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 –
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!