Category Archives: Hotel Software

Backbone of a premier software – Regular Product Updates

The hospitality industry is an ever-evolving sector which summons a constant development in products. Over the years, just as the technology has undergone an extensive makeover, the software development and maintenance approach too has evolved to a large extent. However, how many times have you wondered what underlies these steady PMS and other hospitality products?

Why bother with product updates?

Software maintenance and regular product updates hold an equivalent importance as software development in keeping a product relevant and up-to-date. To solve the existing faults in the software, or to modify hardware, or to improve software functionality, or more so to keep up with the changes in the industry, software maintenance and hence regular software update is a must. Following similar proceedings to achieve higher user satisfaction, eZee rolls out regular service packs for eZee NextGen users, beneath which lies a rigorous course of action which continues throughout days of hard work and thought process.

What does a NextGen service pack have anyway?

NextGen – a combination of eZee FrontDesk Property Management System and eZee BurrP! Restaurant POS Software is employed worldwide by more than 100 partners and users spread across 140+ countries. It comes with an assured promise that the product will continue to develop and be in line with the growing demands of hospitality industry. The developers tend to the requirements of the users as well as the partners and focus primarily on those requests which pinpoint disruptions in daily operations. Over and above this, the teams involved in product update process are constantly trying that each and every bug fix or enhancement carried out does not interfere with the daily operations, but instead makes it effortless for the user.

Service-pack

A NextGen service pack release has a plenitude of inclusions ranging from a change in UI to a development in a feature and an addition of new module. Additionally, security amendments, bug fixes, resolution of a defect, solving a data corruption problem or remodeling a software to hardware interface and even quick fix tools – all of it sums up to be a part of NextGen’s product updates.

How frequent are the NextGen product updates?

The service pack release is a thoroughly planned process which leads to a cycle of monthly update for eZee NextGen users. A product update has to be consistent, and together with it, it must maintain the functioning as its preceding version. Not only it should have bug fixes and solutions to the defects of previous version, but also it should improve user experience. Keeping this in mind, we offer once-in-a-month service pack update to provide better consistency, less complaints, and refined user experience. Besides this, NextGen having worldwide users, daily service pack release may lead to a disarrayed situation where some users may receive the latest update, whereas some may not, a few may have to use an enhancement developed especially for another particular user, and several other erratic conditions in distribution. To avoid these happenings, we offer a generalized service pack whilst acknowledging the needs and requests of any kind of user. Each defect, each bug fix, and even an enhancement or additional module request by any user is considered at a similar level without unbiased mindset, thus concentrating on the whole audience.

How is it done?

A 360 degree analysis is carried out for each change to be executed and merged in a new service pack of NextGen, thereby gauging the effect of the change on existing features and other operations. A bug or a defect in the system is always given the utmost importance, seeing that it may disturb the entire flow of operation, leading to a dissatisfied user. In case of a requested enhancement or customization, a feasibility check is carried out while calculating its pros and cons, for as much as each user is equally benefited with the update. After a bug fix or an enhancement, it is tested from each aspect, at the same time measuring its impact on the existing features.

Flow-chart

Maintenance of the product, which includes building and releasing each service pack requires a relentless effort. Adhering to the essential requisites, eZee continually strives to walk hand-in-hand with the changing trends of hospitality software, journeying towards becoming a prominent name in the industry.

Benefits of an All-in-One Hotel Management System

While information technology continues to advance at a pace that few can keep up with, luckily for hoteliers, hospitality technology isn’t far behind. Over the last decade, the hospitality sector has witnessed a large number of PMS, Channel Managers, web booking engines, guest feedback systems and other software products inundate the market with new features. Many hotel owners ensured that their hotels are up-to-date to take advantage of the latest technology and implemented these stand-alone software tools. For a hotel, a property management system integrated with a channel manager and web booking engine is a necessity to seamlessly manage the hotel operations and room inventory distribution. Rather than employing various disparate systems to accomplish multiple tasks, hoteliers should always seek out as few systems as possible that are integrated tightly.

When hotels have several siloed applications, there can be a possibility of complications that may cripple the growth due to its severity.

