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The onset of cloud computing technology has revolutionized accessibility to modern digital software for hoteliers around the world, enabling them to compete with the largest multi-property groups. The introduction of the cloud based PMS has enabled small and mid-sized hotels to experience the same level of efficiency as hotels with much larger budgets.

However, there are now so many providers of cloud-based management systems that finding the right one to fit a specific hotels requirements can be quite challenging. With so many options, it may be tempting to go for a free software. However, property management systems involve complex algorithms that simply cannot be programmed at no cost to the developer and free systems often lack critical functionalities.

Let’s take a look at some of the important factors you should consider while deciding on a cloud PMS provider –

  1. Cloud PMS Functionality:

PMSs today are built to serve a diverse network of properties that range from five star luxury hotels all the way to small inns and lodges. As you may have guessed, these different property types have different needs – there’s no point investing in a system that’s not meeting your specific requirements. If you run a serviced apartment for instance, you don’t need features like a KOT integration. Ensure that the service provider isn’t forcing you to pay for features that you’re not going to use!

  1. PMS Pricing:

With so many different systems on the market today, finding a software at a competitive price shouldn’t be too hard. That’s not to say that hotel property management systems are cheap, but with the amount of options available, you should be able to find one that’s built just for your specific needs and is priced accordingly. Another important factor is the pricing plans – ensure that your provider offers flexible plans and doesn’t make you sign contractual obligations.

  1. Integrations:

There’s no point investing in a PMS and then discovering that it’s unable to integrate to your other management tools. Revenue management software, distribution systems, analytics tools and other critical parts of your hotel management platform need to be able to integrate in real-time with your PMS. If you provider doesn’t support popular global platforms, you could be making a very expensive mistake by signing up for the system!

  1. Scalability:

Like we previously mentioned, a PMS may come with a number of features that may not be useful for your specific property. However, as you grow in inventory and perhaps diversify across multiple regions, you may begin to require these features – such as independent booking engines, social media engines, and multi-property management modules. It’s always a great idea to ensure that your provider offers these various functions as add-ons later.

  1. Evaluation:

A critical part of the search is evaluation. Make sure that you take a free trial before you decide on any PMS – if the provider doesn’t offer a trial, be wary. You’re going to be using the system on a daily basis for the next several months at least, and switching systems is no simple feat. Additionally, try to identify companies that offer a simple trial that’s easy to get started with – complicated trial procedures are usually implemented by companies that aren’t very comfortable letting users try out their system without a sales representative present.

Remember that investing in a PMS is no simple affair and it can take weeks to months of searching before you find the right one. However, the long-term benefits in the form of increased efficiency, higher revenue, and most importantly, a better guest experience make the journey worthwhile!

hotel PMS

hotel channel manager

There’s no questioning the importance of selling rooms online today – especially with the majority of bookings coming in from the internet. With software like property management systems and hotel channel management software, independent properties around the world are experiencing better efficiency and higher occupancy. However, the one gripe that many hoteliers will have with the current situation is the cost of commissions paid out to OTAs.

OTAs are amongst the most dominant sources of bookings in the world, they spend billions in marketing and SEO while attracting millions of guests to their sites every month. So it’s no surprise to see hotel owners scramble to get their property listed as high as possible on these sites, even if they come at the cost of lower profitability.

 

However, it doesn’t always have to be so. With the rise of the hotel management system, the industry witnessed massive growth in the SME segment, with many small hotels now able to afford enterprise level tools like hotel channel management software. With this software, they could now connect to hundreds of online portals and accept bookings from anywhere without the fear of double-bookings. However, this has also increased the commissions hotels are paying out to these online agencies.

 

With a channel management system, hotels will be able to ensure that they also receive bookings from other sources of reservations – such as their own website. Having all the bookings come in from OTAs is generally very expensive in terms of the commissions paid, and as a result more hotels are beginning to restrict inventory availability on these platforms so they can sell direct. A channel manager enables your hotel to do this. Moreover, modern hotel channel management software are quite versatile and flexible. They enable hotels to pool all their inventory together in one place from which rooms are allocated as and when a booking needs to be made. As a result, the online platforms have more rooms to sell than if they were split across channels – and this can actually help improve OTA ranking, after all, OTAs will want to list hotels with more rooms to sell higher on their ranking as they’re more potentially profitable.

