Selecting the right PMS solution is very important for a hotel.
Hotels often make the mistake of choosing a lower end PMS solution that doesn’t fulfil their basic requirements or else, they opt for a high end solution that comes with a lot of features which may not be of much use to the hotel.
To help a hotel make the right decision, we present a quick checklist:
What you should look for:
1. Reporting and Business Intelligence
Reporting is a very important aspect of your hotel’s operations and strategic planning. While selecting a PMS, hoteliers must look at the different reports it provides and whether it will help gain insights on the revenue and performance of the hotel.
2. Web Booking Engine
Online bookings are an important part of revenue generation for the hotel. Having a property management system with its own Internet booking engine and payment gateway is a must have feature. (Also read: 8 must-haves in a web booking engine)
3. Housekeeping and POS
Housekeeping forms one of the basic operations of a hotel. Having a property management system that also has the housekeeping module is a plus. Point of Sale feature is again an advantage as it gets easily integrated with the PMS and room management, thereby, simplifying the billing and check-out process.
4. Sales and Marketing Functionality
Technology for online marketing of hotel rooms has been evolving at an exponential rate with many OTAs, meta search engines, review sites, social media and aggregators entering the market.
– Direct connection with Channel Managers
To have a successful sales and marketing strategy, hotels cannot ignore Channel Manager. Channel manager connection is important to connect to the OTAs and GDS for real-time distribution of room inventory and dynamic room pricing. Choosing a PMS that does not give this functionality is a huge loss of revenue.
– Social Media & Review Site Integration
The property management system should provide a platform that will connect to your social media platforms and review sites like TripAdvisor easily. Check if the PMS offers a Facebook booking button to improve direct bookings.
The property management system should be able to integrate with the common external systems like key card access, mini bars and call accounting to name a few.
6. Flexibility in Rate Management
Rate management is very important for a hotel. Hoteliers spend a lot of time strategizing the rates and rendering attractive packages and deals. A property management system should be able to support these processes.
7. After Sales Support & Security
Last but not the least, hoteliers should look at the after sales support of the system and the security features offered. Ask questions like where the data is being stored and if credit card payments are being done through the system. Make sure that the basic standards are met.
What you should avoid:
1. Looking at only the cost benefit
One of the most common mistakes hoteliers make while choosing a property management system is to select the one that costs the least. They go in for a low cost solution that does not fulfil their requirements instead of a solution that may cost a bit more on the outset but in turn gives higher revenues. One should not just look at the cost factor alone but weigh it against the ROI (return on investment) that can be derived. (Also read: ROI for Hotel Software).
2. Choosing attractive features that may not be of use
Hoteliers should not opt for features that look glitzy and high end as they might not be of much use to the hotel. Instead, keep a list of your hotel’s requirements ready and match it against the key features of a PMS system.
3. Not giving technology its due
Many hoteliers refuse to accept that they need to keep in tune with the latest technology. Investing in a low cost outdated property management system which is not in tune with today’s latest technology will only lead to a system which is more of a nuisance than an asset.
While choosing a PMS, hoteliers need to look beyond the basic check-in, check-out and invoice features. They should make sure that choosing the right property management solution would empower the hotel to not just perform a task but increase overall efficiency and help in revenue generation.