Even in the 21st-century, some hotels are relying on pen-and-paper, excel, or legacy software. These methods are inadequate in the long run. Legacy hotel management software has limited capabilities and features. They can only perform simple functions and require additional modules or integrations with other hotel management solutions. As a result, hoteliers are looking for a universal, one-stop solution to manage all of their processes with ease.
An efficient property management software (PMS) performs a variety of functions all of which are extremely important. Hence, it is impossible to classify the benefits of a PMS in a hotel as more or less important. Regardless of the property type, a hotel property management system ensures an excellent reservation system with a website booking engine and a front-desk operations module.
Additional features like channel management, revenue management, housekeeping, customer data management, report generation, and analytics are extraordinary benefits. Larger hotels and resorts almost certainly require point-of-sale (POS) and back-office modules to streamline their operations. These additional modules unify the experience not just for the guest but also for the staff.
Here are eight of the most underrated advantages of an all-in-one PMS system for your property-
#1 Streamlining front-desk operations
An efficient hotel property management system has a front-office module that provides a single dashboard view of the hotel’s reservations. Front-desk managers can use this functionality to review and update room reservation status, check-in and out guests, and process payments. Some property management systems enable integration with check-in kiosks or QR codes to offer contactless check-in and check-out. Using state-of-the-art technology and automation, modern hoteliers are using digital self-service options to offer their guests a positive experience.
#2 Inventory management
Inventory management is yet another benefit of the features of an excellent hotel property management system. Like organizing front desk tasks, a front-office manager can obtain room availability and update the information across multiple channels. Room status changes are recorded in real-time. These numbers sync automatically to allow room-rate changes and initiate a dynamic pricing strategy. A hotel property management software can also be responsible for managing electronic key cards. Electronic key cards make it easier for guests to check-in and check out at their will.
#3 Inventory distribution via the channel manager
Property management software, when integrated with a channel manager, can be used to control and distribute inventory. A channel manager links directly to a central reservation system, which stores information about the availability and cost of hotel rooms. This system distributes that information across the distribution channels. Global Distribution Systems, OTAs, and other indirect booking platforms list the available rooms. This makes room inventory available to travelers who want to book a hotel or property online. Booking-related transactions are also made easier with the help of a property management system or hotel PMS.
It is important to note that the inventory is promoted among different audiences via various distribution methods. Connections to OTAs and some airline websites, for example, offer hoteliers the opportunity to reach a greater number of potential guests. These guests include those who book tickets or plan trips ahead of time. Metasearch sites compare costs from several sources, allowing customers to make informed choices whenever possible. While those looking to cater to non-leisure travelers and group reservations benefit from connections to worldwide distribution systems.
#4 Remote access via cloud solutions
Cloud-based property management software like Hotelogix costs less than on-premise software or legacy systems. Moreover, there are practically no maintenance fees to pay. Cloud solutions like hotel PMS systems or software work on a subscription model. In this model, users pay a subscription fee depending on their property’s capacity i.e number of rooms in a hotel. Hoteliers can also make use of additional services at a small extra cost. But they only pay for the services they utilize.
Cloud-based solutions are routinely updated to add newer features and smooth functioning. Since the data is stored in the cloud, typically these solutions are also available in the form of a mobile app. Remote control via a smartphone ensures smooth communication between departments like front-office and housekeeping. Remote access via your smartphone also helps to deliver prompt services and develop excellent guest service. In addition to this, hotel PMS software integrates better with third-party systems like OTAs and GDSs.
#5 Simplifying back-office administration
Even small hotel PMSs allow users to manage the staff, back-office operations, and administrative hotel operations. Common examples of back-office administrative tasks include setting up campaigns and sending confirmation emails. Catering and event planning when organizing conferences and receptions is yet another responsibility of the back-office employees. Analyzing inventory at the end of the day, calculating consumption and hotel costs are all made easier with the right PMS. Internal messaging and, in some cases, accounting can both be automated using the functionalities of a robust PMS.
#6 Recording customer data for personalization
Since the social media revolution, hoteliers have started to collect and organize guest data. Maintaining a database helps them stay in touch with current and past guests during and after check-out. Hotel property management system providers have identified this behavior shift. Therefore, a CRM module is pre-integrated with the front desk and reservation system to collect all guest information. It aids in the storage of guest data and provides an accessible database anytime. It also includes contact information such as phone number, email ID, etc of the guests before and after their stay.
An in-built CRM module, coupled with the hotel PMS, can contribute to your property’s marketing and promotions. It is also a great way to measure guest experience, gain feedback about their experience and make additional provisions before or during their stay. Another benefit of incorporating a CRM with the hotel property management software is that it assists property owners in personalizing the guest experience. Membership and loyalty programs are common strategies for brand building and fostering customer loyalty, particularly for hotel chains and resorts.
#7 Point-of-sale service integration
Today, hotels have multiple point-of-sale terminals like spas, gyms, and other recreational activities. To handle these external transactions, hoteliers need to invest in POS or Point of Sale management services. This third-party software automates transactions and centralizes financial data. Some PMSs offer hotels with a restaurant on-site or those that offer in-room dining services, mini-bar items, or Wi-Fi the benefit of POS management with their PMS. This feature aids in simplifying the billing process. Property owners can conveniently add the additional costs or discounts to each guest’s final bill. Since all the data is available under a single folio, customers can rest assured that they are getting the best deals at the best price.
#8 Automating night audits and reports
Regular audits and analytics can be used to monitor the ongoing processes and understand the performance gaps. Using the modern property management system (PMS), hoteliers can automate their night audits. Night audit is the process of summarizing all the financial logs for the day and rolling pending payments to the next day. Since it is usually carried out at the end of the day it is known as a night audit.
The right hotel property management software can also be used as a business intelligence tool. Since it collects pertinent data and generates various sorts of automated reports for hoteliers. It can be used to generate night audit reports, room and tax reports, shift audit reports. It can also assist various other departments like the travel desk with departure/arrival reports. Housekeeping and maintenance reports can also be pulled within seconds. Depending on the needs of the business, daily or weekly reports can be automated. Reviewing these reports can reveal cracks in the process as well as opportunities that hoteliers can tap on to improve their services.
Most hoteliers and property owners believe that their hotel software is limited to tracking room availability and housekeeping status. With the right PMS, the opportunities for business growth are endless. Incorporating third-party software and exploring various channels for distribution is considered a primary feature of hotel property management systems in the hospitality industry. Moreover, knowing the status of the rooms prevents repeated bookings and cancellations.
With the right marketing strategy, hoteliers can schedule bookings and update current and upcoming offers to attract potential guests. The collection of e-payments and invoicing is yet another benefit that needs to be identified and adopted. When integrated with a channel manager, hotel PMS is the perfect plan of action to maximize profits by minimizing the chances of overbooking and manual error.