By Jos Schaap CEO and Founder – StayNTouch
When was the last time you gave your hotel a makeover? I’m not referring to the property itself; rather, the internal systems you have in place to maximize critical day-to-day efficiency. After all, ensuring you have a seamlessly integrated and user-friendly hotel property management system (PMS) in place can, in many ways, make or break the success of your hotel.
The traditional hotel PMS systems that have been the go-to choice for independents and multi-properties in the past are quickly being overshadowed by more modern cloud-based PMS systems. Legacy systems require on-premise hardware, on-site manual assistance and (often costly) hardware and maintenance updates. These systems are also reliant on desktops to use applications. Though they may have met the needs of hoteliers in the past, the future favors modern, cloud-based and mobile PMS solutions.
Modern PMS systems offer easier implementation and integrations, are more flexible, and are accessible on any device – effectively freeing up your staff from the limitations of the desktop-confined software. In fact, advanced cloud-based mobile PMS solutions aren’t just becoming the preferred choice for single property independent hotels, but they are also making their way into the lobby of high-end brands, multi-property groups and big chains alike.
Here are just a few key reasons why a future-proof, cloud-based PMS platform can help meet the unique needs of any size and type of hotel organization.
Ease of Implementation
When it comes to a hotel’s internal processes, a few primary objectives come to mind: improve the level of service, drive revenue, reduce cost and enhance the guest experience. With this in mind, hoteliers aren’t just looking for a PMS system which can effectively check all those boxes, but one that can do so while also offering cost effective, seamless implementation and integrations.
If the implementation process of a new PMS system isn’t intuitive, it can make for high costs and complicated training sessions for employees and management. While considering the notoriously high staff turnover rate that exists within the hospitality realm, whether a small chain hotel or a multi-property brand giant, the efficient onboarding process of new technology is always top of mind. Cloud-based PMS systems boast lower implementation costs over legacy systems. Also, choosing an intuitive, multi-platform, multi-device, cloud-based PMS technology eliminates the need for external trainers and increases adoption by hotel staff.
When it comes to integrations, a modern PMS solution built on Open API architecture enables hotels to connect seamlessly to other systems – now and into the future.
With a turn-key monthly SaaS pricing model, a cloud-based PMS reduces the on-going need for IT resources and expensive hardware updates. Additionally, without the need for on-site services dedicated to the PMS system, management can free up space, staff and decrease costs.
Ultimately, the less time and resources dedicated to complicated implementation and training measures means more time devoted to what matters most: the provision of exceptional guest service and engagement.
These days, mobility is a top priority for hoteliers. Since many core features of hotel PMS solutions are similar, many are basing their final decision about PMS based on the strength of their mobile capabilities.
As the hospitality industry becomes more competitive, the ability of staff to engage with guests and run daily operations on-the-go, anywhere on the property, is essential. By enabling immediate access to guest data and information from anywhere, a mobile PMS empowers hotels of all sizes to reinvent and automate processes, be more responsive, and most importantly, deliver more personalized service. A centralized, mobile-friendly system also encourages staff and inter-departmental communications, making operations more efficient.
Cloud PMS = Increased Peace of Mind
For all types of properties, information security is an on-going, grave concern. If a system goes down, or internal information becomes compromised, the entire operation (and hotel reputation) could be at stake.
Unlike the traditional, legacy systems of the past, cloud-based PMS offers advanced, worry-free security for hotels of all sizes and varying needs. While some of us may still express some confusion towards the infamous “Cloud” (where does it all go?), it is actually known for its increased reliability, data security, processing speed and more. Amplified built-in security means uninterrupted service, for hotel staff as well as guests, and mirrored data which ensures all critical information is backed up and stored. Further, security updates are installed automatically, without the need for on-property IT assistance. As a hotelier managing multiple properties, departments and employees – this kind of peace of mind should be paramount.
Keep Your Operation Flexible
Whether an independent hotel, a multi-property boutique chain or a large brand chain, your priorities as a hotelier will likely vary and evolve, especially when adapting to changing demands of your guests. With this understanding, it becomes increasingly important to invest in a PMS system that is flexible enough to not only enhance your process but grow with your hotel. The advantage of a cloud-based PMS lies in its flexibility to offer high touch service functionality, mobile engagement and self-service options like a mobile PMS.
Many hotel brands will have properties with more demands for the high touch service model, while others may cater to guests who prefer the low touch experience such as traveling on business. A scalable, flexible PMS system can enhance your service offering within each property, based on individual guest analytics, while sharing guest data and preferences from a centralized PMS. This not only empowers you to enhance your guest service and personalization – but can also help you to drive your revenue and marketing efforts.
At a glance, it could seem that the cost of changing PMS technologies may cause a deficit in the hotel’s expenses. However, the increased productivity and revenue potential can easily outweigh the investment and effort it would take to implement a cloud-based, mobile PMS. Independent collections, groups, and brands that invest in competitive, tech-forward solutions to enhance guest experience and operations will, without a doubt, continue to become the preferred brands in guests’ eyes.
As a forward-thinking leader, push the envelope of the hotel industry and embrace every opportunity to expand your levels of service, efficiency, and productivity through technology. So, ask yourself, is your hotel ready for the modern PMS makeover?