It will be difficult for your hotel to survive this information age if you don’t have a reputable digital presence. For effective productivity, you need tools such as revenue management tools to handle your business revenues, social media management tools to help you manage your social media marketing, and property management tools.
It might feel impossible sometimes to try and keep up with the current demands of the daily business of the hospitality industry, especially when you consider the quick returns nature and customer-centric attitude we have today. Fortunately for us, we have some productive tools that can be really helpful for us – anything from automation, online booking and data analytics – all to ensure that your business days are getting more productive.
Here. we list 10 handy hotel management tools you should be using now:
1. ScreenCloud (Digital menu app)
Digital menu signs are beneficial for restaurants with certain concepts. Of course, you probably wouldn’t consider using them in a fine dining establishment, but they work really well in a fast-casual setting. Digital signage is not only aesthetically pleasing, it makes it easy to update information on menu items, discounts, and more.
With ScreenCloud’s menu feature, users can easily create, edit and customize digital menus in real time and manage it remotely for in-store display. Their software is also compatible with plenty of devices, meaning it can be displayed nicely across most screens within venues.
Having the right point of sale system in your hospitality business is crucial for efficiency and a smooth operation. It’s also important for your POS to be industry-specific in order to ensure it can meet the demands of our industry. There are plenty of point of sale systems out there, but not all are geared toward restaurants and hospitality. Upserve is tailored to the restaurant and hospitality industries. Aside from basic POS functions, Upserve features like mobile payment, marketing tools, inventory control, and more.
Organizing your team’s roster can often be challenging, particularly when your staff don’t work regular hours. The clever thing with 7Shifts is that their cloud platform allows you to auto-schedule your staff based on their availabilities and create custom templates to suit your business, making it easy to coordinate your team. To take it one step further, you can also use their platform to manage sales and labor costs.
Finding qualified seasonal staff is a common problem in the hospitality industry, where you may just need temporary staff for a one-off event, or a short contracted period. Sidekicker is an on-demand staffing platform that helps resolve this issue. Their database has over 11,000 experienced staff in hospitality, promotions, events, business administration, and retail. Staff profiles are detailed, rated and reviewed so that employers can easily find the right people for the job.
Learning and upskilling should always be a priority for every hospitality professional, particularly as the industry faces a skills shortage. Typsy’s online learning platform offers hospitality businesses, staff, and schools the ability to assign professional hospitality courses and lessons with their 350+ video library. Users can learn essential industry skills in areas of culinary, beverage, service, marketing, and business. Courses are led by world leading hospitality professionals, including champion baristas, restaurant consultants, restaurateurs, and chefs.
6. Revenue management software (RMS)
Revenue management software, also known as revenue optimization (RO), focuses on optimizing revenue through better pricing decisions. While inputs vary across solutions, the two primary factors that determine price are the demand forecasts for an individual property, as well as the local market’s popularity.
Automation factors heavily in RMS, although some solutions provide levers to control these pricing decisions manually.
Desirable features: real-time direct connects to the distribution channels you use most; real-time calendar updates of new bookings and cancellations; demand-based pricing optimization at both property and market level; integrated demand forecasting to inform pricing decisions; customizable levels of automation for adjusting pricing in real-time; easy integrations with your CRS and business intelligence tools.
The top three revenue management software solutions:
IDeaS G3. One of the largest incumbents, IDeaS is a division of global conglomerate SAS. The company serves 10,000 properties with its revenue management software that increases “better revenue” opportunities across the entire hotel operation.
Duetto Gamechanger. Duetto’s “revenue strategy platform” focuses on pricing decisions based on micro-segmentation, which means that each channel, room type, and segment can be independently yielded in real-time.
Atomize. The only startup on the top three, Atomize’s cloud-based system can fully automate pricing decisions, or provide pricing recommendations based on revenue urgency for manual adjustment.
7. Rate shoppers
Rate shoppers save time. Lots of time. Only recently, a revenue manager would pull rate data from the competition in a spreadsheet to track changes. Or perhaps rely on a rudimentary module baked into an existing technology solution.
