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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud based property management system’

Independent hotel owners have a huge set of responsibilities to manage their hotel on a daily basis. Additionally, the increasing levels of competition only add to the worries. There are enormous challenges pertaining to an independent hotel’s digital marketing plan. Reason – travelers are getting tech-savvy and sometimes, hoteliers lack the urgency to adopt technology. Marketing your hotel rooms online is more than merely updating on OTA sites. To promote a hotel online, you require a combination of skills, strategies and of course, the right use of smart technologies.

Here are 4 challenges in hotel marketing faced by most independent hotel owners.

Making the move towards a cloud-based property management system will resolve all the challenges in hotel marketing. It’s easy to bring down costs, reduce dependency on manpower, sell rooms faster and do much more with a hotel PMS.

This article originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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A hotel management system or a property management system (PMS) is the most essential software used to run a hotel’s property. The tourism industry is booming and the world is shrinking with the Internet and technology taking over our lives. Travelers across the world are widely connected to their devices to look up for the best hotels for their family trip, corporate bookings, group travels, and more. Hoteliers of independent properties, mid-sized hotels, Bed and Breakfast or chain of hotels need to embrace the shift to online hotel management system. Technology plays a key role in one of the most important factors for the hospitality industry – guest satisfaction.

A streamlined management for a hotel ensures excellent service which in turn ensures happier guests and more customers. How does a web-based hotel management system help hoteliers to achieve this? How can a property management system increase revenue?  Let’s take a look.

What is a Hotel Management System? Why do I need one for my hotel?

Hotel management systems that run on the cloud are fast-evolving in the technology-driven world. These cloud-based hotel management systems are quick and easy to install, use, and lend a whole new dimension to the way hotel properties are run on a daily basis.

This is a software system that includes a host of functions to assist hoteliers. An online hotel management system is a must for every kind of hotelier, irrespective of the property they run. All it requires is a computer with a stable Internet connection.

How easy is it to implement a hotel management system?

As complicated as it may sound, this is fairly easy-to-use software that does not require lengthy training sessions with your hotel’s staff. This can be easily installed on multiple systems (depending upon the solution provider) and allows hoteliers to automate multiple tasks within no time. A smart hotel management system will be easy to plug into your existing infrastructure, without the need to maintain a support team or requirement for other investments. You, as a hotelier, would want your cloud-based system to be accessible to all without any added overheads. A hotel management system should also be able to connect to your website and facilitate direct bookings for hoteliers.

What should I look for in a Hotel Management System?

Property Management:

A hotel management system is useful to run the hotel’s property to manage the room rates, room availability, hotel reservations (check-in and check-out), guest history, billing, city ledgers and more.

Customer Relationship Management:

Cloud-based hotel management systems must be able to store customer data for your future use. Information such as preferred room numbers or favorite cuisine will help improve your guest service by preparing for a guest’s arrival well in advance. Hotel management systems help to improve guest communication and maximize the hotel reviews online.

3rd Party Integrations:

A simple installation of a hotel management system with 3rd party integrations such as Channel Managers, Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Snapshot, TripAdvisor connects and more are required to manage a hotel’s operations and sales.

In-Depth Reports

Hoteliers can easily save time using the flexible reporting system that comes with hotel management systems. It’s easy to export data directly and use integrated business tools to manage and use data appropriately. Hotel owners and managers can easily forecast trends and plan budgets according to the generation of reports.

There are various benefits of using a hotel management system. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

Features of a Hotel Management System

Hoteliers can benefit from the features of a hotel management system in many ways.

Automates Operations

Whether you need to store guest details, book reservations, assign tasks, manage multiple Point of Sale (POS) systems and more – your hotel management system must be able to automate tasks. This saves time for busy hoteliers. Compare this to manual updates in the ledgers with constant reminders required for team members? That’s a thing of the past.

Ease-of-Use

Everyone on your hotel’s staff must be able to use the hotel management system with great ease. The software must have a clean interface with the simple task of streamlining your hotel’s operations without additional hassles. It should be easy and intuitive which lets a hotel’s staff learn at his/her own pace.

3rd Party Integration

As mentioned earlier, the PMS must integrate with various channel managers, review sites, booking platforms, accounting software, and more. For e.g. a channel manager will help you update room inventory and manage booking across all OTAs in real-time. This saves time spent on updating room inventory and rates manually on each OTA platform.

Strong Performance and Support

The chosen hotel management system must be adequately tested and reliable to use. The solution provider must have a strong support team to sort out your queries. You need the latest in technology to manage your hotel’s operations and the chosen vendor must be reliable and reputed in the market and should offer free upgrades.

Scalability and Pricing

The hotel management system must be beneficial to every kind of hotelier. You might be an owner of a small property with aims to scale up in the coming year. Does your hotel management system expand to meet your needs? Flexibility is the key as your cloud-based software model must be designed to accommodate growth of a hotel’s bookings or addition of another property. Property management systems that come with a flexible pricing model are best suited for hoteliers. Cost is one of the major deciding factors and a monthly service that expands as per requirement and allows unlimited users is best suited for hoteliers.

Data Security and Payment Gateway

Customers looking to book directly on a hotel’s website are most concerned about the security of payment. It’s essential to install a hotel management system that includes secure card payment options. The software must offer a choice of integrated payment gateways.

Other Features

Your cloud-based property management system must be flexible to use for any kind of hotel property. It should be customizable and must be able to adapt to the rapid changes in the hotel industry.  The chosen model must be able to help hoteliers manage multiple Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) as well integrate with the hotel’s own website. Access to multiple users for no additional charges is a very important feature. A currency convertor, multi-language support, unlimited POS for no extra charge must also be included in your hotel management system.

Mobile App

The chosen cloud-based hotel management system must be available as a mobile application to facilitate a hotel’s operations. With the availability of multiple terminals for various staff members, hoteliers as well as team members will find it easy to monitor operations while on the go. Hoteliers can access data in real-time, perform actions, download reports and do much more on a Smartphone.

Have you upgraded to an online hotel management system? Do let us know our feedback.

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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!

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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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Properties around the world are moving their property management system from a traditional client server to a cloud based system. One may ask why is this required and why should anyone need to make this transition when one is working pretty much well with a traditional server. There are a lot of reasons that can answer such queries. Once you start using a web based property management system such as the one Hotelogix provides you will see the difference it brings to your business. Efficiency and speed will get a new meaning altogether once you start using the web based property management system by Hotelogix.

Advantages of the Hotelogix cloud based PMS

• A cloud based property management software can be set up in a matter of a week or two contrary to the several months required by the traditional client server model.

Speedy implementation of applications which is a critical factor in the hospitality business is an added feature.

Fast implementation of the transaction based pricing system. This system allows a hotel to make online purchases of solutions without wasting time on organizational red-tapism.

• The cloud based property management system works on a Saas (Software as a service) delivery model thus opening much more options for hotel chains, inns, motels and the like.

• The hotel is given the option to choose a highly flexible pricing plan that suits its needs. There are various plans to choose from such as a flat fee per month or a per occupied room night system. This directly translates to higher occupancy and room revenue. The hotel can also opt for a one-time up-front license fee plan.

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