All posts by Simon Neubauer

Choose a PMS to invest in the future of your hotel.

When Choosing Your PMS: Invest In The Future, Not The Past

Over the past 5 to 10 years, consumer behavior has changed. Technological advancements from smart phones to super-fast data has placed power in the customers’ hands. Customers now have raised expectations on what is acceptable customer service and what is not, and companies are expected to meet the consumers where they are and satisfy their sophisticated needs – and this trend is not about to change.

Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas, technology experts revealed that newer advances in technology and new generation devices with ridiculously fast data connections will continue to fuel consumer behaviour and expectations – and data will be right at the heart of meeting those expectations. As Steve Koenig, senior director of research for the Consumer Technology Association highlighted, “We are progressively building towards the data era of consumer technology… 5G, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and smart cities are all heralds of that coming data age. Increasingly every action, every decision, every choice, every interaction has more and more data behind it.”

Basically, data has become the new oil – it’s a hot commodity available in high abundance. Those collecting data are creating an opportunity to get ahead of the competition “and, because of the compounding nature of the technology, those who get ahead early can quickly be propelled into strong positions of industry leadership,” Matt Gibson, CEO UpThink.

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Looking at the hospitality industry it has seen rapid changes over the past few years from a market, guest, staff and product perspective but the technology which the industry currently operates on has mostly stayed the same. Systems are often founded on legacy technology that may be close to two decades old, isolated with siloed data between departments, which has led to inefficient, costly ways of doing business and has not only limited the understanding of the guest journey but is unable to meet guest demands which are only becoming more and more sophisticated. Clearly the current approach to how hoteliers manage their operational technology is no longer enough.

Hoteliers need to invest in technologies to improve the guest experience; technology that will improve operations, enable more data-driven decisions and provide the tools to support the experience of the connected traveller. With the introduction of the Cloud and SaaS PMS, hoteliers now have the chance to grow at the cadence that the industry and guests require but also be able to be flexible to handle new technologies as they arise.

Success in hospitality has always relied on knowing the customer, and using that knowledge to create new revenue streams and deliver unbeatable service. That idea hasn’t changed but the tools we can use to achieve this have become much more efficient and sophisticated. As appetite and expectation for better customer service continues to grow, hoteliers that invest in the right technologies that put consumer needs first will give them the competitive advantage tomorrow.

Our advice to you is, if you’re in the market for a better PMS to run your hotel, then invest in the future with a SaaS PMS, not the past.

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile hotel PMS and see how you can streamline hotel operations and improve the guest experience.

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile hotel PMS and see how you can start increasing hotel efficiencies

Here are 4 considerations for selecting a hotel property management system.

Selecting A Property Management System: 4 Considerations

Selecting a hotel property management system can be a daunting task and making the right choice is never easy. Many elements will play a role in the decision to commit to a new PMS including cloud or onsite, integrations, support and training, etc. all of which we have touched on in our previous blog. But away from the specifics of the system and the term and conditions of the agreement, there are other considerations you should think before making the switch.

Look at the bigger picture: What do you want your system to do? Ten years or so ago, if you were investing in a PMS, your shopping list was more than likely fairly short. However, a mistake that many hotels make today is looking for a system that has the exact requirements of their old system; basically a replica but “newer”. However, technology has come a long way in a short space of time, so if you are in the market for a property management system, you would do well to look at solutions that go above and beyond the basics functions like front desk management.

Download the ultimate mobile Hotel PMS Guide Now

Be realistic: Having said all that you do need to be realistic. Your hotel PMS represents one tool out of many that helps your business run smoothly. Do not expect your new PMS to be the be all and end all miracle cure for larger issues within your organization. Before investing in, and as part of the bigger picture conversation, a new PMS can act as a springboard to make other business improvements, whether that is investing in your IT  infrastructure such as upgrading your internet service to allow for better Cloud service and SaaS delivery, investing in new hardware such as tablets to allow for a more mobile workforce and to help deliver a better customer service experience, improving / upgrading other software services for optimal operational efficiency etc. Consider all elements within the business that touch the PMS to ensure there are no unrealistic expectations concerning the capabilities of your new PMS.