Today’s rate shoppers make manual updates and inaccurate competitive rates a thing of the past. A rate shopper has two primary functions: to see how your hotel’s competition is pricing rooms and to identify channels that violate parity agreements. This information can then be used to react to competitor pricing and to rectify parity violation with offending channels.
Rate shoppers are the most easy-to-implement revenue management solutions. As they shop publicly available rates, there’s no integration hurdle to clear. Within a few days, a hotel’s rooms can be mapped, its competitive set defined, and reports pulled that accurately guide pricing decisions.
Desirable features: Rate data pulled from sanctioned direct API connections; robust room mapping that allows you to build an apples-to-apples comparison; easy-to-understand visual reports that identify parity violations; comprehensive event schedule to accurately identify factors impacting market demand.
The top rated rate shopping solutions:
TravelClick Demand360. Recently acquired by Amadeus, Demand360 offers a segmented view of historical and future pricing across the market and a hotel’s competitive set.
Rate Insight by OTA Insight. A relative newcomer, OTA Insight’s Rate Insight product has captured a sizable chunk of the market with a focus on data visualization and ease of use.
8. Business intelligence for hotels
If the central reservation system is the heart of revenue management, business intelligence is the brain. Your BI system will process and analyze your hotel’s data, alongside market demand data, and deliver insights that help you understand performance.
It’s true that most revenue management software has reporting functionality. However, the more data-hungry visualizers won’t be satisfied with limited analytics and reporting. BI solutions unlock insights hidden in data, while also providing a gut check for hoteliers with robust reports.
Since BI tools are integration-heavy, they often paint the most accurate picture of a hotel’s performance. By pulling in data from multiple sources, BI improves the accuracy of its own analysis and insight into the true state of a hotel’s revenue forecasts.
Desirable features: Customizable reporting according to your own individual KPIs; real-time connections across your hotel’s tech stack; visual dashboards that are easy to understand; exportable reports to share with your team.
These are the top three business intelligence solutions for hotels:
HotelIQ. The HotelIQ solution pulls in data from the property management system, as well as other connected operational software, to glean insights. Reports can be at the property level, portfolio, or brand.
Revenue Insight by OTA Insight. The business intelligence tool from OTA Insight features a flexible approach for smarter hotel analytics. Year-over-year performance is trackable and combines future and historical performance.
Juyo Analytics. Juyo Analytics uses dashboards for data visualization, forecasting, and revenue pacing. The tool also allows for productivity tracking of sales teams.
9. Channel managers
A channel manager is a specialized tool for those hoteliers seeking much tighter control over where and how inventory is distributed. If the CRS is the heart, the channel manager is the valves, controlling where your inventory flows.
Many RMS solutions have integrated channel managers, so this may be redundant functionality for some. Nonetheless, for those looking for a light-touch software approach that doesn’t involve RMS, a channel manager can be used in conjunction with a CRS and rate shopper to adjust pricing based on internal property targets and external demand factors.
Desirable features: Easy, stress-free connectivity to your CRS; ability to update the content of individual room types across channels; allocation management to control availability on each channel; consider GDS/metasearch connectivity; decent reporting that provides visibility into channel profitability and booking trends.
10. Property Management System
A property management software (PMS) is a software application built for hospitality accommodations, commercial residential rental properties, and other buyers who manage a type of property business (for example, self storage areas and parking garages).
In today’s fast-paced hospitality landscape hotel daily operations and processes are getting more complicated within the hotel workflow and often take too much time to complete. Hotel property management systems can automate them, creating opportunities for the stuff to better serve their guests and visitors. Implementing a hotel property management solution helps to do a great part of the work and in some cases decrease or eliminate time spent on time-consuming tasks and operations, allowing hoteliers to focus on the bigger picture.
A very good example of a PMS is the Booking Ninjas property management software.
The Silver Lining
Now’s a good time to tell you about Booking Ninjas. We have been involved in the hospitality industry so we know what every sector wants exactly. And we have made the solutions an integral part of our application.
We have ensured the tools listed above are easily integrated into the platform, without any hitches whatsoever.
Click here to get a real-time feel of our application, and run it by the checkpoints listed above. You’re welcome!