Technology has changed the world forever, from personal computers that fit in your back pocket to broad sweeping technology systems that make it possible to manage all types of businesses from your home. What does this mean for the hotel business? Integrated property management systems are the future, all you need to know is how to choose the right system for your hotel.
The first step in choosing the right PMS for your hotel is taking the time to evaluate your current needs. Put together a team of various department heads for the express purpose of assessing the needs of the hotel as a whole. This will also aid in facilitating departmental cooperation as changes are made to current systems.
Wants and Needs
As you narrow down the needs of the hotel, be sure to put things in their correct column, needs versus wants. There may be a plethora of helpful features that would be nice but are not exactly necessary for the optimum function of your hotel. You want to focus your efforts on the must haves right now, and if there happens to be room for some optional features at the end of the day, all the better.
As soon as you have completed a thorough evaluation of what your hotel needs, equal scrutiny must be applied to the budget. Property management systems run the gamut when it comes to features and price, but there is absolutely no point in considering systems that are outside of your target budget. Considering these Cadillac systems will merely frustrate the process.
Exactly what key features should you be looking for from a quality property management system?
Scale- can this system grow with your company? PMS is something you want to put in place and move forward, not constantly change and revamp as your business grows.
User Interface- technology is a fantastic tool, but some applications can be super technical and not user-friendly at all. You want a property management system that is simple to use at every step of the process. Navigation should be logical.
Guest Functionality- personal attention is the name of the game in hospitality, and your PMS should allow for guest profiles that better help you predict future purchases based on past activity.
Integration- you want one of two things, a PMS that will integrate with current systems or a complete management service that included housekeeping, POS and more.
Reporting- perhaps the most important job of a good property management system is reporting. You want a system that helps you assess revenue and performance of your hotel on a regular basis.
There are many things to consider as you search for the best PMS for your hotel. Many times, hotel officials will get caught on the costs, and while they must be factored in, do not let this alone be the deciding factor. You have to also consider the potential return on investment and the future efficiency of your hotel. Property management systems can help monitor current performance while providing insight into how to make things better for the future. Keep this in mind as you assess the various PMS options on the market today.