Building Property Management System Strategies - A Guide for CIOs

By CIOReview | Thursday, June 30, 2016
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Today, technology is making deep inroads, especially into the hotel industry to make operation smooth and efficient. A hotel is a hive of numerous operations such as front office, booking and reservation, banquet, finance, HR, inventory, material management, quality management, and security, which requires acute management by their IT teams. 

The quest for increasing performance and efficiency in the hotel industry has given rise to the development of a host of Property Management System (PMS).

What is PMS?

A Property Management System is a software application designed and implemented to meet the varied requirements of any size hotels or hotel groups. PMS provides all the essential tools that hotel staff requires for their daily functioning—that includes room inventory, handling reservations, checking guests in, assigning rooms, and handling all billing and accountings. The application operates either as a single-property or multi-property configuration, through a single sharing database.

ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM INCLUDES:

1. Flexibility

The burgeoning PMS ensures a vibrant flexibility from its tools. It seamlessly adapts to the rapid changing business needs. The robust flexibility in the system includes adjusting to configuration focus on a new market, and taking PMS mobile to bypass the front desk.

2. Cloud or on-premise

The benefits of cloud-based PMS are enormous, ranging from data security to data backups and beyond. Enabling a privately-hosted solution to host the public cloud provider helps in eliminating the need of costly and complicated on-premise hardware. Further, it is very essential to choose a PMS that offers offline capability or the option of an on-premise installation for those properties that frequently experience connectivity challenges.

3. Interfaces

Interfaces acts as a central hub to communicate between multiple systems and manage every facet of the hotel business. PMS’ real time communication with all mission critical applications helps in preventing bottlenecks and discrepancies in data between systems.

4. Online Booking

The important growth channel of most properties relies on using their own website for direct booking. The reservation through the website enhances relationship with guest and further provides better revenue opportunities. PMS ensures a seamless integrated online booking channel without commissions or pre-booking fees.

5. Easy to Use

The modern PMS provides relevant information that users require to function effectively, and it also distinguishes them by role or login. The easy to use software requires minimal training for proficient use. PMS also guide users through their tasks and workflow without the need for lengthy training or memorization.

THE 4 IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN EVALUATING HOTEL PMS

Choosing the right property management system offers various considerations as it affects every aspect of the operation. The systems have to be evaluated based on particular strengths and weaknesses in relation to the hotel. In order to choose the best system for the property, users should consider these four things carefully:

1. Does this hotel PMS fulfill my requisite criteria in order to run my property?

Evaluating a PMS requires full and complete understanding of current scenarios in the business running. The scenarios can be managed by performing a thorough need-assessment in advance. Using documented need-assessment can further validate, if the new system meets the basic functional requirements.

2. Does this hotel PMS do cool things that my current system doesn’t do?

In most cases, users are searching for opportunities to exploit more efficient ways of operating by moving towards advanced hotel PMS to automate tasks that are performed manually. Reviewing the functionality that makes the particular system unique is the first and foremost step in choosing the right hotel PMS. The investments in new technology should enhance operational efficiency, data security and revenue generation.

3. Why should I trust this company?

Before choosing a new hotel PMS, evaluating the company behind the product is an important aspect. Looking for a company with solid track record in hotel management technology helps users to better understand the need for their computer systems. The functional requirement of the users varies from areas and countries; choosing a provider with experience and knowledge in specific areas helps in facilitating the transition.

4. If I decide to go with this hotel PMS, how do I learn to use it and what happens if something goes wrong?

Choosing the right PMS does not end the process but at the same time it is important to figure out ways to implement them efficiently. For the right functioning of PMS, system training is the first consideration. The complexity in the hotel operation helps in dictating the extent of training needed.  The simple and straightforward hotel management system requires minimal training for operations and staff to function.

TOP 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELECTING A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Numerous factors are involved when it comes to choose a new PMS, and any wrong step could lead to disappointing results. Avoiding the following five common mistakes can get the most out of your company’s investment.

1. Choosing by price alone

The old axiom stating “everything comes with a price” is very much related to the Property Management Systems. Choosing the software based on the price may be unsuitable to manage the business. User should choose a PMS based on functionality, flexibility and usability to enhance focus on efficient functioning.

2. Opting for more system than you need

There are varieties of PMS offering in the market with distinguished features and functionality. It is better to select a PMS considering the user requirements in order to avoid paying more for the functionality that is not required.

3. Not choosing modern technology

The growth in the hotel technology has been evolving significantly. The industry requires frequent upgrades for efficient maintenance and monitoring. Choosing a modern platform ensures long and prosperous sustenance and further provides hassle-free flow in the system.

4. Moving too quickly

The process of choosing a new PMS involves identifying the needs, evaluating the different contenders, sit through demonstrations, and pricing. Taking decisions quickly may end up in selecting the wrong PMS solutions that are not appropriate with the system. Taking up ample time to go through the process allows companies to make choices that make the best fit.

5. Not revisiting your business practices

Some companies have been following the pricing that were set previously. Selecting or upgrading to a new PMS modernizes the existing business practices, providing efficiency. Incorporating the changes also generates greater revenue potential. Not revisiting the business practices can make companies unaware of their profit margin and growth.

CONCLUSION:

The hotel industry could benefit from a wide array of Property Management Systems today; offering a range of features and integrations to leverage, for taking the hotel workflows to a new level of excellence.