 

Unfortunately, many hotels have various disparate software applications installed at different points in time in various functional areas, resulting in inefficiencies and integration challenges. Here is a summary of the five main issues that can hinder your business growth if you run a hotel with disparate hotel management system and how to avoid them:

Real-time business controls

When your hotel’s software systems are not synchronized, you have multiple overlapping databases, reports and dashboards and it’s not easy to get a view of business performance within a single time frame. Reports showing performance across your operations, online distribution, marketing, service, and offline bookings are crucial to give you an integrated view of your hotel’s operations. Most hotels do not venture out to gather this information regularly because of the sheer amount of time involved in the process. Hence, the decision-making process is either slow as the hotels depend on inaccurate information or in order to save time they take rash decisions completely based on instinct. Choose a hotel management system which allows you to integrate all functions of your hotel business and displays all reports in a centralized dashboard.

Rate ParityMaintain rate parity and centralized rate control

Hotels cannot risk having differential rates on various online channels. Bottom-line, it hurts credibility and attracts heavy penalties from OTAs. An integrated PMS and channel manager ensures room rates are evenly distributed all over the online marketplaces, thereby minimizing the rate-parity issue to a great deal.

 

 

 

An integrated PMS and channel manager ensures room rates are evenly distributed all over the online marketplaces, thereby minimizing the rate-parity issue to a great deal.

Diminishing double or over-bookingsoverbooking

Through a consolidated hotel software, channel manager and web booking engine combo, your online room inventory is updated and distributed in real time basis to diminish double/overbookings to a great extent.

 

 

Boost your online room sales with a truly assimilated hotel management system.

Manage guest reservations

These days OTAs offer free cancellations and amendments, so guests can cancel/amend their reservations at any given time. If a hotel is operating on systems from different vendors, these amendments/ cancellations create a lot of uncertainty. Many a time, when such amendments are not recorded in PMS from OTA or Channel Manager, this leads to a frustrated guest who when they arrive at the hotel, realize that front office has no information about their booking. Sometimes, hotels receive bookings from OTAs, and later guests get in touch with the hotel and amend the booking as well which is reflected in the PMS but if you have different distribution vendor, there is a great possibility that your distribution software will not have any information on these amendments. So further if anything changes from OTA side, it creates anarchy. Thus, the best way to manage these issues is to have integrated hotel management systems to ensure data is synced across systems.

Integration complexity and cost

With disparate applications from multiple vendors, hotels have to invest an enormous amount of money in order to properly integrate, maintain and acquire newer editions of these applications. Newer versions lead to increased maintenance costs as more valuable IT time has to be put in the integration and upkeep of the different versions. Moreover, hotel owners juggle between multiple vendors for support related issues. Eliminate all these hassles, by implementing an integrated hotel management system from a single vendor or system aggregator.

The frustration of managing different vendors

Dealing with multiple software vendors for purchases, contract renewals and payments every month isn’t easy. Communicating with multiple support teams isn’t a piece of cake either.Frustration of handling multiple vendors

Take a step back, think if you want to spend your day managing vendors or taking care of your guests?

Integrated solution providers are more responsible and you wouldn’t run behind multiple vendors for resolution. If there is an issue, the integrated solution provider will fix it, no questions asked. When you work with an integrated solution provider, you have one contract, one invoice, one support number. Life can be that simple!

Key pillar to hotel’s success- Guest Satisfaction

With fierce competition, it is essential that hotels provide an exceptional guest experience or risk having guests take their business elsewhere. When the hotel staff has access to better systems, they are able to devote more time to welcome and delight guests.

Best-in-Class solution

Sometimes it makes sense to choose standalone products when a single hotel management system doesn’t have all inclusive functionality for every module. In that case, choose a hotel management system vendor which sells both stand-alone solutions and integrated solutions. You may choose to add new modules whenever the need arises.