 

By also integrating in real time with the hotel management system, the channel manager also drastically reduces the workload on the staff. Since the automated system is more than capable of refreshing and updating room rates and inventory across all online platforms, the employees are spared from the daunting task of having to manually update on all the channels.

Generally, OTAs tend to demand higher commissions when hotels want better ranking on their pages. However, it’s possible for hoteliers to improve their property’s ranking even without having to agree to increased commissions if they’re able to offer more rooms for sale and real-time connectivity to the website – both of which are made easy with a hotel channel manager. And with the onset of cloud computing driving down costs in almost every area in the industry, there hardly seems to be a better time to equip your hotel with some cutting-edge technology!

A mystery shopper ensures that you get the right review; the first-hand account which will help you to overcome the deficiency in services and quality that is a must for any hospitality business. How can Hotels Ensure Quality of Service? How hoteliers can ensure that their hotel offers the optimal level of service and it is maintained throughout in their hotel?

There can be more than one way to assess the quality of the services. Inspection could be one of the ways, but a lot of things can be missed out in inspection. And to add more to the inspection method, most of the staff gets cautious and tries to give best behavior during the time of inspections.

Surprise inspections can be a remedy to ensure that housekeeping is up to the mark, basic requirements of the hotel is maintained, processes are being followed and overall customer satisfaction is not compromised. Other than this customer feedbacks too could be consider to know the level customer services. But, the question arises that is this enough? As customer demands higher level of satisfaction and their expectation increases, hotels need to walk extra mile to deliver the best of services to their guests.

Mystery Shopper Since a number of users go online and give their feedbacks it has become important for hotels to make sure that the customer services are of top standard and leaves a good impression/positive impression to be precise. Here the most important things are to have an impactful service, so that when the customer goes online should actually praise the hotel for their memorable stay. That is what actually can make the difference, and that is where the entry of an ?undercover customer? ? the mystery shopper, can bring a better feedback about the hotel services.

How can Hotels Ensure Quality of Service? How hoteliers can ensure that their hotel offers the optimal level of service and it is maintained throughout in their hotel? There can be more than one way to assess the quality of the services. Inspection could be one of the ways, but a lot of things can be missed out in inspection. And to add more to the inspection method, most of the staff gets cautious and tries to give best behavior during the time of inspections. Surprise inspections can be a remedy to ensure that housekeeping is up to the mark, basic requirements of the hotel is maintained, processes are being followed and overall customer satisfaction is not compromised. Other than this customer feedbacks too could be consider to know the level customer services. But, the question arises that is this enough? As customer demands higher level of satisfaction and their expectation increases, hotels need to walk extra mile to deliver the best of services to their guests.

Mystery Shopper Since Cloud Property management system provides hotel operation the technology to streamline their process, a mystery shopper helps in improving the quality of the hotel services, leading to customer satisfaction. Many hotel brands have begun hiring mystery shoppers to improve their services. It is time you should hire too.

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hotel industry trends

The cloud platform has torn down all barriers to accessing enterprise-level technology for independent hoteliers around the world. Today, small and mid-sized property owners can access the same tools that were once only available to the larger chains.

So it’s no surprise that all types of property owners are eagerly adopting cloud-based tools for their property’s management, distribution and all other needs – especially the hotel PMS.

Rise of Mobile –

With millennials on their way to becoming the primary spending majority, it’s only a matter of time before mobile devices become the primary source of bookings. Hotels are striving to ensure mobile optimization for their websites and PMS providers are following suit. A larger number of hotels will also adopt mobile apps and enter the smartphone world. With apps like this, hotels will be able to establish a higher degree of pre-arrival communication with guests. Once beacons are installed in hotels, they will be capable of communicating with guests using location-based technology to ensure that guests receive the right messages at the right time.

Connected Devices –

With IPv6 deployment escalating and crossing the 10% mark. What this means is that a lot more devices will soon be assigned IP addresses. As the IoT (Internet of Things) commences its executional phase later this year, all sorts of connected devices can utilize the platform and connect to the hotel PMS, make predictions and take decisions by communicating with other hardware. Hotels will even be capable of assigning tasks to these devices, automating a number of their workflows, and improving not just productivity but even the guest experience.

