A hotel PMS is a property management system that has been designed for use within hotels and similar forms of accommodation. Such software offers a number of benefits, but two of the most significant are customisation and automation. In this article, you can learn more about why these are valuable and how they can be used.
- What is a Hotel PMS?
- Why is a Hotel PMS Important?
- Importance of Customisation of a Hotel PMS
- Why Hotel PMS Automation Can Benefit Your Business
- What Can You Automate in a Hotel PMS?
- Hotel PMS: Exploring the Key Features
- Tips for Choosing the Best Hotel PMS
- Software Integration for a Hotel PMS
- Hotel PMS and Other Hotel Management Software
A hotel PMS, or property management system, is the name given to a software solution that is used for a variety of hotel management tasks and administrative processes, ranging from payment processing and channel management to handling bookings, managing rooms and carrying out other front desk and back-office operations.
Essentially, the aim of a hotel PMS is to provide users with the ability to carry out as many core tasks associated with the management of a property as possible, without having to switch between software packages. For this reason, almost all modern hotels will utilise a PMS and integrate as many procedures as possible.
The demands of the modern hotel industry mean hoteliers need to optimise revenue generation, manage large amounts of data, and use it to provide the kind of personalisation that guests expect. A hotel PMS can assist with this by automating predictable or repetitive tasks, and by consolidating processes into one application.
As a result, important information – such as guest information and information on which hotel rooms are booked and which are vacant – can be easily accessed, and this information can be kept up-to-date across the board. At the same time, key tasks like sending confirmations and invoices to customers can be handled automatically.
Importance of Customisation of a Hotel PMS
While a hotel PMS has a crucial role to play for those within the hospitality accommodation sector, it is also important that property management systems are customised in relevant ways, to maximise their usefulness.
Frontend customisation is often overlooked by those in hotel management, but it has a number of significant benefits. Creating a user-friendly interface, which has been intelligently branded, can help to give employees a greater sense of pride for where they are working and can help to ensure there is universal adoption of the PMS.
Focusing on intelligent design elements and making the frontend as intuitive as possible can help to minimise the amount of time and money that needs to be spent on training sessions and will also mean employees are able to resolve more problems within their teams, rather than requiring technical support.
The backend or data access layer of a hotel PMS can also be customised, so that the data collected is as relevant as possible. For instance, a dashboard can be set up to contain the most relevant performance metrics and this dashboard can be fully centralised, so that adjustments to the data will show for anyone accessing the PMS.
This can be taken a step further by customising the backend so that reports that are relevant for different hotel departments can be quickly produced at any time. Backend customisation can also allow for the creation of a high-quality room booking system, which is kept up-to-date, and which sets room rates based on demand.
The best hotel property management systems provide a range of tools for automating some of the most repetitive, predictable or unnecessarily time consuming tasks, and this can be important for a number of reasons. First of all, automation can help to save employees time, meaning they can focus their efforts on more complex tasks.
Secondly, automation can allow certain actions, such as the sending of confirmation emails, to be performed instantly, at any time, even if no employee is on hand. Thirdly, automation can help to improve communication between hotel departments. For instance, housekeeping could be automatically notified when a guest checks out, meaning their room is vacant and ready to be cleaned in preparation for the next guest to arrive.
What Can You Automate in a Hotel PMS?
There are a number of key components of a hotel PMS that can be automated and those within the hospitality industry often choose to do so in order to improve efficiency and reduce demands on staff. Some of the most common examples of areas that can be automated are outlined in the following sections:
Reports are one of the most common tasks automated through the use of a hotel PMS. With most of the best solutions in this area, you will be able to set up the PMS to regularly produce reports using your chosen metrics, while drawing data from a variety of sources, and these reports can be sent to specific email addresses, or stored within the PMS.
In general, the use of hotel technology to assist with report creation can help to eliminate human error, because the calculations are performed by the computer. This kind of automation can also help to improve the speed of report writing, and can result in more standardised formatting, which can make reports easier to interpret.
The success of modern hotels relies not only on providing an excellent customer experience but on gaining a strong reputation. One of the ways hotels can achieve this is by keeping customers happy and then encouraging those customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google.
Requests for reviews are generally sent out via email and a good hotel PMS will allow you to automate this. When customers check out at the end of their stay, this can trigger the sending of an email to the email address they provided, ensuring they receive the email as soon as possible after their stay. Alternatively, you may strategically opt for a time delay, such as by sending the email 24 hours after they checked out, or one week later.
Finally, hotel management systems can also allow you to automate various tasks and activities associated with housekeeping, so that your hotel is always kept in the best possible state. The most obvious examples of this are automatic alerts being sent to the housekeeping department when certain events occur within the hotel.
For instance, a notification can be sent when a guest checks in, or when a guest checks out. Regularly scheduled alerts can also be set up to encourage frequent cleaning of public areas, while over the longer term, alerts can also be set up for maintenance checks for equipment, which can then help to reduce the need for repairs.
Video: Housekeeping Activity Automation Example
A hotel PMS is one of the most important examples of hotel software for most properties around the world, but there are a variety of options available. This means that decision-makers within the industry need to explore the available options, compare the features they offer and then select the right solution for their needs.
To find out more about hotel property management, PMS software solutions, and the most important features to look out for, read through the “PMS System: What Are the Most Important Features?” article.
When selecting the right hotel PMS, there are a number of different aspects that need to be weighed up, including the specific needs of your hotel and its staff, the budget that you have available for acquiring the software and training staff, feedback from existing users, and the level of support that is on offer.
You can explore more about these factors and view other tips for selecting your property management solution by reading the “5 Essential Tips to Choose the Right Property Management System” post.
Although hotel PMS software is designed to allow as many different tasks to be controlled from a single place as possible, the majority of hotels will still need to use a variety of other software tools too. This then means that your chosen hotel PMS should be able to integrate with these other solutions, for a seamless experience.
This may include integration with check-in apps, channel managers, marketing software, revenue management software, and more. To learn more, read “PMS Software: Which Software Integration Should a PMS Have?”.
Hotel PMS and Other Hotel Management Software
Hotel PMS solutions are just one example of hotel management software, but there are other tools that can assist hotels and their staff, with examples including distribution channel management tools and revenue management systems. Combined, these solutions can help hotels to improve efficiency and outcomes in a number of key areas.
If you would like to further explore the topic of hotel management software and read about the benefits of adopting different software packages, check out “Hotel Management Software: What Are the Benefits for Hotels?”.
A hotel PMS can be customised to make it as user-friendly as possible, with relevant data made easily accessible. At the same time, the software can also be used to automate some of the more repetitive or predictable jobs that would otherwise be carried out by hotel staff, resulting in greater efficiency and accuracy.