Top 5 Trends in the Modern Hotel PMS
The past decade has seen the rise of a new generation of hotel PMS with the introduction of agile, flexible and cost effective cloud-based solutions – but as many hoteliers prefer to stick with their tried and test, if not a bit out-dated, PMS systems, IT spend and investment in the hospitality industry has been relatively low when compared with other industries.
However things are looking up; a recent study showed that in 2015 on average 4.9% of hotel revenue was allocated to the IT budget vs. 2.6% in 2014. Similarly, software accounted for 12% of hospitality IT spend but is forecast to grow at 7% pa from 2015-18, outstripping other segments and 22% of hotels earmarked migrating to the cloud as a top tech priority in 2015.
And it’s not hard to see why somehoteliers are increasingly turning to newer technologies to drive operational efficiency and engage with customers. Here are just 5 (of many) trends of the modern hotel PMS.
- Cloud: Cloud-based computing is already the new normal for many industries and business and is becoming more and more popular across the hospitality sector. Cloud provides a platform for innovation as well having the potential to improve the efficiency of business processes, which can become an important source of competitive advantage.
The biggest advantage of cloud is cost. Traditional hotel PMS installations and service contracts can often be expensive, and many are out-dated. Working on the cloud eliminates the need for on-site server hardware and associated expenses; it’s also dynamic and scalable for the future. In addition to these savings, cloud-based PMS also offers immediate advantages like remote login allowing for anytime, real time access, distribution management, automated tasks, multi property management, mobile guest journey, and real-time data analytics, to name just to name a few.
- Mobility: Mobility has changed nearly everything about the way business is done – Today more and more hotel owners want to perform typical Property Management operations using mobile devices. One of feature of legacy systems is quite literally its inability to move with the times. Legacy systems by their very nature are fixed systems meaning employees are tied to a fix point. However, with new PMSs, technology has evolved to the point where it has the capability to deliver any type of data to any type of device at any given moment. By leveraging SaaS property management systems that use tablets and smartphones as the primary hardware device, employees are empowered to go above and beyond when providing the personalized attention that keeps guests coming back. “True mobility is the key to enabling your employees to deliver the ultimate in guest service at every touch point. Mobility empowers staff to build relationships with guests beyond the essential meet and greet upon arrival or wave goodbye when guests depart.” Jos Schaap, CEO StayNTouch.
- Guest engagement: One very attractive feature of cloud technology is its ability to consolidate pertinent guest stay information and preference data (from multiple sources) all in one place. This collated data provides a real insight into guests stay and spending habits enabling hoteliers to promote real time offers and sell customized relevant ancillary products, services and/or packages to the right customers, at the right time in their journey and at their moment of decision (all based on the availability of those additional streams on a hotel-by-hotel basis!).
Another advantage of cloud PMS over a legacy hotel PMS is the ability to access data using any device at any time meaning staff can either connect with their guests through their preferred method of communication and/or freely move around the hotel servicing guests directly resulting in more face-time and enhancing their overall customer experience and increased guest satisfaction.
- Endless Integration: Traditional PMS software limits hoteliers’ freedom to work with several different vendors. More often than not, they do not easily integrated with software from different providers, so if you want to add new features to your management system that aren’t offered by your software provider or integrate your various management systems together, well, you’ll have a hard time doing so. The reality is that with traditional hotel management software, adding and removing resources is difficult and hoteliers are essentially stuck with one system until the license expiry date. You’re in a contract, with very little wiggle room.
One of the biggest strengths of a cloud-based hotel management system is that it can be easily connected to other software applications, even if these applications don’t share the same provider.
- Sleek Design: Cloud PMS solutions are easy to use and intuitive at the end user level. Designed with graphic driven interfaces, they offer an easy user experience that allow employees to be trained quickly – even the least tech- savvy members of a hotel’s team can easily gain access to the information they need at the click of a button.
As we have evolved into a mobile generation, business now also need to be mobile. With the growth in cloud based PMS’ hotels can now invest in powerful tools without having to bear the huge cost of infrastructure; tools that enable hoteliers to significantly lower costs, boost efficiency by simplify processes and automate operations, improve the bottom line, engage with guests in real time and provide a personalized experience all resulting in increase customer satisfaction and higher profitability.
The modern PMS: where the investment is low and the paybacks are high!