Selecting the Right Hotel Property Management System

Sharita J. Wilson

How to Select the Right Property Management System for Your Hotel | Hotelogix

Every hotelier knows running a hotel can be complicated, but when done right, is greatly rewarding. There are many moving parts to consider when successfully operating a hotel. Before the invention of hotel tech, hoteliers had to manage various functions manually.

Today, hoteliers enjoy the many benefits of hotel management technology. Perhaps the most important technology to have in a modern-day hotel is a PMS, otherwise known as a property management system. Hotel management software features an array of tools to optimize day-to-day operations.

PMS software provides an all-in-one dashboard that hoteliers and their hospitality staff can use to simplify day-to-day tasks. The PMS dashboard tracks reservations, check-in and check-out times, available rooms, and more.

PMS software has evolved to offer more than just operational capabilities, too. PMS can now track guest data, predict trends, and provide invaluable business insights to increase a hotel’s profitability.

Why Do Hotels Need Technology to Run Efficiently?

The hotel industry is inherently competitive. There will always be multiple hotels within the same area, that likely offer comparable amenities and room styles. That’s why it has become important for hoteliers to focus on offering the most seamless guest experience to attract more business.

Offering a flawless guest experience starts with ensuring your hotel operations are maximized for efficiency. Hotel tech, like PMS software, has allowed hotels to get rid of the need for time-consuming manual tasks and loads of paperwork. Hotel technology decreases the potential for human error.

The automation that PMS software provides hotels allows the business to run more seamlessly. Plus, the automation of operations provided by these software solutions allows hotels to run with fewer staff members. With hotel technology, staff can focus less on tedious tasks and more on attending to the guest experience.

Without technology, processes are lengthy and leave a lot of room for human error. For example, a hotel that does not use technology had to process billing manually. When processing billing manually, there is a huge potential for human error, such as incorrectly entering a guest’s payment information, which is costly to hotels.

Hotel technology like PMS software also improves the guest experience in other ways. Guests will experience easier booking at a hotel that utilizes a PMS integrated with a web booking engine. The PMS can automatically update which rooms are available, leading to a more seamless online booking experience.

Sophisticated PMS software can save data about guests, making it easier for return customers. The PMS can autofill their previous information and preferences. Overall, technology like PMS software positively impacts every aspect of a hotel’s operations.

The Role of PMS

If you are looking to run your hotel more seamlessly, and gain more profits, you should seek comprehensive PMS software. Property management systems allow hotels to manage every facet of their day-to-day business with greater automation and ease.

Must-Have Hotel PMS Features

There are several types of PMS systems out there today. Regardless of which you choose, a good PMS can be identified by its core features.

If you want the best PMS possible, you need to know what features to look for. The best PMS software will have features such as:

  • An intuitive dashboard that is easy to access and use.
  • An ability to integrate with a channel manager, to track and update bookings across OTAs.
  • A calendar where staff can easily see the day’s tasks at a glance.
  • The ability to manage housekeeping tasks, such as tracking when rooms are due for a cleaning.
  • A revenue management tool, which allows you to see trends in pricing and insights for increased profitability.
  • An integrated payment processor for billing guests.
  • An integrated web-based booking engine to generate direct bookings from the hotel website.

When you choose a robust PMS software, you get more than an organizational tool. This technology helps hoteliers make more profit, increase guest satisfaction, and reduce the risk of on-site staff burnout.

Cloud-Based PMS Vs. Legacy PMS

The biggest difference you’ll find when comparing PMS software is cloud-based versus legacy. Although both types of software produce the same results, each has unique pros and cons.

There has been an uptick in preference for cloud-based property software among hoteliers. This is likely because cloud-based software is more agile, requires less upkeep, and is overall simpler to implement. However, it’s important to understand both options to know which is right for your specific hotel.

Legacy PMS

Legacy PMSs run on a server, which was the only way to successfully run the software before cloud-based solutions were developed. Legacy-based PMS software uses a server (or multiple servers) to connect to the property computers.

This means when using a legacy PMS, all computers must be hooked into an ethernet cord to be able to use the software. This prevents on-site staff from being able to use the PMS software while out and about on the property. If you have multiple properties, you will need a separate server for each one.

A legacy PMS will have a lengthy implementation process and less flexibility than cloud-based solutions.

Before getting a legacy PMS software, you should consider the following pitfalls:

  • A legacy PMS requires on-site servers, which are often costly to install and maintain.
  • Servers will require a specialized technician for some tasks. This means hoteliers must either hire a dedicated IT employee or pay a third party to maintain the servers.
  • A legacy PMS may be harder to integrate with other important software, such as a channel manager.

Legacy PMS software does offer some attractive upsides too. A legacy PMS doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t clog up the wireless connection and is inherently secure because it only uses your internal servers to operate.

Cloud-Based PMS

Cloud-based PMS software offers hotels greater flexibility than legacy systems. Cloud-based hotel management software is known for being faster and easier to implement overall.

Although this type of PMS can be costly upfront, it saves hoteliers money in the long run because it requires much less specialized upkeep than legacy solutions.

There are several benefits to implanting cloud hotel management software, such as:

  • No reliance on hardware – with cloud PMS, the hotel does not need on-site servers, ethernet cords, or desktop computers.
  • Does not require specialized technicians.
  • Uses Wi-Fi for connection. This allows the PMS software to be accessible on computers, smartphones, iPads, and more. Compared to legacy PMS, this makes cloud-based PMS much more attractive for on-site staff.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • Easily integrates with other applications, like a channel manager.

Cloud PMS software allows employees to take their dashboards on the go. Employees can log into their PMS on a phone and check off tasks as they do them throughout the building. When considering ease of use and flexibility, cloud PMS far outperforms legacy software.

There are very few downsides to cloud-based hotel management software. Some hoteliers are skeptical of cloud-based solutions because they are unsure if data is safe. However, a cloud-based PMS has multiple checkpoints and firewalls to secure information within the cloud.

Also, cloud-based solutions are more expensive to implement. This can deter hoteliers from choosing a cloud PMS. However, cloud software calls for less routine upkeep, due to the lack of hardware. So, hoteliers can save costs down the road by paying a little more upfront for a cloud-based management system.

Bottom Line

Hotel PMS software can help your hotel optimize its operations and increase profitability. The property management system’s ability to integrate with other key applications, such as a web-based booking engine, helps hoteliers get a clear picture of their business.

When choosing a PMS, it’s important to look for software that is flexible, agile, user-friendly, and low maintenance. Hoteliers are increasingly choosing cloud-based PMS for these reasons. Invest in the success of your hotel with PMS software!

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