System and staff training

Training for multiple systems is difficult for the hotel staff and they often find it difficult. Training for an integrated hotel management system is not just easy, it’s just good business.support

Missed opportunities and distribution delays

When you distribute inventory from Channel Manager to OTA, there is a delay of a nanosecond, when you have to update from PMS to Channel Manager and Channel Manager to OTA, your delay will be doubled.   If you distribute allocated inventory on your channel manager and PMS vendor is different, you can’t distribute your live inventory. So let’s say a hotel has 10 standard room, but they decide to distribute only 5 on OTAs, now consider out of those 5 you have 3 rooms sold. But in total you have 7 rooms available to sale. Now a group of people looking for 4 rooms, your hotel will not be listed in guest search on any OTA. You are missing business opportunities.

Although a large number of hotels rely on sophisticated systems to instigate positive growth, many hotels are trying to grow as well as the fight against sky rocketing maintenance costs of disconnected systems causing process bottlenecks and management issues.

Integrated hotel management systems like eZee Absolute and eZee FrontDesk are transforming how hotels run their operations, enabling them to transcend growing pains that hindered their progress of unlocking the next level of profitable growth.

 

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Hotel Management Software Buyer View | 2015

Hundreds of hospitality professionals contact Software Advice each year to find software that meets the needs of their properties. Digging into these interactions provides us with a great deal of insight into industry trends and buyer behaviors.

In this report, we analyze a random sample of buyer interactions from the past year to uncover the factors that drive new hotel management system (HMS) purchases.

Key Findings

  1. Hoteliers want to replace systems or automate daily duties: 34 percent are replacing a current HMS, while 25 percent seek new software to replace pen-and-paper methods.
  2. Many buyers seek more advanced, integrated software: Those replacing a HMS primarily say it lacks functionality (13 percent) or doesn’t integrate with other systems (12 percent).
  3. Hoteliers seek to maximize their exposure to online travelers: More than three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents ask for online booking functions.

Introduction

In response to increased demand for lodging, bolstered by a growing class of millennial travelers, the U.S. is in the midst of a hospitality construction boom. This boom began a few years ago, as the recession tapered off: New hotel construction jumped by nearly 50 percent between 2012 and 2013, increasing about 16 percent more in 2014.

Overall travel spending has slowed in the first quarter of 2015, but it’s still rising by 2 percent annually, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And U.S. business travel is expected to reach $295.7 billion in 2015—in due to the growth of millennial travelers, who take an average of three more trips each year than older age groups, and are 62 percent more likely to extend business trips into vacations.

This data paints a lucrative picture for hospitality companies—but without adequate software in place, they’ll be ill-prepared to handle the growth. Using a HMS can help:

  • Streamline daily tasks, such as checking guests in;
  • Manage reservations effectively; and,
  • Facilitate online bookings.

In this report, we’ll explore these and other benefits by looking at the current methods, common pain points and most requested functionality among a sample of prospective HMS buyers.

34 Percent Use Software, One-Quarter Use Paper-Based Methods

When asked what methods they use to manage their hospitality business, the largest percentage of buyers (34 percent) say they already have a hotel management system. Another one-quarter use pen-and-paper methods and 16 percent say they have no system in place at all.

Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods
Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods

Travelers today expect a certain degree of personalization when staying in a hotel. Many companies use software to handle daily tasks so they can focus on adding a human touch to guests’ stay. A software can streamline the check-in and check-out process, generate financial reports, manage housekeeping staff and more—freeing the general manager to greet guests and address their needs.

A PMS can also store and organize guest data to help hotel staff provide personal touches. A general manager might notice, for example, that a guest orders a particular wine during their stay. When that guest books another stay in the future—even if it’s at a different location of the same hotel brand—the manager can review the guest’s information and leave a bottle of the wine in their room.

Scott Sussman is the hotel and marketing director at The Peacock Inn; a 16-room independent luxury hotel with a fine dining restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey (part of the Ascend Hotel Collection by Choice Hotels). He says he’s surprised that so many buyers are using manual methods because software offers so much in terms of the “sheer organization” of reservations, guest information and distribution of hotel rates.

“[Software offers] organization not just for today and tomorrow, but for months ahead,” he explains. “It gives you the ability to handle rates and see what’s coming up.”

In this way, a HMS can help hoteliers prepare for the growth that’s expected to continue in the market.

Many Buyers From Independent Hotels Seeking Online Booking Engines

Among those replacing an existing HMS, the top response, at 14 percent, is that it’s missing necessary features and functionality.

