to sit back and take a serious look at all that you stand to lose out on. No, we don’t intend to sound sensational nor is this a hyperbole. But in the age of the cloud, where everything you need as a hotelier is available to you on a cloud based hotel PMS, subscribing to obsolete technology can be detrimental.
Some of the major risks awaiting you are loss of data, breach of data security, wastage of time, etc. And these are not issues you can overlook. So, in the best interest of your hotel operations, it is about time you considered switching to a cloud-based hotel software.
No, don’t blindly take our word for it. You need to be aware of the benefits of a cloud PMS over Excel, so you can take an informed decision and our bet is, you will. Here’s a great article if you want to know more about the advantages of switching to a cloud hotel reservation system.In this article, we will focus on the top five indicators that you need to move from Excel to a cloud-based reservation system.
1. The volume of operations
The volume of your hotel’s operations goes a long way in determining if or not excel is the right option for you. Take into account the number of rooms in your hotel, all the amenities and offerings guests can avail at your hotel, etc. If you are a small-scale B&B or a motel offering no more than a night’s stay for travelers, it is still possible for you to run the show with Excel. But no other type of property can afford to use Excel to run its operations. So, whether you are an independent hotel, a boutique property, a hostel.
2. The number of POSs – resto, gym, spa, activity center
The other important factor that you need to consider if you are still using excel to run your hotel is the number of POS at your property. If your hotel has a restaurant, a gym, a spa, an activity centre, travel desk, or any other source of revenue which is not coming in from your rooms, we strongly urge you to move to a cloud-based Property Management System.
There are several interactions that take place between the front desk and a POS, in a hotel. Without a PMS in place, keeping track of all the transactions made by a guest can prove to be a task. A PMS helps you stay connected and have a single point of reference as it links POSs and front desk. The moment your guest has a meal at the restaurant, the transaction is recorded in the POS. And if the guest has chosen to transfer the restaurant bill to his room, it gets added to the invoice. And it is the same with every POS. You can simplify so many otherwise complicated tasks, by investing in a cloud hotel PMS.
3. Your target audience
You cannot run a business without defining your target audience. Especially in the hospitality business, every property type caters to a particular segment of the consumer base- for example, do you cater to millenials, business travelers, leisure travelers, families, domestic or foreign travelers, etc. Depending on who your target audience is, you will have to define your online messaging, roll out targeted marketing campaigns, etc. And in the digital world, it is impossible to please everyone. You will have to define your niche.
Simply waiting for the “perfect guest” to choose you amidst an ocean of competitors is a huge mistake. You need to get out there and make sure your target audience finds you effortlessly. This is only possible via the internet. Connect with them on social media, run campaigns on Facebook or Instagram and also make sure your reputation online is impeccable. Negative reviews are never good, but you can acknowledge and respond to the reviewer that you would love to invite them again to prove that you’ve worked on their feedback. This builds confidence in prospective guests.
No. Excel cannot help you with any of these activities, which frankly are very basic ways to attract guests in today’s world. You need a PMS, and a well-rounded one in that. One that allows you to integrate with the best channel manager & a reputation management tool, automates emailers, and so on. You need Hotelogix.
4. Dependency on OTAs
Doing things traditionally and not exploring the benefits of technology isn’t going to help you thrive in this dog-eat-dog world. In order to appeal to the global masses, one cannot function without OTAs. As cumbersome as it may be to pay commissions to them, they also connect you to an audience which you otherwise can never get to by yourself. Find out which OTA caters to which geo and sign up with them, so your hotel is easily visible to your international target audience. Stay relevant to your audiences and be present where they are.
If OTAs make an appearance in your “sources of reservation” list, then relying on Excel is impossible. You need a system that updates your inventory and rate across OTAs in real-time lest you fall prey to overbooking. You need a system which alerts you in real-time when a booking is made on an OTA. This two-way sync has to be extremely efficient and this is only possible when you have a channel manager in place. Without a cloud-based hotel software in place, managing all of this manually can be a nightmare. An easily avoidable nightmare, I should add!
5. Competitor analysis
Let me ask you this. If you are still sticking to Excel sheets to run your hotel business, how do you work on your revenue projections? How do you get your accounting in place and how frequently do you generate reports? How many types of reports do you spend time on? What about competitive pricing and business intelligence? Do you have a dedicated staff for all this or do you do this by yourself? Oh, and what’s your strategy for revenue management?
We also work with some of the best-in-class third party tools which you can integrate with, depending on your requirement- business intelligence, revenue management, reputation management, channel managers, etc. Stop living in the past if you wish to succeed in the long-term as a hotelier. You need a cloud PMS to manage your hotel operations and you need it now.