For hotel owners, revenue management is incredibly important and involves selling the right room, at the right time, for the right price, to the right customer, via the right distribution channel, in order to maximise business results. To assist with this, many hotels make use of hotel management software packages. In this article, you find the five the most important software solutions within the hospitality industry.
Hotel Management Software Solutions
Essentially, a hotel management software solution is any piece of software which can assist in the everyday management and operations of a hotel or resort. Many of these solutions can be used individually, but they are also often able to be connected together, and some software providers offer all-in-one solutions.
Generally, the bare minimum a modern hotel should be using is a property management system (PMS), as this will assist with various key aspects of day-to-day management. However, other solutions also have major plus points and those failing to utilise them could find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
5 Hotels Management Software Solutions
Below, we take a more detailed look at five of the most important and useful hotel management software solutions available for hotels, examining what they are used for and the main advantages of using each of them:
1. Property Management System (PMS)
As previously stated, a property management system is likely to be the most critical hotel management software solution for most hotels. Typically, these packages automatically process all online bookings, regardless of channel, and display those bookings in a user-friendly calendar.
The result of this is that staff can carry out a range of property management tasks more efficiently and effectively. For example, it will be easy to view all reservations, make adjustments to reservations, move existing bookings, close rooms for a set periods, manage existing customers and add discounts for existing bookings.
Aside from helping hotels to actually manage their property more effectively, one of the most important advantages of using a PMS is the way it can facilitate growth. While old-fashioned reservation books or spreadsheets may work in smaller properties, they become increasingly problematic in larger hotels.
Find more detailed information about property management systems in the article “5 Essential Tips to Choose the right Property Management System”.
2. Revenue Management System (RMS)
Revenue management systems are almost as essential as property management systems in the modern hotel industry, because they pull together information about the status of the market, data from your hotel and data from other hotels, allowing you to set the right prices, at the right time, to maximise your revenue.
A robust revenue management strategy involves adjusting prices based on competitors. Without the assistance of a revenue management system, this is a time-consuming, manual process, with a high chance of error. It is also simply not feasible to monitor competitor’s prices 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The key advantage of an RMS is that it does the hard work for you, tracking rates in real time, performing complex complications and allowing you to adjust prices across different channels quickly and easily. As a result, you can speed up revenue management, reduce errors, and maximise your key performance metrics, like RevPAR.
Find more detailed information about revenue management systems in the article “Revenue Management System (RMS): What Are the Advantages?”.
3. Hotel Distribution Channel Manager
While direct bookings are usually the desired option for maximising revenue, successful hotels also explore other distribution channels, including online travel agents, retail travel agents and visitor information centres. A distribution channel manager package allows you to manage these various channels more effectively.
One of the key features is the ability to adjust rates easily, across all distribution channels, and the ability to manage promotions. A distribution channel manager also ensures all distribution partners have up-to-date information regarding your inventory and room availability.
The advantages of using a distribution channel are numerous. Repetitive administrative tasks can be automated, freeing up staff members to do more important jobs, while human errors related to double bookings can also be eradicated. Effective management can also improve relationships with distribution partners.
Find more detailed information about distribution channel managers in the article “Hotel Distribution Channel Manager: What Are the Advantages?”.
4. Rate Shopper Software
As stated, revenue management requires an awareness of your competitors and their strategies, and rate shopper software can help to provide you with precisely that. Using a rate shopper package, you will be able to find out real-time information and intelligence about your competitors, their rates and their promotions.
In addition to providing useful intelligence about other hotels, rate shopper software allows you to monitor your own hotel’s rankings with online travel agents, track events in your local area, find out important statistics, such as average rates for your area, and gain intelligence about market supply and demand.
Ultimately, the primary benefit of using rate shopper software is to learn about others operating in the local hotel industry and keep track of the state of the market itself. This then allows you to make more informed, strategic revenue management decisions by allowing you to anticipate demand and adjust pricing.
5. Reputation and Review Management Software
Finally, one of the most important hotel management software solutions available to hotels operating today is a reputation and review management package. These software applications work by bringing together online reviews and social media mentions into one centralised location.
By pulling content from potentially hundreds or even thousands of sources into a single place, the software can help you to save huge amounts of time and achieve a more complete view of your hotel’s online reputation. Additionally, reputation and review management software provides you with intelligence about the reputation of competitors.
In the modern business world, online reputation management is incredibly important and for those in the hospitality industry, this applies double, because the majority of customers look up reviews and complaints before booking a room. Many of these packages also include built-in response and resolution systems to aid with this.
In order to maximise hotel business results and revenue management success, those in the hospitality industry should take advantage of the various software solutions available. These solutions can be used individually or in combination and can help to improve ease, efficiency and accuracy.