Others say their system isn’t user-friendly (13 percent), or note that they would like an integrated system (12 percent)—meaning they want a comprehensive HMS that can perform all necessary functions, instead of using different systems for different tasks.

Top Reasons for Replacing Existing Hotel Management SystemTop Reasons for Replacing Existing Hotel Management System

Of those who cite missing features, one-quarter says they would like a system with an online booking engine. Our demographic information may help explain why an online presence is so important: 34 percent of buyers in our sample are from independent hotels while those from motels make up the second-largest percentage (16 percent). A combined majority of buyers’ properties also have fewer than 50 rooms. (Charts can be found in the Demographics section below.)

As we’ve noted in past reports, millennials are the travelers hotels want to attract most. According to data from the Pew Research Center, they also make up the largest age group in the U.S. workforce—and many of them have now reached a comfortable position in their careers, with more time and money to travel for both business and pleasure.

Boutique and independent hotels offer the type of authentic experience millennials seek, as opposed to the corporate luxury hotel offerings that dominated the hospitality industry decades ago. In response to this demand, the boutique hotel market is booming: It’s expected to grow by about 6 percent per year through 2019, according to a report by IBISWorld.

So, we can see that independent hotels are aware that having an online presence is important to attract new guests, especially millennials. They must maintain consistent rates across all online travel websites, where millennials are likely to read hotel reviews before booking. An HMS with functionality to add an online booking engine to the hotel’s website can help achieve these goals.

On an average, a traveller reads between 6-12 reviews before making a booking, making the online booking engine a crucial part of the PMS. The brand promise and expectation should be carried onto other travel websites, and it’s important for them to have a booking engine to maintain rate parity. Rate parity—meaning a hotel’s rates are consistent across all distribution channels, such as Expedia and Orbitz—is especially important when competing with other hotels in the same area.

Majority of Buyers Seek Online Booking, Reservation and Housekeeping

Overall, more than three-quarters of buyers in our sample (both those with and without software) are looking for a HMS with online booking capabilities, while 75 percent request reservation management.

Housekeeping management (61 percent) and front desk management (58 percent) rank third and fourth in terms of desired functionality. Top-Requested Hotel Management Software Functionality

Top-Requested Hotel Management Software FunctionalityTop Reasons for Replacing Existing Hotel Management System

Reservation, housekeeping and front desk management are all core applications every hotel needs to access on a daily basis. Hospitality staff must ensure that reservations are entered into the system, that housekeeping staff is organized and on-time and that guests are checked in quickly. Aside from pure organization, these HMS applications offer several additional benefits.


Use Case: For example, below we see the reservation Stay View in eZee FrontDesk color codes for reservations can be customized—here, we see in-house guests in purple, future reservations in green and out of order room in peach. This offers a high-level look at reservations for a month ahead, allowing management to make decisions based on occupancy. Maybe a manager sees that multiple corporate groups will be arriving in a few weeks. This could prompt him to divert some housekeeping staff to clean and prepare an additional conference room. Alternatively, she might notice that many families with children are staying soon, and add more kid-friendly options to the breakfast menu.

A color-coded Stay View in eZee FrontDeskeZee FD Stay_View

Managers can use housekeeping management functionality to keep track of which rooms are clean and ready for check-in, which are currently being cleaned and which haven’t been attended to. Overall, this helps hotels more efficiently prioritize cleanings, so guests always arrive at a clean room on time. Also, with mobile devices in hand, housekeeping staff can update a room’s status immediately after cleaning, adding to the real-time data in the system. Below, we see a PMS screen showing the status and availability of rooms and which worker is assigned. This allows managers to make informed decisions so that guest satisfaction isn’t impacted by a dirty room.

Housekeeping view in eZee FrontDesk

eZee FD House Keeping View


Finally, online booking engines give potential guests the ability to book a room from a hotel’s website, which feeds the reservation data directly into the HMS. As an added bonus, online bookings made directly through a hotel’s website allows the hotel to avoid the 15 to 25 percent commission it must typically pay online travel agencies for each booking.

Sussman reiterates how important online booking is in today’s hospitality industry.

