Property management software, or PMS software, is widely utilised within the hospitality industry, helping owners to manage many of their daily operations from a single location. However, it is also important for your PMS system to offer integration with other software solutions, which may be more specialised. In this article, you will find out more about the most important integration options your hotel software should have.F
What is PMS Software?
A property management system, or PMS software, is a type of hotel management software, which functions as a central point of control, allowing hotels and resorts to easily manage day-to-day operations. For instance, it could assist with the management of reservations, payments, inventory management, performance analysis and housekeeping tasks.
Why Every Hotel Needs PMS Software
Having the right hotel software in place is more important than ever, because the hotel industry increasingly relies upon digital data, and many of the aspects of hotel management take place online. Additionally, customer service is now expected to be delivered on a 24/7 basis and bookings are made directly, via your hotel website, from OTAs, and from other channels. The right PMS hotel solution should allow hotel managers and employees to more easily contend with these various challenges. Moreover, the software can help to make processes more efficient, improving financial results.
In the article “5 Essential Tips to Choose the right Property Management System” you learn more about PMS systems and how to choose the right one for your property.
Key Features of a Property Management System
Although each property management system will offer slightly different functions, the key features are linked to reservations, front-desk operations, guest check-in and check-out, payment processing and day-to-day hotel tasks, such as housekeeping. In this sense, a PMS system can be considered an all-in-one solution.
What Integration Should PMS Software Have?
While the specific features of a PMS software package are important, it is also essential for those in the hospitality industry to look for solutions that allow other systems to be integrated. For this reason, you should seek a property management system that facilitates integration with the following third-party systems or vendors.
1. Channel Managers
Channel management systems are designed to allow hotels to easily manage distribution of hotel rooms across multiple different channels. It is common for those in the hospitality industry to sell rooms through the hotel website, through OTAs, through global distribution systems, directly over the telephone, and more. With channel managers, inventory information can be kept up-to-date across all channels, special rates can be set for specific channels, and double bookings can be avoided, and integration with your PMS will save time.
2. Check-In Apps
Check-in features are a major part of most PMS software solutions, and a logical extension of this is integration with self-service check-in systems or apps. This will provide your guests with greater freedom and can also improve the customer experience you deliver, by reducing queues at the front desk. When these self-service systems are linked to your PMS, you can easily enhance this, allowing guests to choose their own room from your available inventory, and pay their final bill without needing staff assistance.
3. Revenue Management Software
Revenue management software can help hotels to monitor the financial performance of their property, automatically calculating KPIs like revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR) and more. It will also typically offer rate plan management options, allowing room rates to be more easily adjusted in response to performance. Your PMS software should offer revenue management software integration, with the PMS feeding pricing and availability information into the RMS software, which can then adjust things like recommended room rates.
4. Reputation Management Systems
Many customers check online reviews before booking hotels, which is why reputation management systems are important. These allow hotels to monitor and manage the reviews that are left across various platforms. One of the most important aspects of reputation management is encouraging guests to leave feedback on your social media or online review platforms. A PMS with reputation management integration can achieve this automatically, sending the feedback request via SMS or email, depending on the information the guest has provided you with.
5. Marketing Software
Hotel Marketing software is designed to assist with both the management and distribution of promotional content, and integrating this software with your PMS system can help by making the distribution process more automated, and more relevant to the guests who are actually staying at your hotel. This means you can set up your systems to send out special offers to guests in the days immediately prior to their arrival, or to send out a survey in the days after they check out, without requiring manual intervention.
6. Key Card Systems
Modern electronic key card systems can be set up so that guests are given a key card that works on the specific room they have reserved, on the dates they have reserved it. In some cases, the key card system can even allow guests to control the lock on their room from an app on their smartphone, doing away with physical keys entirely. This helps to get around the problems associated with lost or stolen key cards, as they can be cancelled electronically. Integrating your key card system with your PMS system means the PMS software will be able to send the relevant information about each guest to your key card system, circumventing the need for details to be entered manually.
7. Energy Management Systems
With the modern focus on energy efficiency, energy management systems have become much more prevalent in the hotel industry, allowing things like heating and air conditioning to be controlled remotely. Not only can this result in significant cost-saving, it can also greatly enhance the customer experience. Your PMS software can integrate with your energy management system to facilitate greater automation. For example, heating can be automatically turned on when a guest checks in, and turned off when they check back out.
8. Point of Sale Software
Within most hotels, there are a number of point of sale services on offer to guests, ranging from restaurants and bars, through to spas, gyms and hotel shops. A point of sale system allows payments to be processed quickly and easily at the time, and this information can then be integrated within the main PMS hotel software. In practice, what this means is that a sale can be made in the moment, the information from that sale can be synchronised with your PMS, and the guest’s final bill can be updated quickly, accurately and automatically.
9. Entertainment Systems
As with point of sale services, many hotels also offer paid entertainment systems in their rooms, with examples including internet services, pay-per-view movies, and music streaming. Integrating these systems with your PMS software has a number of advantages, with greater accuracy and efficiency being at the forefront. When integration with entertainment systems is possible, charges can be automatically added to a guest’s final bill, removing the need for manual adjustments and minimising the chances of mistakes being made.
10. Payment Systems
Hotels require payment systems in order to process credit and debit card payments at the front-desk, as well as payments made online. Additionally, many payment systems are also set up so that invoices can be automatically created for guests, and confirmation emails can be automatically sent out when payments are made. When you have property management hotel software that integrates with your payment system, you will benefit from faster payment processing, a reduction in errors and more automatic payment processes.
11. Business Analytics Software
Finally, hotels make use of business analytics software to monitor the overall performance of the property. These software systems are able to handle substantial amounts of unstructured data and help hotel staff to make sense of it. They also allow hotel owners to track performance over time, and create automated business reports. Once again, integration with your PMS system can be invaluable, ensuring the analytics software has access to real-time data linked to room occupancy, room rates, revenue, expenses and more.
Ultimately, your property management system will go a long way towards making life easier and improving your handling of day-to-day hotel operations. However, for optimum performance, integration with third-party software is also essential, and the 11 software types listed in this article are among the most vital to look out for.
More Information About Hotel Management Software
Would you like to learn more about hotel management software solutions which can help you to grow your hotel business? In the following articles you find more information about the most important hotel management software for hotels:
- PMS System: What Are the Most Important Features?
- 5 Hotel Management Software Solutions Every Hotel Needs
- Hotel Distribution Channel Manager: What Are the Advantages?
- Revenue Management System (RMS): What Are the Advantages?
- Hotel App: Optimise Your Guest Communication, Experience & Revenue