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Posts Tagged ‘hotel management system’

The hospitality industry is heavily season-dependent and there is only so much one can do that will change this. This makes corporate travelers even more attractive to hotels as they can bring you business round the year. This being the case, how can hotels increase corporate bookings?What are some of the definite ways to appeal to the corporates and win them over?

You might be tempted to think about how a hotel can tailor-create an experience for corporates that will get the job done. And you aren’t wrong. Corporate travelers are almost always on a tight schedule, possibly hopping in and out of meetings. Making their stay a pleasant and convenient one, of course, make a difference. But in today’s world, offering free Wi-Fi, a workstation, etc in the room is basic! Even the smallest of hotels offer free Wi-Fi and a desk and a chair. If your goal is to create a lifetime customer out of corporates, then basic will not cut it. You need to address a problem that is deeper than that.

You need to fix pre-arrival and post-departure issues, as well. And this is only possible with the right cloud-based Property Management System in place.

Let’s consider a corporate’s typical journey with a hotel on a timeline. When there is the need for Mr. A to visit Singapore on a work-related trip, the facilities team gets cracking on planning the trip. Air tickets, hotel stays, logistics, etc need to be sorted. Typically, the facilities manager would email a hotel asking them about availability, requesting them to reserve a room for the specified dates, negotiate a price, etc. And this would take a few email exchanges before the final reservation is made. These exchanges could range anywhere between a day to a week. And this is certainly not the most efficient way of going about things.

Here’s how a right Hotel PMS will make everyone’s life easier.

1. Corporate login:

With a PMS like Hotelogix in place, you can assign separate and unique login credentials to your corporate clients. Like, a corporate booking console for hotels. This login gives them access to real-time inventory of your hotel, from where they can themselves select rooms, dates and make a reservation for their employees. A confirmation email gets sent automatically to the registered email id. Reservation is so much more simplified this way. This arrangement works perfectly for the hotel as well as the corporates, since there is no dependency on emails. No more waiting, no more fear of losing out on a booking due to negligence, etc.

2. Corporate Profile:

Hotelogix PMS allows corporates to create their own corporate profile or (contractor trait). This profile will contain all details of the arrangement that the corporate has with the hotel. This includes discounting details, billing details, billing address, payment details, etc. Every time you get a corporate traveler, the front desk staff just needs to key in the name of the corporate and voila! All the details relating to the billing get auto-filled.

3. Guest History

Apart from company profile, there is also the feature of guest history which immensely simplifies the check-in process. Once the company profile is selected, the front desk staff will then have to quiz the corporate traveler by name, the type of id they are carrying and other details which again can get very tiresome. With the guest profile feature, if the corporate traveler is a return guest, this data gets picked automatically upon typing out the guest’s name. As simple as that.

4. Billing

Often, corporate travelers are in a hurry. Minimizing formality and doing away with unnecessary processes can go a long way in improving their experience. Checkout is one such process which needn’t always be as hectic. With Hotelogix in place, a corporate traveler can just present his corporate id at the front desk to check out. The invoice can get emailed to the company directly, automatically. ‘Billed to Company’ if you will.

5. Allocated inventory:

Apart from all these features which are from the traveler or the corporate’s perspective, here is one other PMS feature that helps hotels. While the option of allocating a certain amount of your inventory to your corporates is handy, the hotel still has the convenience to entertain walk-ins with the rest of their available rooms. This way, not only does the hotel serve the corporates but also has scope for other bookings. This is important because one needs to diversify the sources of bookings for maximum occupancy.

Hotelogix is an extremely well-thought out cloud PMS which not only takes into account short-term requirements of the hotel, but also the long-term ones. Loyalty is not going to happen overnight. It comes after repeated positive experiences and the only way to do it is to put yourself in your guest’s shoes. With a PMS like Hotelogix in place, you set the tone right with corporates, communicating to them that you care about simplifying their experience- be it booking, check-in, stay or check-out.

This article originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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The dawn of the 80’s saw the rise of videos and the slow demise of the radio, which led to one of the greatest hits of that era, “Video killed the radio star”, by the Buggles. The song doesn’t welcome the change that motion pictures brought into the entertainment industry and is, in a sense, a sort of farewell to the radio, that was present in every home at the time. However, the takeaway from this is that some 30 years later, today, video has become the most popular medium of entertainment and information.

A decade ago, Hotelogix set out on mission to revamp the way the hospitality industry used technology. Hotelogix was born on the cloud as a purpose-built system, aimed at assisting hoteliers conquer this ever-changing hospitality landscape. As we’ve seen over the last decade, the rivalry that was created between the on-premise systems and Hotelogix cloud has been a major topic of discussion. Most frequently, the debate ends in a deadlock which translates to a difference in opinion and a matter of an individual’s perception.

