It is, of course, your responsibility as the owner or manager of a small hotel to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This covers all aspects of the property's regular operations, such as handling incoming reservations, attending to visitors, and ensuring the property is clean and well-maintained.
Running a large-scale hotel company, on the other hand, necessitates the use of management systems to streamline these day-to-day operations. Many people wonder what a hotel needs to thrive in a competitive market; at least two things: (1) provide an online presence that makes booking simpler, (2) have excellent customer service so that travelers returning to your area choose your place again.
Automating everyday operations and administrative activities is crucial for achieving customer loyalty because it allows you to deliver consistent, high-quality service. Every activity in a hotel must be monitored because it is a complex system that encompasses the actions of many departments. Hoteliers use a variety of methods to do this, including spreadsheets, paper formats, and unified property management systems.
All of this and more are made more accessible by a good hotel management system, directly or indirectly running the hotel business. The software solution can directly handle many tasks on its own, and indirectly by freeing up many hours of your time to spend on more meaningful tasks like keeping your guests happy.
Read more: How hotel management works
It's worth noting that buying a hotel management system is similar to buying a property management system, front desk system, B&B management software, and so on. You may not recognize any of these words, but they all refer to the same piece of technology and serve the same purpose – there are just a lot of synonyms!
We'll discuss the hotel management system (HMS) that controls reservations, front- and back-office operations, channel management, and more in this article. You'll learn about the types of Hotel Management Systems, their essential functions, and five indicators that your hospitality company needs a new management system.
What is a Hotel Management System?
A hotel management system is a set of hotel software that keeps things running smoothly. Accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and a plethora of industry-specific software are only a few examples. In a nutshell, a hotel management system (HMS) is a form of software solution that makes it easier to handle hotel operations and functions like front desk, sales, planning, and accounting.
Types of Hotel Management System
Previously, hotel management software was only available as an on-premise solution. You will purchase a piece of software and install it on your physical location's computers. This made using your apps difficult unless you were on site. Hotel cloud solutions have recently become available, allowing you to access and control your apps from wherever you have internet access. The following is a concise breakdown of the two types of hotel management software solutions we have now.
1. On-Premise HMS
Since on-premise hotel software has been around for so long, its features and functionality have been fine-tuned over time to match the needs of the hospital industry. This often leads to an organic patchwork of features that are more difficult to use – particularly for employees who are unfamiliar with a particular piece of software.
2. Cloud-based HMS
Cloud-based hotel solutions provide slick, easy-to-use interfaces that allow your staff to concentrate on the guest rather than scrambling with overly complicated and often redundant apps. Developers are adding more features to cloud-based hotel apps as the market grows and more hotels embrace it.
Furthermore, since the program is hosted in the cloud, operators often have access to the most recent update without the need for IT feedback. Having the most recent edition ensures that you remain consistent with evolving local laws and regulations.
Key Functions of Hotel Management System (HMS)
- Front Desk Operations
A front-desk manager can use a hotel management software solution to view and change room reservation status, check guests in and out, and process payments. A guest wants to check-in as soon as possible when they arrive at the hotel. In this situation, a receptionist's assistance is critical, so front-desk workers can set aside time to assist the guest. Some property management systems allow for integration with check-in kiosks or QR code check-in and check-out.
- Revenue Management
An HMS is a significant step toward enhancing hotel revenue management metrics like occupancy, RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room), and ADR (Average Daily Rate), all of which are critical in determining a hotel's financial performance. While GDS and OTA integration can help optimize these rates, revenue management systems can help a manager understand how to tweak processes to improve performance and keep costs under control. This reservation module assists in increasing overall room revenue by using forecasting to maximize occupancy and determining whether to lift or lower inventory rates.
All inventory details and dates are stored in a hotel reservation system, which sends this information to the front desk. The reservation system must be linked to the booking engine on the website and other distribution channels. Independent hotels typically have their own reservation systems, while chain hotels usually have one central reservation system for all of their properties.
