Donald Gasper takes a look at the latest in property management systems (PMS) and how to identify the best one for your property
OVER the past few years, there have been significant changes that affect how Property Management Systems (PMS) work and these can affect how well operators manage their properties, says Luke Pfeifer, senior director of product management, Agilysys.
“Your PMS should streamline business processes while helping you meet guest expectations”. Key functionality to look for, he says, should include:
PMS integrations should supplement the guest experience, giving the guest the power to choose how and when they want to interact with your property. To get started, look for a PMS that can support things like mobile keys, guest communications and mobile payments. Mobile keys allow guests to check-in on their smartphones and head straight to their rooms if they choose, bypassing the front desk. Guest communication, using two-way SMS provides a modern medium to instantly interact with guests at any point during their stay. Mobile payments, especially digital wallets (like Samsung Pay), are essential for both in-person and online payments to accommodate all demographics. Plan for integrations with solutions that will be here for the long term and look for ones that will appeal to younger generations.
Security of the system is also a priority. How are credit cards processed? Can the PMS support point-to-point encrypted (P2PE) payments? Equally important to security is how well your guest data is managed and secured. Find a PMS that supports the latest secure payment protocols, and one that helps you maintain compliance with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR.
Modern, cloud-based solutions are often more cost-effective than premise-based systems. Cloud software eliminates the need for significant upfront hardware expenses and reduces maintenance costs when equipment becomes outdated. Another convenient benefit of cloud software is the ability to manage a property from almost anywhere, enabling owners and managers to adjust rates, run reports, or arrange housekeeping schedules remotely.
Mobile PMS is an excellent complement to streamlining workflows. Mobility gives you flexibility to reengineer the standard check-in process. Equipped with a tablet, staff are no longer tethered to the front desk. They can move about freely, engaging guests in a more authentic way. Mobile devices give your staff the opportunity to display images of guest room upgrades, an easily executed act that could result in additional revenue. Mobility provides a more welcoming interaction as compared to long check-in queues.
FROM STATIC TO DYNAMIC
Frank Trampert, managing director & chief commercial officer, Asia Pacific& EMEA, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, says that today, hotel chains use their PMS, CRS, IBE or channel manager for managing parts of their static content, such as general hotel facilities or room features at a given property. However, many additional systems are also used to keep track of a hotel’s dynamic content, such as rate values and availability.
Middle layers to feed distribution channels from their own content database are only being used by a few hotel groups, which means that descriptive content is often managed manually, either via the hotel’s head office or regional offices or by each individual property – which leaves a lot of room for inconsistencies to appear. Driven by new retailing opportunities, what was once known as static content now has the opportunity to become dynamic, since personalised content can be actively created by the hotelier to attract customers. “As a result, the majority of hotel chains should aim for a master content database and a single point of entry for static/descriptive content for all distribution and media channels,” says Trampert.
SynXis Property Hub is a fully integrated, cloud-based property management system developed by Sabre. It goes beyond conducting a transaction and puts guests at the centre of all interactions while streamlining daily operations and deepening guest engagement, he explains. Leveraging a single system of record for rates and availability, responsive design and flexible workflows that are focused on enhancing the in-stay guest experience, the system goes above and beyond the needs of hoteliers, providing an
end-to-end experience that features:
- Streamlined workflow: This makes room for better engagement with guests and delivers a tailored experience through streamlined
guest-centric workflows for hotel staff.
- A single system of record: eliminating data sync issues with ARI, hotel content and guest information with a single system of record on
the SynXis platform.
- Management on the go: allowing users to accomplish tasks from check in/check out to housekeeping and reporting from anywhere on any device.
- Cloud-native: ongoing technology costs with a cloud-native solution that offers uncompromising speed, global deployment, security and scalability.
- Intuitive UX: This reduces staff training and
on-boarding costs with an intuitive and
- Robust reporting: This provides greater visibility into property performance with over 40 standard and customisable reports accessible from anywhere on any device.