The average customer might take it for granted, but running a hotel can be extremely complicated. Most hotels have several things to manage at once. First and foremost, a hotel needs enough rooms to accommodate a proper amount of customers. Additionally, these rooms must be regularly cleaned and turned by a competent maintenance staff. Aside from the rooms themselves, hotel owners need to keep in mind things like proper stocking of vending and ice machines, efficient laundry services for towels and uniforms, outdoor maintenance, pool maintenance (if there’s a pool), business center operations, and so much more.
Think of your last hotel stay and try to remember all the things that were handled for you. Assuming your visit went well and the hotel was operating the way it should, you might recall how simple it was to lock in a room, check in, check out, and do everything in between. The simplicity of this process doesn’t just happen magically.
In the past, hotel management solutions consisted of pen and paper. Everything from revenue to employee records were kept track of manually. If this sounds like a near impossible undertaking, you aren’t wrong, and it’s largely why this manual system was replaced by hotel management system software in the late 1980s when it became available. Hotel management system software is a type of property management system (PMS for short). There is PMS for other types of properties, such as government and commercial properties. But PMS software for hotels is unique because the hospitality industry operates very differently than others.
For a quick and better understanding of why PMS software for hotels is so crucial for their effective operation, here are three things that this system is capable of handling with ease.
1) Keeping Payment Channels Straight
If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel you’re probably aware of those little things that add up over time, things that you charge to your room, making it easier to enjoy these services but also easier to forget that you purchased them. Regardless of the cost, from the hotel’s perspective, keeping all these channels of revenue simplified is important. For instance, PMS software for hotels keeps track of TV purchases, mini bar purchases, restaurant and room service bills, and more. Any service the hotel offers, really, is accounted for by the system. Without a system like this, all of these purchases could become a messy stack of receipts from each room. Consolidating all of these streams makes accounting so much easier.
2) Optimizing Work for Everyone
Running a hotel can be somewhat like a complicated math puzzle. There are a set number of rooms that can fit a certain amount of people. People book rooms every day, and enter and exit every day. Keeping track of all this movement is handled much better by PMS software than human brains, even several of them. More importantly, these systems can make work a lot easier for employees such as maintenance workers, who can be notified when to clean rooms, which rooms are currently vacant, etc. In other words, PMS software for hotels isn’t just a solution for accounting, it’s also a useful tool for everyone working in it.
3) Managing Marketing, Sales, and Events
Hotels aren’t just places to stay, they’re business too. As such, they must do a fair share of marketing to bring in more customers and maximize their profit. This is another field that hospitality management software systems tackle. For instance, it can keep track of sales accounts. If a hotel is advertising its brand at a local sports arena, the system can keep track of that account, as well as how effective overall advertising has been the past quarter or fiscal year. Data like this helps hotel management understand what it can improve on going forward in terms of marketing and sales. Hotel management systems can also help organize hotel events, such as movie nights for kids, wine tastings for adults, etc. These can be promotional events to increase customer loyalty and word of mouth for the hotel.
The hotel business is a multi-faceted one, but it’s not likely to go anywhere. People still like to travel, and hotels are a staple of that endeavor. And the better technology gets, the easier it will be to accommodate all guests.