Hotel PMS Evaluation Guide: Find Your PMS Match!

A well thought out HOTEL PMS strategy coupled with the right technology partner is very powerful – but what goals do you want to achieve through your hotel PMS?

– Justin DeRise

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Define Your Goals

Before you dive in, it’s important to understand why your business wants a HOTEL PMS in the first place. 

It’s important to keep in mind that HOTEL PMS is as much about how you approach and relate to your guests as what software you use to enable the service you provide them. 

A well thought out HOTEL PMS strategy coupled with the right technology partner is very powerful – but what goals do you want to achieve through your hotel PMS?

  • Is it to drive guest engagement?
  • Is it to increase revenue and ROI?
  • Is it to leverage business insights that will make you more profitable?
  • Is it to have a history of your guest history, profiles and preferences to personalize guest care?
  • Is it to scale your operation and make your staff more productive/efficient?
  • Is it to leverage the latest technology (mobile, SMS, self-service) to differentiate your brand and services.
Whatever your goals are, write them down. It will keep you on track throughout the selection process. You will also be able to better evaluate your options if you know what your end goals are.

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What is the annual cost of the hotel PMS?

While cost shouldn’t be the only consideration when you’re shopping for a HOTEL PMS, it’s important to find the best value, and be able to budget accordingly. There are a number of arguments to be made concerning a shift from on-premise solutions to SaaS. SaaS HOTEL PMS systems are ideal because they typically don’t require a large fee up front, and allow you to pay on a per month basis so you can monitor your cash flow. By implementing a SaaS PMS, hotels 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. The investment is also highly manageable from a budgetary standpoint due to the predictable nature of the cost structure.  Everything is included in the subscription fee, including software updates and upgrades. Using an SaaS service makes administration easier; provides automatic updates and management; ensures compatibility; enhances collaboration and provides access to users from any device capable of accessing the internet.

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How long does the PMS take to implement?

How soon do you want or need to have your HOTEL PMS up and running? Some HOTEL PMS systems take a lot longer to implement than others. What good is a HOTEL PMS that you have to wait nearly a year to use? Be sure to ask your HOTEL PMS vendor how long they expect implementation to take. Some HOTEL PMS systems cost extra to implement, 

set up interfaces and train on, while some are easy to set up and don’t require any extra costs.  These kinds of implementations are frictionless and typically are preferred. Most technology providers don’t offer implementation services at all, and will typically refer new customers to one or more third party implementation specialists.

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Mobility

Mobility is a key-driver for HOTEL PMS selection so make sure the experience is seamless from desktop to mobile. A mobile Property Management System provides these features while creating additional touch points with the guest throughout their stay. More touch points mean more opportunities to capture additional guest data for remarketing, and up-sell services that may otherwise be overlooked (e.g., ordering breakfast, booking spa treatments or requesting a late checkout).  In the case of the hotel industry, both guests and employees 

are seeing advantages of using their cell phones to either interact with the hotel via making hotel bookings or from a hotel perspective, to communicate with other hotel employees while on the property.  With a mobile PMS, managers can view live performance, monitor operations, access key reports and statistics and measure staff performance – all of which means hoteliers can manage their properties, remotely, on the go, anytime, anywhere even if they are not physically on site.

Cloud PMS Integrations Preview

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Does it integrate with the systems you already use?

HOTEL PMS isn’t the only software your property uses. Select a PMS with an OPEN API that integrates with the tools your company already uses or will need in the future. A cloud-based, open platform will arm you with the flexibility you need to find the best solutions to optimize every aspect of your business. Older systems have their technological challenges. As new products are developed, and guests demand more technological flexibility, trying to get these emerging solutions connected to older property systems becomes very complicated. The introduction of cloud systems breaks down these barriers  

whereby even if a  hotelier wants to connect fresh and innovative platforms to their primary PMS, they can do so easily and with a minimal amount of friction.  While many hotel technology vendors provide a great portfolio of APIs and data sharing, make sure your system provider has the updated skills to access new interfaces, and that the data and functionality you might need to integrate are available easily. It’s important to know which integrations are non-negotiable for your property. Make sure the HOTEL PMS you choose is able to connect with your tool of choice, or that it at least offers a comparable substitute.