“No one wants to call anymore,” he says. “People want to do things online, without talking to anybody—so having that option available is huge.”

Conclusions

The data provided by the HMS buyers in the sample confirms overall trends in hospitality today: Independent hotels are popping up to attract the millennial crowd, and they want to aggressively market themselves online.

Buyers should make sure the software they purchase can help them stay on top of daily responsibilities, such as managing check-ins, room cleanings, and reservations while also offering crucial online booking engine functionality.

With daily tasks streamlined by software, hotel managers can spend more time on increased personalization, which requires careful attention to individual guest behavior and habits. Travelers today expect a seamless experience—one that hotel management software can help provide.

Demographics

As mentioned above, the demographic breakdown of the sample shows that 34 percent of buyers are from independent hotels, followed by 16 percent from motels and 14 percent from inns.

Prospective Buyers by Property Type

Prospective Buyer Size, by Number of Rooms in Property

Prospective Buyer Size, by Number of Rooms in Property

Prospective Buyers by Property Type

The statistics in the above article were originally researched and analyzed by Software Advice.

Legacy Hotel Software v/s Cloud PMS

The hospitality industry is ever evolving, replacing the manual management with various automated software technology is one of the most predominant change in the market. Particularly, for efficient property management, the developing technology has contributed two types of hotel management solutions. The foremost is the widely accepted and locally installed desktop based hotel management solution while the other explores the power of SaaS and cloud computing and is a web-based PMS. Thus, hoteliers are no longer bound to one type of management system, they are given an opportunity to analyze their own requirements and select the most appropriate for their property.

Even though, both solutions have demonstrated their efficiency and benefits, not all of them are right for all hotel type and choosing the most beneficial PMS for the business can be a daunting task. To aid hoteliers select the accurate software, eZee has researched few foremost requirements from hotel point of view to explore the pros and cons of both server based and online property management software.

Desktop Vs Web PMS

Maintenance and specific requirements

 System-computer-icon  A desktop PMS requires a comprehensive and detailed infrastructure in terms of technological requirements like spectacular hardware, local servers and different license for each hardware. However, a legacy PMS is not dependent of internet connection and can be very useful in remote areas with low connectivity.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud One of the greatest advantages of an online PMS is that it requires no special installation or downloads. All it requires is a browser and a favorable internet connection. As a cloud PMS can be accessed from anywhere, hoteliers can run the front-desk functions even during power cut of with the help of a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. Moreover, as all the functions are run on the cloud the software needs no specific hardware or even an IT personnel for maintenance.

Easy accessibility- anytime, anywhere

System-computer-icon A legacy system has the advantage of being locally installed and doesn’t rely on the remote server, thus all functions are robust even during downtime. Correspondingly, it ties the user to a particular machine and shuts down completely during electricity cut off.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud As discussed earlier a web-based hotel management system requires no special downloads and can be accessed anytime and anywhere, using any type of device be it desktop, tablet or mobile. As a result, you can use from the remote location while traveling or in case of multiple properties, where you can retract reports and other data of any of your properties sitting far away.

Favorable financial estimate

System-computer-icon The majority of installed front-desk system a very heavy number of detailed and complex features making the solution significantly more expensive than a cloud solution. Moreover, the periodic maintenance, upgrades and requirement of IT staff members can further increase the expenses.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud A cloud PMS offers a significant reduction in capital investment, mainly due to its low costing technology and subscription-based pricing strategy. Adding to the advantage, a majority of online hotel systems are robust and require no download, no installation, no service and not even an IT personnel. However, in the long run, the cost sometimes can be either equivalent or more when compare to the cost of a legacy system.

Feasibility and proficiency

System-computer-icon A desktop PMS is incredibly complex and exceptionally detailed, offering a myriad of integrated third party solutions. It is always available due to the local installation, and can effortlessly manage any type of property including full-service hotels.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud Alternatively, online property management solutions are easily upgradable and are up to date with the latest market trends. As a result, they integrate effortlessly with a variety of other solutions like a channel manager and booking engines leading to an enhanced online exposure.

