What is a Hotel Property Management System (PMS)?
Hotel property management systems (PMS) manage all aspects of hotel business operations, including the delivery of superior guest experiences. Traditionally, a hotel PMS was defined as software that enabled a hotel or group of hotels to manage front-office capabilities, such as booking reservations, guest check-in/checkout, room assignment, managing room rates, and billing. A hotel PMS replaced time consuming, paper-intensive processes. Today, hotel PMS technology has evolved well beyond the front desk. A hotel PMS is now a critical business operations system that enables hoteliers to deliver amazing guest experiences.
The importance of a property management system for hotels can’t be over-emphasized. A good property management system will lift a heavy load from your front desk staff and create a happy guest experience. In this digital age, it is a must to have a good property management system. Let’s delve into the importance of a property management system for your hotel.
1. No Double Booking
The integration between a hotel PMS and a channel manager system is an unquestionable requirement every hotel should have. Channel Manager is able to channel and update room allotment over all the associated OTAs / sales channels. Bookings on OTAs would likewise get right away refreshed on the PMS. It helps in managing overbooking and double-booking issues.
2. Easy Check-In And Check-Out Process
When the checking in and checking out process in your hotel is easy, it will create a pleasant experience for your hotel guest and also make your staff tasks easier and faster. Making your guests wait for a long time before they are checked in or checked out will result in an unpleasant experience and may even discourage them from visiting your hotel again in the future.
3. Easy to Manage Housekeeping
The housekeeping functionality handles all the house cleaning assignments already pre-allocated in the system. It helps the front desk to keep track of the hotel room that needs cleaning and the labour required to clean the hotel guest rooms by the housekeeper. It also keeps track of the room supply’s and toiletries that hotel guest needs on a daily basis.
4. Lesser Paper Work & More Automated
Having a PMS means lesser paperwork for your hotel staff and it is more automated. A good PMS will do most of the work for you and free your staff time to focus on more important things that will increase the pleasant experience of your guest. With the latest innovation in technology, most hotel tasks are automated by PMS, therefore, eliminating the use of paper.
5. Hotel Database & Report
For every business customer data is important. This includes the hotel business. Having a hotel PMS will enable the hotel to keep a record of all their guests in their customer database. This helps the hotel to make good decisions that will increase their revenue. PMS usually comes with other reporting databases as well, which include payment databases, invoice databases, tax databases, and more. These databases help to make the life of the hotel staff easier by keeping records that are useful for the hotel.
Main features and functionality of PMS
The ultimate function of any PMS is to automatically consolidate data from all hotel departments for unified control, better decision-making and eliminating paperwork. Program integration (or interfacing) with external third-party systems, such as payments processors or revenue managers, is its fundamental feature. Therefore, further incorporation of digital marketing platforms, energy efficiency, reputation management systems, etc., is the evolutionary way for PMS that will create even more value for hoteliers.
Here are some of the main components that an efficient Property Management System for hotels must have:
- Reservations & Front Desk functionality enables a hotel to accept and manage online bookings with no manual input. This is a core part of any Hotel Management System, which usually works in a bundle with the website Booking Engine and other sales channels. It holds all the important information about your room inventory, prices, and occupancy. The Reservation’s interface was made for you to easily collect payments and automatically schedule new bookings in the calendar. It also helps property managers to view and change room status, check guests in and out (via App or a Self-check-in kiosk), and send automatic confirmation or follow-up emails.
- Distribution Channels Management ensures consistency of your room prices and availability across all connected online sales channels. A Channel Manager is synchronized with your Property Management System for instant updates of the room info on various platforms. It eliminates the need to update prices, cancellation policies, and inventory on each of the many channels that you use. It also protects your hotel from price discrepancies, booking errors, and over bookings.
- Deal Management functionality helps you to easily create special offers and increase financial yield from new bookings. This module helps hoteliers to combine services with overnight stays for yummy thematic offers just in a couple of minutes. If the Deal Manager is integrated into the system, you will be able to target specific guests with such offers via personal Booking Offer emails.
- Staff Management software allows you to grant a certain degree of access to the system according to the employee’s role. For example, you can set up special permissions for your Front Desk agent or let your cleaning staff only access the list of chores and work chat. In addition, this module will help you to organize shifts, assign tasks to the teams or create automatic tasks associated with the guest’s order.
