Nov 23, 2021 | Technology & Innovation | Reading Time: 5 minutes
Do you know what PMS is in the hotel business? Property Management System (PMS) is an operating software widely used by hotels of any size and structure. It is a management platform in the cloud that centralizes and automates hotel operations.
Through PMS, you can check inventory, book rooms, control the check-in and check-out of guests, and other essential features for the hotel operations.
In this hotel system, it is also possible to control the hotel’s financial operations, such as setting the tariff for low and high seasons and checking the bills you have to pay and revenue to receive.
Depending on the system, you can access the hotel’s general income and expenses balance, available in Excel graphs or reports.
This is a basic summary of what a Property Management System in the Hotel Industry is. Hilary Murphy, a professor at École Hôtelière de Lausanne (Lausanne College for Hospitality), Switzerland, explains in an article for EHL that, in the past, those property management systems were the greatest, if not the only, investments in hotel technology.
At that time, the professor says that the market was dominated by MICROS, purchased in 2014 by Oracle, now known as OPERA Cloud. This system is used in large international hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Hyatt, Radisson, InterContinental, and Marriott International.
However, today there are several software providers on the market, including Brazilian brands, which allow independent hotels, inns, and smaller chains to compete at the same level of management as large hotel enterprises.
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Integrations With Hotel Systems
Property Management System in the hotel industry is the property’s operations center. Any other hotel support systems that your company has may be integrated into PMS, directly or indirectly, from third-party software.
With the evolution of technologies available to the hotel industry, this integration can also be made with electronic locks and energy management systems. Here are some examples of possible integrations with the hotel PMS:
- Booking Engine and Channel Manager (CM): Being able to control your fees in any distribution channel and real time prevents cases of overbooking and communication failures between sellers and reception.
The integrations of booking engine + channel manager + PMS make the entire online booking process flawless, with no loose ends. This means that if the guest books with an OTA, it will be automatically updated in the hotel’s PMS.
The property management system will also be fed with other booking data such as customer information, credit card details, and other specific booking details.
Knowing where and how your guests learn from you makes it possible to implement specific actions to attract them as direct customers.
- Revenue management system (RMS): A historical analysis of bookings is very important to understand the demand forecast and the segments that your hotel serves.
This type of information is widely used in Revenue Management (RM) when working with dynamic rates, different for each segment/audience.
You can export this data and process them manually by the PMS platform, always remembering to pay attention to the law on data protection.
Depending on the quality of the extracted data, the best way to do this analysis is to automate this process by integrating the PMS with your revenue management system (RMS).
A Step Beyond Traditional Integrations
Electronic locks: The hotel’s property management system can even be integrated with electronic lock models, whether they are stand-alone, battery-operated, or online and wireless locks.
Those locks communicate with the software, making it possible to open or lock the door according to the occupancy status of the room. You have greater control of all room entrances and exits.
Energy management: If the home does not have an occupancy sensor installed, the second way to manage energy use is through integration with a digital thermostat and the hotel PMS, for instance.
This integration automatically informs the device of the occupancy status of the room — the information is updated by the property management platform.
Manual PMS and cloud PMS
Hilary Murphy explains that, in the past, PMS was not in the cloud, it was local. This means that the hotelier would buy the program and install it on the computer. The problem was that the machine had to respect certain system prerequisites to run the program, such as processing levels and disk space.
There was also the maintenance issue. Every time the program needed some update or a patch, it was necessary to install it manually, either by the team or by the provider. In the latter case, it was necessary to schedule a visit.
With a cloud hotel PMS, the software is automatically updated by the provider. You no longer take chances of a technical issue deleting all system data because a PMS in the cloud automatically backs up booking and customer information.
This saves time and expenses with IT. With a simplified infrastructure, many PMS systems can be accessed even by mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Your employees don’t need to be “stuck” to the reception.
That means when a room is available, a notification is automatically sent to the head of governance’s cell phone, who will notify the employee responsible for cleaning the unit. Practical and simple, isn’t it
PMS Benefits in Hotels
By centralizing the hotel’s front-office management in a cloud system, which can be accessed by any electronic device, you gain productivity, agility, and efficiency.
Providers of this software talk a lot about the guest experience, and how the system impacts their perception and experience of your brand.
This happens because the more organized and efficient the hotel management is, the better procedures work at the front office. A more productive team does more for the customer and makes fewer mistakes.
In addition to guest satisfaction, the well-being of the internal team increases.
As we have already written on the blog, “Cordiality is the result of a happy team”, and being cordial is the essence of hospitality.
Briefly, some of the benefits of optimizing hotel management with a PMS system are:
- avoiding administrative errors;
- professionalizing hotel management;
- integrating all hotel departments (governance + reception + F&B);
- improving the guest experience;
- searching for traveler data in a fast and easy way;
- speeding up guest check-in and check-out;
- reducing IT costs;
- controling hotel billing;
- monitoring expenses and income;
- automatizing cloud system updates.
PMS for Hotels
There are several suppliers of PMS in the hotel industry. However, you must research and compare a lot of the systems available on the market so that the PMS chosen is the closest to your property’s particular needs.
For example, if your hotel has several types of rooms, such as standard, business, and luxury units, it would be interesting that the PMS would give you reports on each type of room. If the property is an inn or hostel, with few rooms of the same type, this would not be a demand.
Anyway, always do a lot of research before hiring new software and talk to other industry colleagues who already use these systems. Investing in technology is critical for hotels to responsibly maintain the financial health of the business.
What did you think of this article? Did you already know all these possibilities of integration with PMS? Leave your comment and share this article with your colleagues on social media!
If you are looking for other software to optimize your hotel management, but already work with a PMS, have you ever thought about using a service platform to increase direct bookings and with a Booking Center?
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