- CRM and Customer Data Management
Hoteliers must collect and arrange guest information to stay in contact with current and past guests during and after check-out. The CRM module in the management software must work in tandem with the front desk and reservation system to gather all guest details. It aids in the storage of guest information and offers an easily accessible database. It also provides contact details for guests before and after their stay. If a hotel already has a CRM setup, the PMS should be able to integrate with it.
5 Signs that your Hotel Business needs a New Management System
1. Little idea or control over business
The primary goal of an HMS is to keep your hotel's operations running smoothly. An HMS that meets your property's reporting needs is vital to long-term success, so if your current system makes it difficult or impossible to produce the numbers you need to assess and expand your company, it's time to switch.
ADR and RevPAR are critical to the growth of any lodging industry, particularly when tracking and analyzing KPIs. Every property is different, so additional reports customized to the property's operations may be required. A good HMS will allow you to create personalized reports, allowing you to filter, sort quickly, and export the information you need.
Hotel management software installed on a single front-desk machine stifles productivity and service by forcing employees to leave what they're doing and return to the front desk any time they need to review or update details. It doesn't have to be that way, though. A cloud-based HMS provides the required operational versatility to operate your hotel from anywhere, at any time, with just a few clicks.
2. Your staff keeps struggling with one thing or another
The true meaning of an HMS is shown when your employees can operate it as naturally and use it as efficiently as you do! Another thing to keep an eye out for is if the employees need to go through multiple training days before they can use the method. It doesn't have to be so exhausting. A smart HMS is easy to use and straightforward
Any employee must easily access and use the HMS, whether it is front desk management, housekeeping, the restaurant manager, or any POS workers. It's time to get a new management structure if this isn't happening.
3. Integrating with third-party Applications
Any software framework will theoretically integrate with another. However, if your peripheral systems don't communicate with your HMS in real-time and data from third-party solutions has to be manually entered, you're wasting time, money and risking errors. It only signals a time for a change!
Legacy systems necessitate costly and time-consuming interface creation, which can take months (or longer) and necessitates constant upgrading every time a new app or feature is added. Look for an open-source, cloud-based HMS with configurable modules to optimize your scalability and future-proof your operations.
4. Draining Vendor support and Maintenance
When your HMS service and support is costing you time, resources, and efficiency, it's time for a change. On-premise systems necessitate frequent updates, which can be costly, and many providers charge hefty monthly fees for support, performance upgrades, and software customizations.
If you want to invest in your own hardware, you'll need to put money down right away. With the cloud, this is not the case. High efficiency, data backups, reliability, protection, and turn-key monthly pricing that includes customer service, updates, monitoring, hosting, and more are all features of a cloud-based HMS. In comparison to legacy infrastructures, the cloud is much more energy-efficient.
5. Low Return on Investment
Not only can your HMS save you time and money, but it should also generate revenue for your business. You need a framework that provides a high return on investment, from automated upsell and marketing to sales management and analytics. Suppose your system doesn't include marketing automation, an integrated booking engine, guest history/stay info, and easy dashboards with KPIs to help you better understand your customers. In that case, you're losing out on lower costs from increased staff efficiency and higher revenues from increased sales and more happy, loyal customers.
Replacing your HMS can seem to be an enormous task, but if you run into one or more of these roadblocks, delaying the change can end up costing you more than the investment needed to make a strategic upgrade.
If you believe your property management system is holding you back and preventing you from innovating, give our team a call and let us show you what a more modern HMS can do for you.
About Booking Ninjas
Booking Ninjas is uniquely designed to give you a digital experience of the most effective management. We give our clients a unique, one-stop platform to handle everything property management from a cloud-based, globally accessible platform. Be sure to visit our Pilot page to see the Booking Ninjas system for yourself.
At Booking Ninjas we give you a reason to not have to build an online management system from scratch and let your concentrate on giving your clients the utmost satisfaction they deserve.
With our advanced system which allows you to manage reservations, update your rates, and tailor customer experience according to your whims, among other powerful features, Booking Ninjas is leagues ahead of our competitors in the game.
We also efficiently keep track of and handle all your transactions so you don’t have to stress yourself over them.
Booking Ninjas helps you give your guests the ultimate experience.