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.
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!
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