To avoid falling into this monotonous tone of comparison and barely doing justice to the article, I’ll attempt to illustrate the real power of Hotelogix.

What sets Hotelogix apart from other PMS systems is the seamless flow of data. Cloud enables collecting data from multiple sources in real-time, giving you the ability to analyse this data in the moment. Let me start by showcasing the power of a cloud system and then tie it to how Hotelogix shows its strength.

Speed boat racing, as a sport, takes place simultaneously in several different geographic locations and involves broadcasting data to the team, with a video feed for the spectators. Add to that, the commentary required for broadcasting the event on television. The cloud funnels upwards of a 100 contrasting datasets at once, for analytical purposes.

Now, Hotelogix is built on primarily the same platform we are talking about here. Think of it as a machine that’s constantly pulling in and interpreting data, tirelessly. The data could be from your channel manager, POS outlets, website and any other systems that your PMS may be connected to. Hotelogix has around 200K system users currently and this single platform supports all of these users without breaking a sweat. This not only speaks about the storage capabilities but the quality of engineering that goes into building a system like Hotelogix.

Hotelogix supports an average of 16K concurrent users, at any given time. These 16k users suffer no loss of performance with a desktop application-like experience. An on-premise PMS was not built to cater to more than 50 concurrent users.
So, no, it hasn’t been built keeping in mind smaller hotels or properties. In fact, it is an enterprise-grade system, built to withstand much more than what we are handing out to it. But that’s not to say that smaller hotels and accommodations cannot run their daily operations on it, or use it as a part of their expansion strategy.

Another facet of Hotelogix cloud PMS is its ability to access data in real time. Take a look at on-premise systems and you’ll see that they enable the access of data in batches and barely close to real-time.

Now, you might wonder how a cloud system is capable of achieving such feats? The answer is that the cloud replicates data. And how does that help? Well, Hotelogix system is constantly pushing data back and forth from the cloud and also simultaneously saving this data in several locations. What this translates to is that, irrespective of hardware maintenance or software upgrades, Hotelogix’s systems don’t see any downtime. This lets us boast of an uptime of 99.98%. What’s more is that even if any of the data centres should collapse or cease functioning, your data will still remain safe. That’s definitely something an on-premise system can’t boast of.

Hotelogix backs up data on a daily basis and depending on the number of customers, more than 1600 backups take place every single day. Even with the most effective IT environments within hotels, you will see that the data is only backed up once a month.

Here’s something I’ve been told a lot about cloud systems – that they’re just not safe enough. Well, I beg to differ. And no, my opinion doesn’t emerge from the fact that I work with Hotelogix. I have research backing me up. It is true that an on-premise system gives the user more control when it comes to the security measures being set up. Any mishaps that happen will probably land the hotel’s IT team in a soup.

Hotelogix, however, has a different approach towards security. Unlike the on-premise system, it is not a reactionary one. Let me elaborate. Unlike most systems that focus their security measures on the entry points, cloud focuses on the overall application. This is possible due to the visibility that cloud enables on every level, which ensures that the IT manager can view exactly who is accessing the data, at what time and the purpose of doing so. Thereby, regulating access based on the role of the personnel. What’s more is that one can also analyse patterns of attackers and provide more proactive measures to reduce instances of data phishing and phone fraud. Overall, it acts as a deterrent for attackers.

Another home run for Hotelogix is the possibility of integrations. Think of it as a custom-built ecosystem, tailor-made for a hotel. Be it the budget that’s the decisive factor or the features that you are looking for, you can design the ecosystem based on your priorities. Application Programming Interface or API, as we call it, is what enables the cloud to be so versatile. Take an on-premise system, for example. The features and applications have to be built into the system and is not an add-on that will make life simple. Now, the downside to this is that you pay for a bundle of features, which may or may not be of use to you. Hotelogix, on the other hand, integrates with leaders in the space– For example, a finance tool, a booking engine, a reputation manager and the likes. So not only do you pay for what you choose but also integrate with best tech that will definitely give you an edge over the competition.

Hotelogix uniquely offers APIs for hotel brands to develop their own apps and this has led to the development of an ecosystem around the PMS. Hotelogix receives more than 3 million API calls/day. It gives rise to the possibility of mobile apps centered around the staff-facing aspect in order to smoothen operations. It also enables hotels to plug in Hotelogix into your existing MIS system, exchanging feeds in real time, for brands to take strategic decisions with agility. On-premise systems are built on platforms that are not capable of such feats.

10 years in the game and we’ve watched the landscape change drastically. The interesting thing is that even the on-premise players have started to build their own cloud platforms. I’ll leave it to you on what to decipher out of this, but to me, it seems like the cloud has cemented itself as the future of hospitality technology.