When it comes to choosing the correct PMS for your hotel, it all depends on a type of operations you run. Cloud technology has come a long way in automating various time-consuming manual tasks. The introduction of this revolutionary technology transformed the face of hotel management and a lot of properties are migrating from a legacy PMS to cloud PMS. If you own a small, independent hotel or a small B&B, a cloud hotel software should be perfect for you. Nevertheless, if your property is large and requires more detailed functions, the complex yet sophisticated technological infrastructure of the locally installed hotel management solution is a tried and tested way to go as well.

[This article originally appeared on ezeetechnosys.com]

Parameters to select the best hotel software for your property

In this digital age, where the exponential advancement in technology has completely revolutionized hospitality industry. Now more than ever, hoteliers need to stay abreast with the latest trends and technology to administer a successful hotel business. Additionally, investing in an all inclusive hotel management software could be a principle point for hotelier to enhance profitability.

A Property Management System is extremely useful when automating day to day operations while ensuring that the guest experiences a delightful stay at the hotel. A smart hotel management solution can aid the hotelier to easily manage booking and reservation trends, room occupancy patterns and expedite hotel operations like housekeeping and reporting. In addition, an all in one Hotel PMS will be able to provide hotelier with a complete analysis of this information and help you strategize hotel operations to increase bookings and further expand the business. Although, finding the most accurate hotel software for your hotel can be tricky, if you are looking at the right place and asking the correct questions the task can be made easier. Below is a list of few questions to ask and scrutinize the hospitality solutions provider.

Select the perfect PMS for your hotel

Stage One: Self Analyzation

Investing in property management software is important to enhance work quality and increase business. Hence, it is vital to fathom the needs and requirements of your hotel and identifying what kind of software you need before purchasing the solution. Asking the below questions to yourself will help you to identify your hotel needs, and help you choose the most appropriate solution.   

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How will the system help in automating day to day operations?

Installing a PMS can help you automate numerous manual operations, making them smoother and faster. Check the features of the software carefully and understand how and which operations will be made easier by installing the system at your property.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 What will be your financial estimate?

Keeping in mind the capital needs and hotel expenditure, formulate a budget and think out how much you should invest in a property management system and calculate the quick return of investment  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 What are the goals you want to accomplish with the help of an automated PMS?

Defining you expectations with the new PMS will help you acknowledge what sort of PMS do you need- a web-based  PMS or a desktop based one. Also, this will help you strategize a quick ROI as well as your future business plan.

Stage Two: What to expect from the vendor

By this stage, you have already decided what kind of solution you will require at your property. The next step is to source the best vendor for you solutions and once again you need to ask the right set of questions to the solutions provider/ vendor. Below is the list of questions that will help you select the right solution as well as help you acknowledge where to source it from.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Does the PMS fulfill all your requirements or not?

Make sure that the system you are purchasing actually includes and automates all the operations you require at your hotel. Don’t get confused with the jargon of the industry, verify that the services you are paying for are actually required for your property management.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How will the PMS help resolve the hotel challenges and boost the revenue?

An all inclusive PMS will reduce the cost of operations, decrease the consumed time and increase Revenue per Available (RevPAR). Moreover, the automated and detailed reports along with overall data analysis will further aid you to strategize future business plans.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How many modules and features does the software include?

Generally, hotel software is crammed with attractive yet not practical features, which do very little for your property but somehow blow up your budget way out of proportions. To avoid this, research appropriately if the software offers modular pricing. In this type of solution, you pay only for the features and modules your property actually needs and uses.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Who will be responsible for the security of your hotel data?

The security of the data is one of the most important function you need to know about the solution you choose. Generally, desktop based property management solution store the database on a local server while a web best server store the hotel data on a dedicated online server provided by the solution provider.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Does the HMS support third-party integration? If yes, which?

No solution is self-sufficed, to expedite day – to day operations it is essential for your PMS to be able to interface with third party application like accounting software and key card locks. Make sure the solution you are adapting to, offers third-party integration or are willing to establish an interface with the service you require.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Is the software user-friendly and will the hotel staff be able to understand the advanced system?

A front desk hotel management system is detailed and comprehensive, and using it for the first time can be stressful. Check the training program of the solutions provider and inquire if the they offer on-site software training for the staff or free online training whenever required.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How effective is the after sale support of the solution provider/ vendor?