Invest in the Future, not the Past: If you have a legacy PMS in place you’re likely comfortable with its operation; you’ve invested in the hardware, installed the software and your staff have been trained to use it. However, with guest expectations constantly fluctuating and the continuous evolution of mobile and other technologies, you need to consider a system that’s equipped to evolve in a rapidly changing market to remain competitive, help maximize growth and boost long-term guest satisfaction. You can no longer afford to stand still, or stay in the past. With a cloud based PMS not only will you maintain the same functionality as your current PMS but will benefit from an endless list of advantages; it is dynamic, scalable and here to stay.

Consider all vendors, big and small: There are many, big, well known players in the market that have been providing PMS and other hospitality technology solutions since day dot – the names of which probably come to mind almost immediately. But in recent years new tech start-ups which helped to catalyse the transition of legacy systems to the cloud, are now established companies who would be happy to offer and provide you with a high quality solution and exceptional customer service.

Similarly, don’t just assume that all PMS systems and solutions are basically the same. With multiple vendor options, from big and small providers, come numerous products which can vary significantly in capability and performance.

Not only that but the right solution partner should be up to speed on the current challenges facing the hospitality industry and fully prepared to address how future innovations will affect hotel operations.

Finding a property management system that will work for you and your specific hotel requirements will take research, careful planning and a lot of time. But once you do find “the one” all that hard graft will be worth it and the investment will pay off with improvements in operations, security, and revenue generation for your hotel.

Key tips on finding a PMS system that fits your hotel.

How To Find A PMS System That Fits Your Requirements

Choosing a Property Management System (PMS) is an important decision for any hotelier. Acting like the brains behind the operation of the entire property, it can help in streamlining the workflow that comes with managing your hotel, saving you time and increasing revenue.

If you’re looking to purchase your first PMS system or you want to make a switch, it’s important to know what’s available. With many different software programs, it can be a difficult and tedious task finding the ideal PMS solution. According to many industry experts, there are over 100 solution providers that develop, sell and support PMS software systems considered to be at the epicenter of helping hoteliers run their hotels.

So how can Owners, General Managers, and their respective teams determine which property management system is best suited to their unique operational and budgetary needs? We’ve put together some key tips on what to consider to help you with the process!

Move to the Cloud

Quite simply every new system you are considering investing in should be a cloud system. The world has changed. Long gone are the days where we required a massive cold room on-property to house the primary software and hardware systems of a hotel. The advent of cloud computing has freed hoteliers to implement solutions that are to some extent future-proofed. A cloud-based system will end up costing you less; it’s reliable, flexible and has the capability to scale.

Download the ultimate mobile Hotel PMS Guide Now

Adopt SaaS Solutions

By adopting and implementing a SaaS PMS, hotels will see substantial soft and hard cost savings. Within the SaaS model, everything is combined into an all-inclusive fee per room per month. No more maintenance fee surprises or extra support charges. You will be relieved of the problem of having the system go down without the right personnel to fix it and are always provided with unlimited software updates.

The investment is also highly manageable from a budgetary standpoint due to the predictable nature of the cost structure. While the cost will always be an important component of the decision-making process it should never be the primary decision criteria. Make sure that the solution marries itself nicely to your operations, and if it does, the payback will be seen in short order.

