Today, the hospitality Industry is extremely competitive. Hoteliers need to have strong operations with equally strong virtual presence. The industry consists of varied hoteliers depending on their brand, market segment & positioning, size and more. Market growth is crucial because of such elements. Thus, hotels must have extremely strong operations that not only keeps tabs on regular procurements, but also does it with ease. Considering the market elements of a hotel, automated operations is of great importance.
The biggest question hoteliers consider when automating their operations, is whether to use a paid or an unpaid software. In order to do so, one must understand that what works for others might not work for themselves. While thinking of automation one must have answers to questions like the following:
- What do we need to automate: For some, automating their reservations may work and for some procurement automation can ease their operations. It is important all our challenges are taken into account while deciding on automation options.
- What features are needed beyond traditional hotel operations: Features such as guest loyalty, restaurant point of sale, online bookings and more, should be prioritised by hoteliers. This will help understand what kind of PMS should be looked at.
- What are our future goals: Based on a thorough analysis of existing strengths and weaknesses, one must find areas of improvement. In a way that allows planning of future goals, such as targeting specific ratings, or specializing in catering a specific kind of customer.
- How much do we have to pay: Once an idea is generated on what features your hotel wants with a priority list in tow, budgeting is the next big step. It will not only allow you to account for suitable combinations, but will also show you what you can have.
- What kind of IT expertise do we have: This question will help you decide what kind of PMS you are looking for.
It is very important to know where you are situated in the market. Factors like your goodwill, market segments, size, etc. must also be considered, while automating your operations. Despite thorough knowledge of your needs, there are also external factors influencing your decisions, such as the below.
Size of your hotel
This acts as the biggest influencing factor, especially while comparing two property management systems. This is because there are some systems that serve only one hotel at any one time and some require licensing for their entire group. One must identify which PMS will best solve their problems. Property management systems in the market are free the majority of the time, but can lack some important features that are required for larger hoteliers with a larger clientele. For example, Cloudbeds facilitates your hotel with all-in-one system which not only integrates payments with 24/7 customer support, but it also connects hotel rooms with many distribution channels such as booking.com to expand reach to more customers.
Alternatively, some may think to train and hire staff instead of spending large sums of money annually, yet this may not match up to the speed of automation when it comes to the instance of multiple guest queries for example. Expecting your staff answer the same set of questions repeatedly can be solved with a FAQs section on your website that frees up time for hotel staff to cater to other issues.
How does the PMS satisfy your cause
With a strong brand presence comes larger problems and to ease them you might require getting more and more out of your PMS based on your operational needs. If you are hotel that indulges in just bed and breakfast a simple free PMS can do for you. However, for hotels with more than 400 rooms and a significant workforce, a simple approach to integrating with various property management systems may be more complicated. It is important to know which of the systems work for you in a number of areas.
As an example, Cloudbeds can allow you to integrate all possible needs starting from creating strong virtual presence to automating and channeling your resources. And then there are systems like Frontdesk Anywhere, specializing in a set area of your operations, where it customizes your calendar, encrypts data on secure servers, and connects your hotel with various marketing campaigns as per your needs.
What kind of PMS is needed
Since there is more than one type of property management system, it all varies based on the type of hotel and its needs. There are those for hotels serving 10 to 2000 rooms and then there are those specific to a hotelier’s needs, like those only for your front desks or reservations. While assessing the best PMS for your needs, the hotelier must know what their end goal is and the problems with which they intend to solve.
There are various property management systems available in the market that start off for free with a trial before leading to an annual fee based on your increasing needs and usage. In this way, hoteliers can get a fair idea about which software would best provide solutions.