The Cloud –

The massive amount of data being generated by so many connected devices is going to be pretty huge. In fact, hotels will have no choice but to turn to the cloud. The cloud offers an almost unlimited amount of space and easy accessibility from any part of the world. These platforms will experience boosted migration across the next year as more and more hotel owners prepare their properties for a brand new age in technology. A number of PMS providers are already found on the cloud and these properties using such systems have observed higher efficiency and productivity.

Boosting Internet Security –

A considerable quantity of personal information is now found on the web. After a few drastic security breaches, this is an area that all owners are taking very seriously this 2016. Hackers are getting smarter everyday and the security measures have to be continuously stepped up to ensure total data protection. With smartphones becoming an increasingly popular payment choice, hotels are beginning to invest well in this area to ensure proper data safety.

Improving Energy Conservation –

Power expenses are easily one among the highest yearly expenditures for hotel properties and not surprisingly, this is an area that a lot of people have worked on improving before – with little success. As soon as the IoT and all those connected devices begin to take center-stage, hotel owners will be able to look at energy conservation in a completely different light. Smart devices fitted with connected tech will be able to detect unwarranted power consumption – lights left on in empty rooms for example.

As hotel technology climbs to greater heights year after year, it’s only going to be a matter of time before we get to a stage where lobbies don’t need front desks – is that likely? Not really! As adaptive as technology become, there’s never going to be a substitute for human interaction.

experience-the-cloud

All management systems are made to simplify the many tasks being carried out within a hotel on a daily basis. But hospitality today is not what it used to be – new companies and service providers are emerging every few months and each company’s software is built to handle certain specific functions better than the others. This is also influenced by the subset of the industry that they’re targeting, among a number of other variables. Because of this, certain hotel PMS providers will be better equipped to handle activities such as group property account management while others may be more suited to front desk management. The main thing is to find a PMS system that fits your exact requirements.

Another thing to consider is the past experiences of other owners using various PMS systems; the issues they raise regarding the software they’re using could save you a lot of time, effort and money.

 

With so many companies providing PMS services today and the huge changes that have been sweeping hospitality technology, it’s best to know what you exactly you need before making a decision:

 

Make a note of the most demanding areas –

Spend some time going through your operations and work out the repetitive tasks that can automated with a PMS, tasks like reservation management, housekeeping duties, night auditing and so on. The best way to go about this is by pinpointing tasks that demand a lot of attention – for instance, multi-channel management is one such issue for a lot of hoteliers. If you’re new to this, your best bet would be to pick a system that focuses equally on all operations without prioritizing any one.

 

Educate yourself on the options available –

In-house systems with their own servers and personnel can be very expensive for smaller hotels, for whom the ideal option would be a cloud PMS. This allows hoteliers to access their operations from any location. Go through the available hotel PMS and shortlist two or three that best suit your needs, based on your studies. If this is your first time using a property management system, read reviews written by other users of the software you’re interested in. A great way to really explore a PMS system would be by signing up for a trial, if they offer one.

 

Go with only a company that you can trust –

It might be tempting to go for a free system but these software are often developed on a very limited budget and hence may lack crucial features, and could have an interface that’s laborious to navigate. By the time the manager realizes that he needs to switch systems, it may be very time-intensive to transfer all the recorded information. Try finding a hotel PMS that offers 24 hour live support too, as PMS do require some amount of subject understanding. Facing an unresponsive support team will just delay and complicate a process that’s supposed to be making your life easier.

 

Although using a PMS does require some basic training, different companies have different approaches when it comes to educating customers. Your ideal system must be one that’s easy to use – it should lighten up your busy schedule for interaction with guests, not demand more of your attention.

With so many different property management systems available today, hoteliers have never been more spoiled for choice. Adopting technology to run key operations is slowly but steadily becoming the norm as more and more owners turn to enterprise software for their businesses. However, the real problem lies in the fact that most hoteliers aren’t sure about what kind of PMS system they need.