During this unprecedented period of uncertainty for the hotel industry, now is the time to look at all your technology systems to ensure they are working together in a way best suited for your property in this new reality.
Use this time to evaluate every part of your tech stack, including your property-management system, to ensure your systems truly align with your business needs and goals. Will your PMS support your hotel’s recovery when the world returns to “normal”? Will it help you remain competitive in an evolving global market? If you’re unsure about the answers to these questions, now is the time to do research and find a system that will help you achieve your business goals now and ensure you are positioned for recovery.
Integrating crucial business operations and automating processes will give you the data you need to make informed decisions and the ability to act quickly and effectively. Look for a cloud-based PMS with robust features and functionality that does the following five things:
1. Makes you Money
To get the most return on your technology investment, look for a PMS with built-in revenue-generating features. A built-in booking engine allows you to display real-time availability and capture more stays through direct online bookings on your website, and an integrated channel manager enables you to connect to all major online travel agencies and update rates and availability across channels instantly. Dynamic pricing allows you to create pricing rules that automatically adjust rates based on supply and demand to maximize yield or occupancy. Your PMS should also let you set up multiple upsell items that guests can add during the reservation process to maximize revenue per booking.
2. Saves Time and Reduces Costs
In challenging market circumstances, increasing efficiencies can help your business survive. Modern cloud-based property management systems can automate crucial processes and provide real-time visibility into your hotel’s operations to inform business strategy. The more “set it and forget it” features your PMS provides, the more efficient your property will be. Features like automated reporting that collects and analyzes data across the business, and triggered correspondence that sends emails or text messages at specific points of the guest life cycle, can save hours of staff time every day. Make sure your PMS also has the ability to integrate with complementary partner technologies for seamless completion of day-to-day tasks.
3. Enhances your Guests' Experience
Hotel technology is evolving to focus on frictionless guest experiences and interaction on guests’ own terms. Your PMS should give guests options to personalize and take control of their experience with online reservations, mobile check-in and check-out, self-service kiosks, communication with your hotel through a guest portal, and the ability to make online payments. The more convenient options you can provide, the greater your guest satisfaction will be and the less front desk staff time you’ll need to manage guest needs. A PMS with an integrated loyalty program is another way to engage and attract guests and incentivize them to stay with you again and again. Guests will have a lot of choices when travel returns, and you want to make sure your property is positioned to best meet their needs to increase your share of the market.
4. Tailors Training to You
While implementing new technology may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be. Your PMS provider should make the transition as seamless as possible with a strategic onboarding process that ensures your hotel is set up for success. Look for a technology partner offering a dedicated software installation specialist to help you configure your system, key data imports for business continuity, a personalized training plan covering all the features and functionality you need to operate, and the option of onsite or online training sessions. A PMS also should offer robust online training tools like an article and video resource library, self-guided courses and live webinars with system experts to help you and your staff utilize your PMS effectively.
5. Grows With You
For hotel brands or management companies with multiple properties, a PMS designed for enterprise management allows for quick and easy deployment of the same system across all properties. Enabling all properties to access shared guest and company data removes a significant amount of duplication and gives owners insight into their entire portfolio with one login, as well as the ability to consolidate or partition data across the business. A highly configurable and scalable system also gives owners and operators a path forward, no matter their hotel’s size or complexity. As your business grows and your needs change, your system should grow with it, whether that means adding new properties to the enterprise or additional features and functionality to increase the sophistication of your business operations.
Matthew Galbraith is director of operations for RMS North America.