Look For Easy Integrations

As mentioned at the beginning of our blog, your hotel’s property management software should be considered as the centerpiece of your hotels technology; the common control system, the hub of all communications between multiple systems and departments. Your PMS needs to be robust and easily manage the integration of many complex components into one easy interface. Similarly, as new products are developed, and guests demand more technological flexibility, your PMS should be able to integrate easily and with a minimal amount of friction. Not only will this help in reducing the effort of manpower at your hotel and improve operations but also ensure that you are always current in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

It Should Be Accessible & Mobile

On many levels, mobile is now essential to the continued success of any hotel so when looking for a new PMS you should look for features that prioritize communication and mobility. Not only are many operational efficiencies to be gained by being able to access the hotel PMS on the go and via mobile devices but hoteliers can also deliver amazing guest service; employees can build relationships with guests by completing the entire check-in process via mobile and/or guests can self-check-in and out via mobile; it provides opportunities to promote in house and ancillary services facilitating the delivery of a real-time, personalized guest experiences; working in sync with front of house and maintenance, Housekeeping can access the PMS on go via smartphone or tablet and change the room status in a matter of seconds allowing for more efficient turnover of rooms and check-in service.

Mobile allows hoteliers the flexibility to efficiently run services and operations of their hotel remotely. Staff are free to move around the hotel servicing guests directly resulting in more face-time and enhancing their overall guest experience

Ensure there’s Solid Support

Hotel operations are critical and therefore your hotel property management system needs to be up and functioning smoothly at all times. It is imperative that any new system you are considering is bundled with 24/7/365 support along with reputable customer service. Reference checking the service element of the software provider you are contemplating before purchasing will substantially reduce any future (costly) headaches.

In a rapidly evolving technological world, staying current is crucial. Your PMS needs to provide all of the tools needed to achieve efficient and impactful hotel operations. The system you choose will play a critical role in helping you manage your hotel and grow your business. Selecting a new PMS won’t be an easy task and will be extremely time-consuming, but implementing an agile and business enhancing system will allow you to spend more time in front of guests instead of in some back office and take your operations, revenue, and service to the next level.

If you are still in need of some help and guidance, check out our handy scorecard to help you determine which PMS vendor is right for you!

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile PMS and see how you can flexibility and efficiently run services and hotel operations.

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile PMS and see how you can flexibility and efficiently run services and hotel operations.

The importance of technology integration for hotels and a PMS.

Integrating A PMS In Your Hotel: How Silos Hold Us Back

As we all know, the property management system (PMS) has become and continues to be at the core of all hotel operations. Along the way a multitude of other tech pieces have been “integrated” to the PMS such as channel management, revenue management, reservations software, CRMs, mobile technology etc. But in a recent article by Margaret Ady, Head of Marketing at SnapShot,  hotel technology integration is described as more like a spaghetti monster where “tech pieces swirl around the PMS haphazardly” and has resulted in multiple applications working in silos. The biggest challenge with this is the incapability to utilize data to its fullest potential, impacting business directly and indirectly. As the article highlights, “technology silos are holding us back… Making good sense of highly valuable data buried deep in the spaghetti is virtually impossible.”

Hotel PMS Integrations - What your system needs to connect to.

The travel and hospitality industries are data rich and earlier this year, Skift even projected that hotels would begin interpreting their data usefully; that it is the “ultimate intelligence.” Because, data can be continually added, to, to develop a more comprehensive view of the customer, the market and pricing points and can influences revenue management decisions,  key distribution strategies, and customer relationship information because the ecosystem gives it context and makes it instantly more usable.

Data is the ultimate intelligence – and I don’t think there is any denying that but as Ady points out, one key, important step is often overlooked, and that is, integration. “Data organization must come first, and data organization begins with technology integration.” And when we say “integration”, really it’s about having one “platform that brings the spaghetti into one well-organized strand of information… an ecosystem such as this has one point of entry rather than 20 different log-ins.” Syncing all data sources into a single database allows information to flow freely, hotels are able to interpret data and innovate and when this happens businesses can flourish.

Check out the full article here: Putting an End to Silos: How To Wow with Integrated Technology

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile PMS and see how you can start using hotel data to its fullest potential.

Sign up for a StayNTouch demo of our mobile PMS and see how you can start using hotel data to its best potential.