Your hotel is running 24×7, and you may require support at any time. Make sure the solution you choose offers 24×7 online and offline after sale support. You can even check the reviews of their existing client, this will help you understand the market position of the solution as well.  

In conclusion, make sure you acquire a software that serves all your needs and purposes. The queries raised above are few common inquiries to be cleared before obtaining the software. However, every hotel has their own set of needs and requirements; you can add your own questions based on your own experience and your hotel expectations.

Select wisely!

[This article originally appeared on ezeetechnosys.com]

Features Guide for a Property Management System

Property Management Systems help hotels to manage their day to day operations with higher efficiency and heighten quality of service they offer to the guests. A good property management system simplifies the diverse operations via features which the staff performs on a steady base.

We are going to cover key features which a hotelier should look for in any good Property Management System.

Front Desk Operations
The very basic of the operations in any property, regardless of its type or size is the Front Desk Operations. A good system will allow easy check-in and checkout process for the staff. Just like any other operations, the front desk staff may have to make changes to reservations such as room change, change dates, assign rooms, and so forth. This should be relatively easy to carry out in a secure system, the modifications should take immediate effect and should make the process easy and not hinder it.

blog_features_guide

Booking & Reservations Management
Booking and reservations are important functionality of a hotel management system. Traditionally, hotels received bookings from limited sources such as travel agents and direct bookings. Today, the story is very different as bookings come from diverse range of sources such as hotel’s website, travel websites, business source like a corporate clients and airlines, travel agents, etc. The system should be able to handle walk-ins, bookings from online travel agents, traditional agents, business sources and from corporate website with ease. An efficient system will easily distinguish between the different sources and update the records for future reference.

Billing and Payments
Stability is of the utmost importance when it comes to billing and settling payments with guests. Guests today use multitude methods of settling payments, the system should accommodate multiple payment methods per reservation including cash, credit cards, check and online payment gateways. In addition, it should have the ability to post adjustments, advance deposits, split receipts, extra charges, settlements, folio printing and taxes. The staff must be able to check and modify tasks related to billing and payment at any time according to changing requirements.

Housekeeping
Housekeeping is another central characteristic which a hotelier should look for in a PMS. The important thing a hotelier should look for in housekeeping is the flow of real time information. The housekeeping module should highlight the status of rooms and provide the ability to delegate chores to the housekeeping staff.In addition, built in inventory management for cleaning supplies and linens is always a plus.

Reports
A good system should offer the different departments the ability to generate a diverse set of reports. Given the diverse set of hotel operations and different departments working together, it is imperative that every department is able to generate reports according to their need. These reports can help management to make sound decisions and also help them build better sales and marketing strategies.

Third Party Interfaces
A good hotel management system needs to integrate and work successfully with a multitude of third party hardware and software. The interfaces for your hotel will depend on factors such as size of hotel, facilities offered and operational style. A standard hotel today usually have PABX, Door Lock, ID scanners, cash drawers, payment gateways and financial accounting software. It is always beneficial to go over before hand how compatible the PMS is with third party or they are exposed to new ones.

Conclusion
Traditionally, the hotel software came with features that covered basic hotel operations. Today, choosing the right solution for your hotel is more complex than it has ever been as the processes have become more complex. At the final stage, a good Property Management System should provide solid features that satisfy the requisites of the hotel and should be easy to adjust and carry out. Another key factor is the software provider, the provider should possess the industry expertise and experience and provide high quality post-sales support.

A good Property Management Software is the key to your hotel’s success.

[This article originally appeared on ezeetechnosys.com]

Importance of Hotel Software for Small & Mid-Size Hotels

The importance of Hotel Management Software or Property Management System for hotels cannot be stressed enough anymore. It is one of the most important factors which contribute significantly to the long-term success of a hotel.

In recent years, there has been a rise of budget travelers around the world which has led to rise in number of small to mid-size hotels in the industry. This has drastically changed the landscape of the Hospitality industry in general and also directly affected the Hospitality IT industry.