In these 10 years that we’ve been in this space, we’ve seen the market evolve and change immensely. Watched the millennials become a major customer to hotels and have seen the struggles that hoteliers have faced trying to adopt to this new category of customers. Just like video killed the radio star, the cloud will replace these on-premise systems in time. Hotelogix has evolved into this machine that is capable of computing on an enterprise level. We are one system functioning across a 100+ countries, with more than 1600 customers and over 200K system users. 16K concurrent users on the platform and still providing a desktop application like experience with zero down time. Hotelogix has evolved into a stellar product that comes at a great price, without compromising on the quality of the features that it provides.

What’s interesting is the road that lies ahead of us. An ecosystem built for hotels with tools integrated into it, that will make managing hotel operations a breeze. Customizations, based on needs and scalable as per the times to come. We aren’t here to  fix something that’s broken, just around to make things better.

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

 

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Implementing the best procedures and practices of revenue management at a hotel to increase overall revenue is not an easy task. Especially, when the market is as fiercely competitive as it is today. Smart hotel revenue management is all about how efficiently you locate new revenue opportunities, optimize inventory/rate distribution and how well you analyze competitor pricing strategy, plus local market demand. Moreover, it also depends on the extent to which you understand the importance of hotel business intelligence, on decisions pertaining to revenue management. However, even the smallest of miscalculations can backfire and sabotage all your hard labor towards maximizing revenue at your hotel.

Here are top 5 mistakes you must avoid –

1. No strong inventory distribution plan

Not having a strong and well-structured inventory distribution plan across OTAs, GDSs, hotel website, etc can result in inefficient revenue management strategy. Inefficient inventory management leads to issues like overbooking, double booking, under booking, etc. These issues lead to other problems like guest dissatisfaction, loss of revenue and business opportunities. Additionally, not monitoring sales channels’ performance is also not ideal when we talk about hotel revenue management.

You must know which sales channels are working for you, in terms of giving you more revenue. You must understand this clearly – it is mandatory that you have a right strategy in place to drive more direct booking via your hotel website, while striking the right balance with your OTA partners. You also cannot ignore the large presence of offline travel agents and must work with the leading GDSs.

In short, it is a must to have a strong inventory distribution plan, both online and offline, in order to increase your RevPAR.

2. Ignoring guest service, their feedback & online reputation

You really cannot ignore the importance of guest service, when you aim to improve your hotel’s revenue. You simply cannot go wrong here. Why? Here is the explanation – if you can increase your reputation score just by 1%, you will be in a position to increase your hotel’s ADR by almost 7%. Moreover, increasing your reputation score will also help you to increase your occupancy by 1.4%. Now, this is what you want to achieve, right?

Best-in-class guest services increase their (guests’) happiness; they become your loyal customer and they give you repeat business. They also write positive feedback about your property on various review sites and on social media platforms. This helps you improve your online reputation and rating. And with an enhanced online reputation/rating, you will be certainly in a position to increase your room price.

3. Making assumptions, focus on wrong metrics

On what basis can you come up with an occupancy forecast and room pricing, if you are not in a position to analyze local market demand? How would you beat the competition if you don’t track their pricing? To do all these with ease, you must understand the importance of business intelligence in revenue management.

Key metrics on such aspects will surely help you to analyze and increase ADR while improving the occupancy. As you know that higher ADR is the key to your hotel’s profitability, too much of focus on ARR or occupancy might not help you in the long run.

4. Not adopting occupancy-based dynamic pricing

Hoteliers’ failure to change room rates is another major mistake they commit. While having a static rate will weaken your hotel position, occupancy based dynamic pricing can help you to reach your full revenue potential. Set pre-defined rates for different occupancy levels. For instance, a offer a 10% lower rate when occupancy is at 70% and roll out a discount of 20% when occupancy goes below 50%. This helps you generate more demand during off seasons, and earn more revenue when demand is on higher side.

5. Not adopting a smart cloud-based PMS

This is the most serious mistake that hoteliers must avoid in today’s highly competitive business environment. With the absence of a smart cloud-based PMS, you cannot –

  1. Have a strong inventory distribution plan
  2. Manage guest reviews and improve reputation score/rating
  3. Have KPIs at your disposal to take data-driven decisions
  4. Apply occupancy-based dynamic pricing

Additionally, a cloud PMS comes integrated with a revenue management solution. Without this, you cannot create relational rates and implement multiple rates & types support in a single stay.

In short, with the help of a revenue management solution, you can optimize GOPPAR (Gross Operating Profit) and NRevPAR (Net Revenue per Available Room) at your hotel while offering competitive yet attractive rates to your guests.

This article was 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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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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