Next-generation hospitality technology is top-of-mind for just about any hotelier who hasn’t upgraded their platform capabilities in the past few years. Yet selecting the solution that best fits their needs - and ensuring the hotel or resort gets the most value from that solution - is generally no easy task.
Following are four recommendations adopted from The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (currently available for complimentary download). These recommendations may help hoteliers narrow their PMS buying options and also maximize the value of their investment.
Upgrade to cloud capabilitiesAs with most enterprise technology solutions, most property management systems are moving to the cloud. Even larger brands are benefiting from the global scale, distributed access to interfaces and information, easy deployment and cost benefits.
Additional benefits include reduced stress on hotel technology infrastructures, and, in some cases, better security and more seamless integration with third-party applications and modules.
Focus on building the guest database
Being able to capture, analyze and access guest data is imperative. Each guest profile record should contain all available data, including data from add-on modules and third-party solutions. An example is a pro golf shop management module, which would include such features as tee time scheduling, profile/billing and tournament management.
Utilizing an integrated PMS solution, a hotel or resort can maintain complete profiles and histories, including financials, handicaps and records of purchases, all of which help make up their guest profile record in the PMS. Another example is a spa management module, which tracks guest histories, medical conditions, transaction logs and preferences. These modules are important pieces of the puzzle for building a centralized guest database and ensuring positive guest experiences.
Focus on technology integration
Greater architecture and interface flexibility, the widespread adoption of industry standards for software development, and the proliferation of middleware solutions capable of bringing together otherwise incompatible technologies have made it easier than ever to integrate third-party software and add-on modules into a PMS.
Whether the system is running in the cloud or installed on-premise, it’s important to ensure that all the data architecture can be tightly integrated with POS systems, revenue management systems, etc., with minimum hassle and expense. Seamless platform interoperability and compatibility is the North Star toward which all hotels should be navigating today.
Focus on revenue management
The sheer volume of data that revenue managers are capturing in their PMS databases is massive. For a large hotel, the data set may include dozens of customer segments, a dozen or more room types, several years of historical booking and reservations data, and upwards of a dozen length-of-stay types.
Add to the mix competitive rate data, demand data, multi-market economic data, reputation scores and even social reviews, air traffic and weather predictions. Combining all these data sets for just one hotel could easily amount to 200 million-plus observations.
All of the relevant PMS data needs to feed into the pricing optimization models, including those enabled by third-party solution providers, that are used for revenue management activities.
For additional recommendations, buying considerations and "must-ask" questions, download The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems. It is currently available for complimentary download and can be accessed here.
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