Hotel Management Software (HMS) BuyerView 2014, a survey conducted by HMS research firm Software Advice, who surveyed 385 randomly selected buyers in 2013. The survey was conducted in order to discover what exactly buyers expect or want when they are choosing software for their property.

According to the report, 54% of hotel management software purchasers in the industry are independent small to mid-size hotels. The report also states that majority of the buyers are adapting to the latest software in order to leave behind the manual management of their property and buyers who are specifically looking for a software which offer reservation and online booking facilities.

Majority of Purchaser are small to Mid-size Hotels

Majority of the owners or managers, who are looking for a software solution represent (57%) properties which have 10 to 50 rooms. A combined 11 percent of buyers are from very small properties such as B&B’s, Inns, chain hotels, or large hotels with 500 plus rooms.

Majority of Purchaser are small to Mid-size Hotels

Independent Hotels, Resorts and Inns are the Primary Customer

When consulted with various managers and owners of different property types, the report found that around 1 percent is looking for software for a large hotel or a chain hotel. This is not surprising as the big brands usually have to go for in-house or corporate-mandated software. The rise of independent properties is very evident from the fact that majority of the buyers (54 percent combined) comprised of independent hotels, inns, and resorts.

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As the travelers are also opting more for independent hotels, inns and resorts, the properties have to adapt to new technology and advancements to keep up with the growing demand.

Majority of the buyers want to upgrade to a better system

When questioned about what method they currently use to manage their properties, 34 percent respondents are already using a property management system. The next 28 percent use manual methods consisting of spreadsheets or paper, on other hand 15 percent had no method in place.

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The “Other” categories (10 percent) use independent booking system or have stopped using a property management system. 7 percent of buyers use management software with reservation facility to meet their requirement, and last 4 percent use software built specifically for them.

Buyers want feature-rich and faster software

The report also highlights the diverse set of reasons which buyers have provided. Approximately 18 percent are looking for speed and efficiency in software which is also compatible with the latest hardware in the market. 16 percent of respondents said they go for a new product because the current one being used lack the necessary features, such internet bookings and channel management, other 15 percent just wants to improve efficiency.

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The rise of Global Distribution System (GDS) channels over last few years is no surprise as online bookings have become a standard norm in the industry today and since 2011 bookings from GDS has grown by 14 percent. Making it a surprise to no one that one of the most frequently request feature is the feature to connect to the (GDS) and system with ability to manage real-time rates and inventory.

Among others looking for an upgrade towards new software is bad experience with support service (15 percent), lack of satisfaction with user interface or GUI for other 9 percent and unsound technical software for the 7 percent of the respondents and remaining 6 percent are looking for a solution which requires minimum investment.

First timers expect higher efficiency

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72 percent of first-time buyers for hotel software make it clear that they want to achieve higher efficiency in their day-to-day operations and get away from the traditional methods. Property Management System can automate daily operations and bring a higher level of efficiency.

Majority of Buyers Need Reservation and Guest Management

28 percent of total respondents, the highest in this survey said they would like the ability to enter and edit reservations, which is a central function of a property management system. The next 22 percent buyers want an online booking capability giving them a competitive advantage, which does not surprise as 65% of hotel bookings now are made online.

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Approximately 11 percent would use guest management feature which will help them maintain information about their guests in order to understand them better and provide better service in the future.

Housekeeping management was important for 9 percent of respondents and another 9 percent expect advanced accounting and reporting feature. Lastly 6 percent of hoteliers want a distribution management and marketing functions part of their hotel management software.

Implementation in less than three months

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Staggering 85 of buyers expect the new hotel software to be implemented in less than 3 months; given the nature of the industry and how fast things are evolving it comes as no surprise. 14 percent want system to be implemented in three to six months, and remaining 2 percent in 6 to 12 months ahead of time.

Conclusion

Analysis by Software Advice Team, reflected in the report clearly shows the diversity and rapid expansion of independent hotels and how they are demanding higher-performing systems with latest features. As the competition is heating up across the industry, first-time buyers or buyers who are upgrading are looking for a solid property management system with specific features, real-time reservation, online bookings, channel management and guest management as it is the key to constantly grow and stay ahead of the competition.

[This article originally appeared on ezeetechnosys.com]