Hotel Management Software (HMS) is not meant to be an additional burden to management or additional cost to bear. Rather it must do one thing well: to help you run your hotel in an efficient manner.
Hotels are constantly increasing with an accelerated pace, this is a reason why they need a system that surrounds their customer’s digital touchpoint: from browsing online prices till the time they check into the hotel facility, to the point where they spread word of mouth by sharing their reviews online after their check-outs.
Let’s understand by this example: a guest walks in at a late hour when all the staff is resting and the guest wants a room. After consulting the manual logbook – which is actually just a register or a dairy maintained by you with a list of current guests and checkouts and you see that the previous guest has checked out 2 hours earlier. The front desk calls housekeeping in-charge to confirm that room no. 18 is clear. While this activity is going on, the guest stands by and is waiting for a response. Bam! There is no response. The front desk tries again, but still no response. The Manager apologizes to the guest and goes on to look for the housekeeper. What a nightmare, isn’t it?
Plenty of hotels still uses excel sheet, a paper-and-pen format, or legacy software none of which fulfils the needs of a today’s chaotic scenario. Consequently, hotel owners are looking for a universal, one-and-done solution to manage all the processes. Therefore, for a smooth running of daily operations, it is very important that you have a system in place that automates your business process in real-time with minimum human efforts.
A cloud-based hotel management software helps you eliminates these types of deviations within your hotel. With full transparency and shared visibility, your entire team using HMS can work from the same information and be on the same page in real-time.
Let’s see what is it like when it comes down to selecting the best hotel property management software for your independent hospitality business. Here are the most important features to keep in mind:
The system checks room availability and status, shows available rooms across different OTA channels and the website booking engine. Hotel Management System makes sure that you can have a clear glance of all your channels at one place and see which channel is fetching you better footfalls with maximum profit. This function monitors double bookings and allows group reservations. Then it schedules bookings and displays information about current and upcoming bookings on a dashboard. All this happens with intelligent comparison metrics.
E-Payments Management/ Complete Booking Engine
Your hotel’s website should be your most profitable sales channel. Therefore, hotel management software must include an integrated booking engine thereby giving guests the ability to book their reservation themselves and this leads to more direct bookings. The cherry on the cake would be when your booking engine includes a payment processor as well. With this, you can receive new bookings on your website 24/7.
A booking engine it is embedded within your website can also give you much more control to manage your pricing and discounts. And added brand personalization can bring better revenue to your hotel, no matter what is the size of your property.
Hotel management software must have an efficient booking engine which will:
- Inbuilt Multi-lingual Support: If your hotel targets international guests, then you must have 24/7 multi-lingual support, in order to get maximum guests.
- Secure Payments Support: You must have good payment support from banks or other monetary support providers like Paypal or Paytm so that your international guests don’t have trouble with booking from your website.
- Provide a rate comparison widget: Like what channel partners do on their website-they provide a rate comparison tool or a chart so that guests can be satisfied with the price they are paying. Likewise, you must have an inbuilt metrics on your website.
- Customizable Design Interface: Like you have your own uniqueness in your brand elements which is portrayed on your website, so should your booking engine behold.
Management of room and kitchen supplies like towels, napkins, utensils, groceries, bed sheets, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, floor cleaners etc. This sounds simple when you have to manage it in your house but when it comes to hotels, these supplies need to come in bulk and managing it manually makes no sense.
The system sends confirmations to guests after they complete booking. In some HMS, this function is a part of the front-desk operations module.
Real-time inventory and rate updates
Managing your association with more OTAs means juggling multitasking and multi revenue source together. HMS allows you to manage rates and inventory across all relevant online channels. Its direct two-way distribution interface ensures that rates and availability are adjusted in real-time across all booking channels. Plus it collects real-time data from your inventory and updates rates accordingly. Hence it saves channel manager’s time.
Some hotels allow guests to book not only accommodation but also activities. This software gives them the freedom to book activities in advance while booking their rooms. The sophisticated matrices allow hoteliers to lay down discounts for their guests as per loyalty program.
Front Desk Operations
A front desk module allows a front-desk manager to view and update room reservation status, check guests in and out, and process payments. When a guest arrives at the hotel, the manager can check-in the guest as fast as possible. Reception staffs have a very important role in this case, so they should have time to help the guest. Reception staff or front-office manager should be able to access up-to-date information about all reservations, both current and upcoming. This module updates the status of the room very quickly. The front-desk module of HMS helps allocates rooms through automated system metrics and arranges a room change. This includes swipe-in key cards management, payments processing and receipts issuing to the guests. This module also allows night shift management. Thus, it makes the whole process very smooth.
In a dynamic fast-moving world, it is very important that things are made simple. This is why today companies are paying more attention towards building a smooth interface that is user-friendly. Often hotels have to recruit new staff and every time training them on a difficult to use system is in itself a tedious task. If the system is user-friendly, a lot of things can be learned through a simple manual as well.
Powerful Reporting and Business Analytics
From daily activity and production reports to all financial reports, our revenue management software have you covered. Gather market data in real-time to make better pricing and distribution decisions just at the click of the button. An efficient revenue management system helps you to automate your presets rules as per your needs to give you maximum profits out of your current investments.
Your Hotel Management Software must have the ability to connect with third-party integrations. These are special services in the form of software that can be linked with your HMS to get a particular work done.
For better revenue management, it is very important that you manage your data well. Data is all the crucial information about your hotel or restaurant like past trends, marketing activities, revenue per available room (RevPAR) and average daily rates (ADR), profits, hotel guests and staff, OTAs, current bookings via OTAs, direct walk-ins, direct booking via your hotel website, Online Travel Agents that are giving you good business, OTAs that are giving comparatively less business, seasons that gives you more footfalls/walk-ins, overall occupancy ratio, pricing, market research data, competitor’s data etc.
Always go for modern and powerful hotel management software that is cloud-based. Cloud-based actually means (online) software that can be used from anywhere on your mobile device. It is way better than the on-premise one because it helps save hardware placement and management cost.
We believe the right thing for a hotelier is to book the right room for the guest and give them the experience of their lifetime.