By P Kumar
We make decisions every day, but we tend to consider our bigger decisions more cautiously. Choosing a Property Management System (PMS) is no different. There are several factors that play into making the right decision when selecting your new PMS. But nevertheless some factors can be easily overlooked if you don’t know what to look for. Avoid the following five common mistakes, and get the most out of your company’s investment –
- Choosing by price alone – The old axiom of “you get what you pay for” generally also holds true for Property management Systems. The least expensive system may be unsuitable to manage your business and the headaches it causes may not be worth the money saved. Choose a PMS based on functionality, flexibility and usability. Optimize your investment by selecting a cloud based hotel pms instead of an on-premise system, and use a SaaS pricing model instead of one-time upfront costs.
- Opting for more system than you need – There are some very large, comprehensive Property Management Systems on the market that offer a mind-numbing amount of features and detailed functionality. Unless you’re running a very complicated resort or hotel, you may end up paying for functionality that you’ll never need to use.
- Not choosing modern technology – Technology for hotels evolves constantly. To best position your business for future trends, choose a system built on a modern platform, which will ensure that you can enjoy a long and prosperous relationship with your PMS. Explore and compare cloud based PMS with traditional on-site Client Server solution. Both come with their own advantages and caveats.
- Moving too quickly – The process of choosing a new PMS (if not the cloud pms)can be lengthy. First, you need to identify your needs, evaluate the different contenders, sit through demonstrations and sift through pricing and competing proposals. It can be tempting to try and expedite the process in hopes of implementing it in advance of your busy season. Give yourself ample time to go through the process and, if needed, delay your decision in order to give your company time to choose the best fit.
- Not revisiting your business practices – Many of your existing business processes, such as setting rates, may have been established several systems ago. Selecting a new PMS is an opportunity to modernize your business practices. You may find greater efficiency and greater revenue potential by choosing a system that will allow you implement some changes to your business.
Avoiding these common mistakes will make your PMS selection process much easier, and ensure the system is one that is not only worth the investment but is the best investment for your hotel.
By M Dave
Just as your guests need certain amenities like beds and showers; your hotel needs a Property Management System (PMS) with certain features and capabilities. A PMS is the centrepiece of technology at any hotel and represents a significant investment critical to everyday function. Its features and capabilities allow it to be just that. Here are five essential elements that every modern PMS should include:
- Flexibility – This is a broad, but important, element of a modern PMS. Hotel management today demands flexibility from its tools. Your PMS should be able to seamlessly adapt to changing business needs as quickly as they arise. Whether you need to adjust configuration, focus on a new market, or take your PMS mobile to bypass the front desk, your PMS should offer the flexibility to adapt to changes.
- Cloud or on-premise – From data security to data backups and beyond, the benefits of a best cloud hotel PMS are numerous. Whether you go with a privately-hosted solution or a system purpose-built to live in one of the public cloud providers, eliminating costly and complicated on-premise hardware is a win-win. However, for those properties that frequently experience connectivity challenges, it is essential to choose a PMS that offers offline capability or the option of on-premise installation.
- Interfaces – No property management system can function as an island. Modern hotels require multiple systems to manage every facet of their business and your PMS should be a central hub to communicate between all of the different systems. Ensure your cloud hotel management software has real-time communication with all mission-critical applications to eliminate bottlenecks and discrepancies in data between systems that can lead to inaccurate information, poor customer response times and missed opportunities.
- Online Booking – Direct booking from your own website represents the most important growth channel for most properties. Reservations through your own website not only provide the best revenue opportunity but also allow you to develop a closer relationship with the guest. Your PMS should be able to provide a seamlessly integrated online booking channel, preferably without commissions or per-booking fees.
- Easy to Use – A modern PMS should be easy to use with minimal training required for proficient use. Like today’s Smartphone and gaming system interfaces, your PMS should be walk-up-and-use simple for every user at your property. Even better if the PMS can distinguish between users by role or login and present to them the information they need most. Sophisticated systems simplify PMS use, guiding the user though their tasks and workflow without requiring lengthy training or memorization.
