I have worked with property management systems for a long time now and have witnessed phenomenal changes in the technologies used during this time. A phenomenon that I have witnessed repeatedly is that every time a new technology comes into existence, there is this strong resistance to change among prospective users!
A couple of decades ago people used to find it difficult to move from pen and paper accounting system to property management systems on standalone computers. There used to be this constant fear among hoteliers that what would happen if the system were to crash or if any files were to get corrupted. Time and again there used to be this tendency to revert back to the same old pre-medieval way of doing things in hotel. We would then spend hours and hours trying to convince clients that property management systems could actually make their live easier and their databases more reliable. Although, there was that initial fear, but once people started witnessing results, everyone was happy and excited!
Today those fears have shifted to another level; people are now apprehensive about use of web based hotel management systems over locally installed hotel management software. The main concern is to do with letting go of the database to a remote server. Well, it’s like history repeating itself and all I would like to say is that once everyone understands the benefits of a web based system and focuses more on the features and performance of the solution, the concern of not having software and data on a local computer will hold no meaning. If you too have any such inhibitions, please read on further as I’ll elaborate on some important features of online property management systems.
Access to all property related information from anywhere, at anytime – This is one of the best advantages of a web based property management system and is often the most overlooked. The manpower mobility and distributed resources of the modern day hotel makes it necessary for it to leverage the possibility of having all of its information accessible from anywhere at any time. All one needs is a computer and a basic Internet connection to access the property management software. The computer too doesn’t need to have a complex configuration and high-end resources. This saves a lot of money for the hotel establishments on software and hardware, while increasing the accessibility of information on the other hand.
Better communication with guests – With the increasing emphasis on customer retention and customer satisfaction, communicating with guests on a consistent basis has never been more important. An online property management system can be of great use in this regard as it can send out regular memos, reminders and updates to the guests. Guests can also be subscribed to newsletters and informed regularly about the promotions and schemes via this medium.
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