Why Your Hotel PMS Should Be The Gift That Keeps On Giving

A Property Management Systems (PMS) serves as the heart and soul of your hotel. Originally hotels first installed a PMS so that they could manage their reservations/guests but as guest expectations continue to change and the technology that surrounds the industry keeps evolving, there is now an obligation for the hotel PMS to do so much more.

A PMS now needs to be highly stable, have the functionality you need to run your operations smoothly and effectively and not only be able to integrate and talk to all of the current systems in place but also the plethora of new platforms that will require connectivity in the future. But, with rapidly growing hotel operations and increased guest technological demands the traditional on premise PMS has tried its best, but has not been able to keep up. Many legacy systems are now a fine patchwork of different technologies for different purposes stitched together. The result? An entangled mess making it a complex and cumbersome system to use.

Download the ultimate mobile Hotel PMS Guide Now

However, if you are looking for gift ideas this Christmas, look no further than a SaaS PMS. With the introduction of a SaaS PMS hoteliers now have the chance to grow at the same speed as the industry and guest demands, and with increased agility and responsiveness that comes with the cloud, a SaaS PMS is flexible to handle new technologies as they arise. It provides needs-specific functionality, for a relatively low cost, that can be implemented rapidly and will scale with the needs of the business.

One of great gifts of a SaaS PMS is when it comes to integrations; implementing a SaaS solution can happen without disrupting day-to-day business. It easily integrates and communicates simply with other systems, seamlessly sharing information needed to flow between all of the technology systems needed to properly operate a modern hotel. It integrates easily with existing investments, rather than displacing them; it can scale indefinitely to meet customer demand and without incurring additional infrastructure or staffing costs; and many SaaS providers offer customization capabilities to meet specific needs.

With a fully integrated PMS comes a glut of advantages;

  • With seamlessly data exchange between various applications in and out of the PMS, hoteliers have the potential to consolidate and simplify all applications including those used for Sales, Marketing, Guest Facing, POS, front office, etc. helping to optimize hotel operations and support guest services.
  • Integration of all applications in this way provides a 360-degree solution not only allows hoteliers to view and interact with data from all sectors on a single platform but also helps to minimize administration errors and time consumptions. 
  • Providing insightful guest data through hotel system integration allows hoteliers to communicate with their guests throughout their entire journey, and use the time between booking and arrival to upsell, build loyalty and add to their experience 
  • With the rise of mobile devices and self-service applications, guest expectations have changed as has the demand for services at their fingertips. Adopting a fully integrated SaaS PMS hotels have the ability to keep up with consumer demands and allow guests to manage their journey and their own expectations by offering the choice of mobile check-in, room selection, smartphone room key solutions etc. improving guest engagement and increasing satisfaction. 
  • Similarly, with a cloud based PMS, hoteliers are armed with a new level of freedom and a completely different level of control. Staff can assist guests anytime, anywhere enabling them to deliver an enhanced and personalized guest experience anywhere on property. 
  • The pinnacle thought of seamless and endless integrations is in its future proofing. Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace as does consumer likes, dislikes and demands, all of which are difficult to predict. What is a clear though is the shift to more cloud-based, tech-driven management is here to stay. Over the coming years, there will be additions and even innovations to cloud systems that further improve on their abilities and if a hotelier wants to connect fresh, innovative and newer platforms to their primary PMS, they can do so easily and with a minimal amount of friction.

In order to stay competitive today and into the future, and to meet the fluid changes in guest expectations hotels need a PMS that can competently support that strategy. Those who choose to hold onto their legacy systems will see the cloud users surpass them. “…If you’re in the market for a better PMS to run your hotel, then buy the future with a SaaS PMS, not the past.” Jos Schaap, CEO – Founder of StayNTouch.

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile hotel PMS and see how you can start increasing hotel efficiencies.

Sign up for a free demo of our mobile hotel PMS and see how you can start increasing hotel efficiencies