Today’s big hotel groups use Property Management Systems (PMS) as a vital component of the operational activities. If you don’t already have a Property Management System in place, we can make a number of inferences. You’re not part of a major chain or brand. You’re not all that big. You’re not growing your business very quickly. You’re just ticking over, much as you always have, and nothing much changes. You could be more productive and profitable than you are right now. If any of those inferences are correct, you should surely be thinking about joining the 21st Century and making use of some of the hotel management software that’s on the market. Here are five reasons why your staff and your bank manager will thank you for it when you do.
- Reduced workload
Without a PMS, all of your hotel administration tasks will have to be done manually. This is highly time consuming, as well as boring and repetitive for the staff who must input and process data.
- Reduced human error
When information is processed manually, and transferred from one document or one platform to another, it is easy to make mistakes. Staff who are working long hours and performing repetitive tasks will inevitably make errors, not matter how carefully they go about their work. The introduction of an automated process can help to eliminate these mistakes and ensure the accuracy of all your guest data and transactions. You’ll save time, cost, and frustration by no longer having to track down and fix small mistakes.
- Faster operations
Many tasks can be painfully slow and complicated when done manually. Scheduling the activities of housekeeping staff, which can depend on varying room occupancy and turnover, is one such example. Using a PMS will allow an optimized schedule to be created instantaneously, leaving the supervisor free to manage staff instead of paperwork. Working on the night audit, reconciling receipts from the various hotel sales outlets with each guest’s individual portfolio, can take hours. Automation reduces this to a simple task, as portfolios can be updated rapidly as each transaction takes place. Staff and guests can immediately see the state of each guest’s account, so processes such as checking out can be handled with minimal delay.
- Improved internal coordination
Without a PMS, many of your internal activities require detailed planning and cooperation between departments. For example, when guests use your restaurant, the meal will be charged to their room. Then the receipt has to be sent to the front office so that the transaction can be allocated to the portfolio of the guest. The bill can then be settled at check out, and the transaction record is then forwarded to the accounts department. All of this requires several people and takes time to complete. A PMS can simplify the whole process, automating each step and eliminating errors and delays.
- Opportunities from data analysis
A good PMS does much more than just automate many of your operational and administrative processes – it also keeps detailed data records on everything it does. This can become a valuable resource if you know how to use it to your advantage. You will certainly be able to look at patterns in the data which could, for example, let you know when your occupancy rates are at their peak, and which channels those bookings typically come from. If it turns out that your revenues don’t rise in direct proportion to your occupancy, you might be able to quickly see why. On the other hand, if ADR is rising as RevPAR coincidentally falls, you might want to look at your distribution data to see what your revenue manager could be doing to address the problem. If he usually tries an email marketing campaign, you can see what the click-through rates are, and make adjustments for next time once you know what works. With so much data to work with, you can begin to answer almost any question you can think of. The only limit is your imagination.
These are just some of the reasons why you’d be better off with a hotel management system – and once you understand the benefits, the next step is to figure out which system is right for your hotel.