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.
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.