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Does it provide the analytics and reports that management needs?

Hoteliers have always relied on various disparate systems to accomplish multiple tasks. But in a today’s environment it has become a necessity to employ as few systems as possible that are integrated tightly to seamlessly manage the hotel operations to ensure better guest satisfaction and loyalty. Guest experiences cannot be isolated in a siloed operating system. Like single image inventory for revenue management, hotels also need a single view of the guest journey for all their associates – from front desk employees to loyalty marketers to GMs or

 revenue managers. The data that you can glean from a HOTEL PMS system is only as good as the data entered. Being able to empower hotel staff to capture data and preferences from guests and then having centralized, easy, anytime access to management dashboards, guest information, historical data, forecasted revenue and management reports is one of the most important functions of a PMS. With the ability to gather and access information about guests, hotels can respond more quickly and efficiently to serve their guests.

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Ease of Use/UX

The new system should make their like easier so they can spend more time cultivating relationships with their guests and delivering the best guest service possible. Look for a HOTEL PMS solution that promotes user adoption. Find a HOTEL PMS partner who minimizes friction. When shopping for a HOTEL PMS, the ideal solution meets your team’s needs, no matter where they are on or off property, enabling staff flexibility to service guests anytime, anywhere. 

Look for the HOTEL PMS with a great user interface that automates tasks when possible and pushes reminders to your mobile devices. Also, with the ongoing turnover rates that plague the hotel industry, a PMS that is intuitive and requires minimal training is ideal. Look for a full service PMS solution that brings the front office functionality onto a mobile/tablet in an easy-to-use, easy to train, touch/graphic user experience.

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Automation

Make sure the PMS  you choose is able to automate administrative tasks,

reducing redundancy and helping your team actually use it. Find a HOTEL PMS that allows you to collaborate with your team by assigning tasks and setting due dates for those tasks. This should include things like Work Management, Remote and Instant Room Status Updates, and more.
Consider a PMS that has upgrades and dynamic packages built directly into interface. Staff won’t need a script to remember to up-sell. When it comes to marketing, look for a system that offers marketing features like automated email follow up campaigns and surveys based on triggers and preferences.

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Security and Scalability

Just because a HOTEL PMS works for your hotel today, doesn’t mean it will be a fit in 1, or 5 years. Think about how a HOTEL PMS will scale as your business grows. As you make your final decision, look for a HOTEL PMS that will be a long-term partner.  Managing customer information and payment details are among the most important issues facing hotels right now. In order to be compliant, a third-party provider should ensure all credit card processing is completed entirely outside of the hotel PMS. Secure API connectivity to major online payment and tokenization gateways around the 

globe enables trustworthy payment card transactions with centralized PCI compliance via a cloud-deployed PMS. A good hotel technology partner will help you plan for the future, protect your data, and make sure your business can recover from a disruptive event. You need a HOTEL PMS solution that is simple to implement and use, yet intelligent and powerful enough to benefit your bottom line and grow with you. A vendor that’s ahead of the curve will likely provide more overall value by keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape.

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Will you receive the level of service and support you need?

Why your hotel should move to a SaaS operational and customer support model.

For most hoteliers, the main area of concern with a property management system is the delivery of unfailing support. Your technology partner should have a support team that understands you’re the hotel business, and how the utilization of their technology affects its many stakeholders It is imperative that any new system you are considering be bundled with 24/7/365 support along with

reputable customer service. If you think about it, solutions providers should be held to the same high standards of service that a hotel guest expects from the hotel, so make sure that you do reference checks on the service element of the software provider you are contemplating on purchasing. This will substantially reduce any future (costly) headaches.

See how StayNtouch’s Cloud PMS, Guest Mobility, and Guest Kiosk solutions deliver better results for hotels through better front & back of house communication, increased mobile touch-points, more revenue and operational efficiency, and unlimited interfaces.

Your demo will include how to:

Manage and Set Tasks Across Your Departments

Ensure Guest Satisfaction & Safety With Contactless Check-in Options

Automate Easy Upsells & Monetized Early/Late Checkouts

Set & Manage Rates/Availability

Integrate With Tools and Platforms Essential to Your Hotel

And More!

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