Must-have features in a property management system for chain hotel operation
Have you ever tried to probe this – what is the most common thing among some leading and successful hotel chain brands? No doubt, their guest service is top-notch. But there is something else to it. They all have been prompt in leveraging the power of a Cloud Hotel Property Management System (Hotel PMS). Yes, you heard it right. Managing multiple properties spread across locations is quite a tedious task. You would need a full-featured, enterprise-grade Hotel PMS to manage end-to-end operations at your chain hotel efficiently.
Having said this, we would not waste time in drawing comparisons between cloud-based and server-based hotel software. Instead, we would straightway get to the topic – features you need to look for while buying a cloud property management system for your chain hotel operation.
Centralized control over multi-property operation
This is operationally imperative. We intend to say that the Hotel PMS should help you centrally manage the process across departments at property A, B, and C, even when you are at your property A.
Ask your technology partner and see if the hotel management software offers you centralized control to help you with –
- A single sign-on facility efficiently manages operations across all your properties
- Implementing group standards centrally to have better control over group operation
- Managing travel agents and corporate profiles for all your properties
- Monitoring and distributing group-wide inventory and rates in real-time across offline/online sales channels to increase occupancy
- Accessing group MIS reports to gain actionable insights
Central Reservation Office
An all-in-one Hotel PMS should come integrated with a Central Reservation Office (CRO) to assist you in managing reservation requests for all your properties from the central office. This feature empowers your reservation agents to receive and process booking requests coming via phone, mail, website, travel agents, corporate clients, and walk-ins, etc. Not only this, your reservation agents can leverage this feature to view group-wide availability.
Some of the important features of CRO about your group hotel management are –
- Itinerary booking: It lets you book multiple rooms for multiple guests in multiple room types across all your properties and different check-in dates.
- Create and send quotations-follow-up-confirm: Block rooms, create and send quotations to your guests with room details, pricing, and booking and cancellation policy. Follow-up and confirm their bookings.
- Flexible payments and deposits: Customize payment terms or enforce policy-driven deposits to manage bookings, cancellations, and no-shows. Accept advance deposits from guests on behalf of the property for which the booking is created.
- Offer discounts: Increase the chances of confirmed bookings by offering discounts when creating a reservation.
- Rich reservation data: Know group-wide or property-level reservation-related data, including market segments, booking source, and guest type, etc, to analyze and gain better insights.
Centralized guest history
This is an essential feature of a smart hotel software and acts as a powerful tool to offer personalized services to your guests. You can access guest profiles from all your member properties, look at their past stays to know their preferences. As part of the guest-facing service industry, this is a must-have feature in a Hotel PMS. This is critical for you to create happy guests, gain their trust and loyalty.
Be extra careful while reviewing this feature. Your hotel group’s online distribution, revenue management, and online reputation – everything depends on this. Below are some of the critical third-party integrations for your consideration –
- Channel Manager:The hotel property management system must integrate with leading channel manager solutions. Once this is done, you can distribute your rates and inventories across all the connected online/offline sales channels, including OTAs, GDSs, metasearch engines, your hotel website, and your hotel’s social media pages. This is a sure-shot way to sell more rooms to increase your occupancy.
- Revenue Management System:The term itself indicates its importance. This integration can help you determine the best room pricing for the right time for the right customer by accurately forecasting demand, supply and by keeping an eye on competitor pricing. You ultimately get to increase the profitability of each booking. In this context, check if the Hotel PMS has this piece of critical feature – dynamic pricing. It would enable you to change room rates daily, hourly, or even up-to-the-minute. You can implement this strategy to increase room revenue, ADR, and RevPAR. Additionally, the application should enable you to create relational rates, and multiple rates.
- Online Reputation Management Solution: Your brand’s positive reputation attracts guests. And it all depends on what your guests have to say about you and how you manage it. When your Hotel PMS integrates with leading online reputation management solutions, you can collect personalized feedback from your guests and see reviews from multiple review/booking sites. You can manage and respond to guest reviews to boost your online reputation while analyzing and understanding guest sentiment.
- Online Booking Engine: As a hotelier, you have to think about getting more direct bookings for all your properties. This is where a hotel management software and online booking engine integration makes sense for you. While you generate direct bookings via your website and social media pages, you get to save a lot on OTA commission.
Some other important features/modules
- Point of Sale: This allows you to set up multiple POS outlets across all your member properties – like restaurants, F&B outlets, pubs, gyms, spas, and gift shops to earn more non-room revenues.
- Financial Accounting Management: This feature takes care of your cost-center and department-wise transaction entry for income and expense, budget and ratio calculation, cash flow analysis, bank reconciliation, taxation. Most importantly, it handles centralized data collection for efficient profit and loss statements.
- Maintenance Management: This functionality helps you schedule and execute preventive maintenance. You get to know room-wise, floor-wise, and complaint type-wise analysis reports to reduce maintenance cost and improve labor productivity.
- Material Management: With this, you can gain insight into the stock level and department-wise consumption summary to prevent overstocking and out-of-stock situations.
- Food & Beverage Costing: Track raw material usage to avoid loss arising due to wastage. It helps you save costs to enhance profitability.
Mobile Hotel PMS
Ask if the Hotel PMS is available as an application. It would help you run your multi-property operation from your smartphone, on the go. You can use the mobile version to track business-critical KPIs on your phone to make informed decisions.
Security, ease of use, and support
The Hotel PMS must be built on a highly secure and stable platform like Amazon Web Services. This guarantees 99.95% application uptime to ensure that your hotel business is never down. Plus, it must have PA DSS compliance certification to help you protect your guests’ card details. It should be easy to use so that your staff can work on it from day one. And don’t forget to find out about their support. You would need 24/7 support from your PMS vendor.
What about ROI?
When you migrate your chain hotel operation to a robust, intuitive property management system, you are bound to witness improved operational efficiency, greater distribution capabilities, reduced costs, enhanced staff collaboration, and unmatched scalability. Ultimately, all these benefits will lead to instant ROI.
Review Hotelogix Hotel PMS
It would be best to consider buying a hotel property management system from a trusted hospitality technology solutions provider at the end of the day. For example, look at Hotelogix. It has been empowering hotels across 100+ countries with worldwide integration partners. Many hotel chains have seen an increase in their room sales, occupancy, and revenues with Hotelogix.
Here is some proof about what we claim
- Indonesia’s Balitamansari Hotels Group witnesses a 15% increase in its revenue with Hotelogix Cloud Hotel PMS
- Ahnvee Resort & Sports moves from an on-premise system to Hotelogix Cloud PMS; sells 40% more rooms
- Country Inn Hotels & Resorts, India, witnesses 15x Return on Investment since implementing Hotelogix PMS