Technological revolution demands that industries function with the latest tools and devices to support their operations. The hotel industry is no exception to this. To survive such an incredibly competitive market, hotels need to focus on two major things- building a strong online presence that would increase their reach, and offering an exceptional customer service to ensure customer loyalty.
Previously, many hotels preferred manual processes or direct contact processes to manage their daily operations and until recently, found no reason to update to more robust technologies. However, the COVID pandemic has forced property owners to reconsider their methods to cater to the needs of customer and employee safety, as well as improve customer satisfaction. As a result, smarter processes, AI, and automation technology have become the need of the hour.
Mundane administrative tasks like inquiries, recording reservations, assigning tasks, inter-department communication, checking-in, checking-out, processing payment, initiating guest feedback and so on, can now be automated due to the benefits of hotel PMS software. This gives you more time to do what matters most to you- ensuring that your guests are happy.
What Is PMS Software?
A property management system used in the hotel industry is a software that enables you to manage multiple interrelated daily operations using a single system. To present a brief summary of the purpose of a PMS used in the hotel industry here are a few examples- administrative tasks, daily operations, processing payments, rate and occupancy management, human resource management, reservation management, marketing, housekeeping services, point-of-sale-services, vendor management, and front desk operations.
Previously, a lot of these tasks were managed through paper-intensive processes. However, with the evolution of super-fast and affordable computers, these processes turned to complex excel sheets, then to traditional or legacy PMS, and now to cloud-based software that you can use to manage your property from anywhere.
The PMS for the hotel industry has undergone great innovation and has essentially become the center of all operations within a hotel.
Importance Of PMS In The Hotel Industry
As with every other industry, the hotel industry is also facing a period of economic uncertainty due to the Coronavirus. Management is focused on either increasing or stabilizing hotel occupancy in order to maintain revenue. One of the most important ways of doing this is by providing a seamless guest experience- focus on your guests’ satisfaction while they stay at your property. Make your guests feel safe with the appropriate social distancing measures, impeccable hygiene standards, and contactless services. An efficient PMS for the hotel industry is a key contributor to ensure that these measures are put in place.
You may be wondering ‘What is PMS’ contribution to the guest experience?’ Let us envision a guest check-in without an efficient PMS: the guest just wants to check-in at your front desk, they are tired from their journey and want to settle into their room. Instead, they are greeted by a line of people at the front desk, or staff who are delaying check-in due to a manual error or the difficulty of finding the right guest details, or worse- the room was double booked and now there is no alternative inventory to offer. This sort of thing is a nightmare, not just for guests but for property owners too.
Additionally, during the present times, guests also expect safe, fast, and contactless check-in, so they are not going to appreciate standing in a public space to complete check-in formalities- sharing pens, pads, papers, or touching surfaces which are now considered ‘unsafe’.
A simple system in place to ensure that all these processes (and more) are carried out remotely, efficiently, and safely, will greatly affect how guests view your hotel and it’s accommodations.
Purpose Of PMS Used In Hotel Industry
Most modern PMS used in the hotel industry offer integration of various hotel departments into one single software. Depending on the provider, most of these integrations may differ. However, a robust software will help you efficiently manage most hotel operations such as:
- Front Desk Operations
- Distribution Channels
- Housekeeping and Maintenance
- Revenue management and strategy
- Customer data and customer relationships
- Reporting and analytics
- Point of Sales services
- Back-office operations
Benefits Of Hotel PMS
The benefits of a hotel PMS are not just limited to managing seamless operations within the hotel, but they also are advantageous to present and future operations too. These include:
Better Guest Experience: When hotel operations run seamlessly, it not only gives your guests a general sense of relief, but it also gives your staff enough time and opportunity to serve your guests better. According to a survey by Hospitality technology, 72% of guests said that they are likely to return to a hotel that has all the required tech. The top three technologies that influence their decision being- WiFi access (84%), easy and efficient online booking process (61%), and being able to clearly view photos and videos of the property (59%). Excellent hotel service helps you not only improve customer satisfaction, but it also helps increase loyalty, positive feedback, referrals and drive repeat business.
A property management system that helps you record guest preferences or previous visits will also help you make your guests feel special and more at home.
- Increased Housekeeping Efficiency: Having housekeeping and maintenance functionalities within a hotel PMS means that your property can operate smoothly. Such a system alerts housekeeping staff when a room is vacated, or even if a guest is arriving early- so that they can maintain the required hygiene standards and keep your guests safe. Being able to update housekeeping and maintenance staff in real-time also means that those inventories will not be assigned and will run the risk of providing bad service. Room management is thus more flexible- promoting faster availability of rooms, and excellent guest experience.
- Improved Revenue Through Distribution Manager: A hotel PMS integrated with a channel manager not only allows you to advertise your services but also helps you maintain inventory across various distribution channels. Updating room inventory, pricing, and source-specific packages become more efficient. Furthermore, revenue strategies like dynamic pricing help you sell your room for the right price, at the right time.
- Customer Data Management: Having a rich database is always beneficial to your business. Creating a secure database of your customers- not just their contact details, but also details about their previous stay, their preferences, and so on- helps you create an enriching experience for your guests. Small details like remembering the type of room they like or their allergies, will make guests want to return to your hotel. Also, understanding customer buying patterns and requirements helps hotels curate packages and services that can be targeted at specific audiences.
- Cost Reduction: Purchasing the right property management system can help cut costs in numerous ways
- Purchasing just one PMS that handles all your hotel operations efficiently is more advantageous than purchasing numerous individual software to handle different tasks, and then running the risk of this software not integrating with each other. It also cuts costs on any upgrades or subscription costs that would otherwise be covered within one robust PMS.
- You can cut down on the maintenance, purchase, infrastructure, service, and support needed to maintain an on-site server-based PMS by opting for a cloud-based PMS instead.
- Utilize PMS features that allow booking directly from web booking engines and social media booking engines and reduce dependency on travel agents and other sources that require payment of commissions.
Importance Of Choosing The Right Hotel PMS
To be able to properly realize all the benefits of hotel PMS, hoteliers need to identify the right PMS. Here are a few considerations:
- A robust cloud-based system that has all the required integrations for your hotel’s specific needs and can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
- 24/7 support to help with any difficulties or queries you may have during operations.
- Extensive audit trails and night audit reports helping you always stay in the loop with your operations.
- A dynamic reservation system- with real-time updates that synchronize with all your distribution channels.
- Help you manage housekeeping and maintenance all within one system.
- Has POS integrations so that you can keep track of all your point of sales units from one screen.
- Integrates with an online reputation manager that allows you to manage your guest feedback.
- Empowers your guests to make contactless check-in and check-out
- Provides an easy to use web booking engine.
Hotelogix PMS is a 360-hospitality solution for all your hotel needs. It offers an efficient cloud-based PMS that can be smoothly integrated to aid in automated revenue management, distribution channel management, web-based booking engine, reputation management, guest-facing contactless solutions for feedback, check-in/check-out, and services that offer a full-stack solution for hotels globally.