These features may seem simple, but without just one of them your PMS is not performing to its best potential for your hotel. Some great PMS in market that are worth considering on the budget end apart from the most common ones are mycloudhospitality (http://www.mycloudhospitality.com/) , WISH.NET (www.prologicfirst.com) and Guest line (www.guestline.com)
By Prashant Kumar
Mid-sized and smaller hotels have always had a challenging time to make the appropriate decisions when it comes to their IT infrastructure. This is especially true when it comes to the software to be used and how it must be chosen. Business critical software like Property Management System, Back Office Accounting and ePOS for restaurants for example are all possible options for any place of business. Even after the software has been selected from one of the leading software vendors such as Sage, Micros, or Prologic First there are still some remaining questions. The following may be some common questions you ask yourself:
Should I install them locally or have them hosted on cloud?
Does it cost money to hose the application?
What do I do if I lost my internet connection?
Is cloud really that reliable and safe?
The answer to these questions today is much different than what it would have been six or seven years ago.
Without a shadow of doubt, hosted applications are the forward wave of the future. And with the increased coverage available from 3G and 4G dongles as backup connections, there is very little chance of losing access to your software due to hardware failure than to that of cloud infrastructure going down.
As far as data security is concerned the truth is that the security of larger companies like EBay, Sony and Apple is at risk of being compromised and that no one is truly safe from hackers who are working for the rush or are being paid by the usual corporate rivalry and unfair businesses. The fact remains however that these companies were hacked because of their profile.
It is true that there is a monthly cost of £80 to £100 for the VPS or virtual private server, but since the consolidation of their local servers to one single site, they have been able to save the cost of maintenance of hardware and backups.
The bottom line is that you if can have your in house IT department look after the systems, upgrades, and frequent desktop issues, then go for in house solutions if you choose. Or you can take advantage of right timing and leave the old traditional on-site client services behind and move to the hosted ones. The cloud based hotel management software overcomes challenges as said above. Moreover, reports in web based hotel software are not only attractive, customizable but high in numbers also.
By M Dave and Aditi Gupta
If we have a microscopic look at the challenges faced by the hospitality industry on a whole today we will notice that an independent boutique hotel or a five star modern hotel chain, both face the same challenges alike in their day to day operations. In this article we will look at 3 significant challenge themes faced by the hotels:
Challenge No 1. – Open 24 hours
The longer working hours in hospitality are here to stay. Business in this sector no longer closes in a normal 9 to 6 shift but instead work goes around the clock to suit the needs of international travelers arriving at all times. Most of the hotels including small B&B’s have now expanded their horizons to extending their properties into a multipurpose venue to maximise their cost- effectiveness. They are now serving snacks, meals and drinks from pre-work coffee to late-night cocktails, not to mention playing host to meetings and catered functions as well. In such a high pressured environment, there is no scope for downtime and reliability on technology that runs without a glitch has become one of the pivotal factors for success. For example, today’s PMS are more resilient and prepared for disaster recovery, with features such as auto back-up in case of malfunction.
Challenge No. 2 – Pushy and Demanding Customers
There has been a clear shift in the industry trends, where the businesses have moved from ‘provider push’ to ‘consumer pull’. Today’s customers demand more value for money from services and products and are extremely unforgiving of delays. Which brings us back to the topic of reliance on technology… it’s unacceptable for hotel PMS systems to fail during check-in/check-out and for queues to build at the concierge/reception. Keeping this in context, technological vendors have responded with offline working solutions in case of an internet mishap.
Challenge No. 3 – Business Knowledge
Technology is the key to knowing and analysing one’s own industry and business. Today’s PMS systems shine a spotlight on the comprehensive features that they provide for the hospitality business like revealing trends and anomalies, forecast, revenue comparisons and so on. Using the business intelligence functionality provided with these solutions, managers and owners can analyse what is sold, when and to whom. These systems come with real-time accurate reporting tools that help the hotel manager to be on top of his game and maximise the ADR’s. This helps the hotel to achieve their targets and increase profits. Such technologically advanced systems can provide you with a helicopter view of the business and can help establish patterns and vulnerabilities that an individual can’t see.
With such increasing importance and reliance on technology, it is difficult not to see hotels big and small investing in different systems suiting their hotels. With such high surge of vendors in the industry, some notable budget friendly vendors with great support service that I came across some hotel software’s like mycloudhospitality, WISH.NET and @your WSIH while researching by Prologic First. (www.prologicfirst.com)