- Accounting & Invoicing functionality makes financial processes easier for both hoteliers and employees. It helps in maintaining tax-compliant bookkeeping, as well as creating invoices, payment management, and tracking key financial performance indicators. This software can simplify revenue management and increase guest conversions.
- Reporting & Analytics module allows hotels to automatically generate reports for consistent data analysis. It is used to get new insights on hotel performance and monitor key productivity indicators in real-time. Depending on the provider, hoteliers can receive automatically generated Financial Reports, Management Reports, Guest Reports, and Daily Reports (e.g. on check-ins and check-outs, no-shows, cancellations), and view important hotel statistics as a brief summary.
- CRM and guest management help you to gather and store all guest data. While keeping personal details and contact info or notes about allergies, it helps you to personalize your guest’s stay. Having an organized database of customer info can help you to improve your marketing strategies and target certain types of guests with special deals. This part of the system must seamlessly integrate with your Front Desk and Reservation system to collect information without any need for your extra work.
- Native Mobile App that syncs with all parts of the PMS is a big advantage for a hospitality business. Judging from the experience of large hotel chains, it can significantly improve the guest’s stay. From online check-in that takes just a minute to the ability to book and pay for any service, it makes it much easier to provide a first-class service. In addition, an application that supports multiple languages helps foreign guests feel much more at ease, eliminating any language barriers so that they could enjoy all the benefits to the fullest.
- Point-of-sale & Order management to make profit from the hotel’s amenities. To get revenue, the hotel needs its own point of sale and order management system. If these components are perfectly integrated with the core software, the hotelier will have no problem issuing correct invoices and securely accepting contactless payments. In addition, the order manager will send the guest’s order immediately to the right department, ensuring efficient and well-coordinated work of all hotel teams.
These software components guarantee an uninterrupted workflow for any hospitality business. They are an absolute must in the operation of large hotel chains and bring added value to independent hotels. However, given that each business has its own needs and traits, its up to hoteliers to decide what kind of software they really need. The only thing to keep in mind is that hoteliers need a property management system that would perfectly integrate with their current or future software.
Advantages of PMS for hotels
On all stages – from booking a room on a website to sharing feedback – property management system allows understanding the needs of each particular client, create a comprehensive profile and provide customized services. Peer-to-peer accommodation is getting increasingly popular and creates a huge competition to hotels. However, a professional approach and personalization might be a distinct advantage for the latter. With such software, you learn about your guests’ preferences and may even predict their desires. By the same token, it makes your marketing, for instance, via emails, more effective, as you know better what information is relevant for your potential or existing clients before, during or after their stay.
Mobile-based PMS untether hotel staff from their desk, which leads not only to their ability to provide guest services, such as check out, anywhere on the property. Effective communication is crucial for any business, and management on mobile devices allows notifying personnel on any issues in real-time, so they can be fixed immediately. And last but not least, innovative approaches are appealing to tech-savvy employees.
Rates on point
PMS can substantially improve a hotel’s financial results with smart revenue management. Through sophisticated algorithms, the system analyzes trends in demand, related to events, season, weather, and other factors, makes forecasts and allows adjusting rates accordingly. By processing year-on-year revenue and budget figures, the software can predict future sales. It generates market segment reports on a regular basis, which can be compared with competitors data. All KPIs for a given period can be viewed in a convenient format and contrasted against past data or future goals.
Alongside the right pricing strategy, selling as many rooms as possible through many channels is essential for profitability. The multi-channel approach also allows reaching different audiences. A channel manager within a property management system synchronizes availability and rates across various platforms to avoid overbooking and handle late cancellations as all developments are accessible instantly from a single interface.
How to choose the right PMS to meet your needs?
Some of the must-have features of the best PMS include:
- Round-the-clock access to data from anywhere
- A multifunctional Front Desk
- Support of the classical and dynamic price models
- Functionality that helps you to detect repeat customers
- A Guest App for self-service interactions
There are many well-known PMS brand in Malaysia and Singapore, such as Softinn, Ezee, Esoft, IDB, ABS, Oracle, Fidelio, etc.
In conclusion, as a hotelier, the PMS you decide to use should be able to handle your guest experience and journey right from the time they start searching for a room on your website to the period they decide to check out from your hotel.
The experience your guests has with your hotel and your staff will determine if they will return to your hotel. Therefore, implementing a good Hotel PMS that will give your guest a wonderful experience is paramount.