If you ask a hotelier, hotel management is not one single task or one process but many tied together under one umbrella. Hence, it isn’t easy to master hotel management because it comes with such a range of roles and responsibilities; for a hotel manager, being able to adapt, meet challenges, and place yourself on a scale of personal growth is paramount.
He/She must keep up with the continual barrage of new strategies, traveler preferences, or industry technologies. The hotel industry is also constantly creating new roles within hotels that affect the way one manages the business so it pays to have your finger on the pulse.
With so much going on, hotels, resorts or similar properties canbenefit tremendously, by adopting from a variety of hotel management software that streamline processes. Software applications can make almost everything more efficient, from automating distribution tasks, to generating financial reports in an instant.
Examples of this software include property management systems (PMS), revenue management systems (RMS), rate shopper software, reputation management software and channel managers. These solutions are popular within the hotel and hospitality industry, allowing tasks that previously needed to be carried out manually on paper to be performed digitally – typically with some degree of automation.
What is Hotel Management Software?
A hotel management system is a set of hotel software solutions that keep operations flowing. There are accounting packages, customer relationship management (CRM) packages, and a dizzying array of industry-specific software.
On-Premise Hotel Solution
In the past, hotel management system software was limited to an on-premises solution. You would pay for a piece of software that would be installed onto computers at your physical location unless you were on the premises itself, it would be impossible to use the program.
On the plus side, on-premises hotel software has been around for a long time, so its features and functionality have been refined over many years as a direct reflection of the needs of the hospital industry. This often results in an organic patchwork of features that are more complex to use – especially for staff members who are not familiar with a particular piece of software.
Hotel Management System Projects
Hotel Management System projects are web-based applications that allow the hotel manager to handle all hotel activities online. It becomes very flexible and convenient as it has an interactive GUI and the ability to manage various hotel bookings and rooms simultaneously. Hotel managers are always on the go, and will not have the time to sit and manage entire hotel activities and procedures manually on paper. This application gives the ability and elasticity of managing the entire network of operations from a single online system. Hotel management project provides room booking, staff management and other necessary hotel management features.
It allows the manager to post available rooms which the online customers can view and book rooms. Admin maintains the right of either approving or disapproving the customer’s booking request. Other hotel services can also be viewed and booked by customers. The system is useful for both customers and managers to remotely manage the hotel activities.
Cloud Software Solution
Hotel cloud solutions make it possible to access and manage your software from anywhere, as long as you have internet access. Cloud-based hotel solutions have sleek and user-friendly interfaces that facilitate staff focus on the guest, rather than struggling with overbearingly complex, and sometimes redundant, software. As the industry evolves and hotels increasingly turn to cloud-based hotel software, developers are continually upgrading it and adding better functionality.
Cloud-based hotel management system solutions help you access your system, in its full capacity, from anywhere in the world that you have access to a web browser. Because the software is located in the cloud, you’ll always have the latest version of it without any input from your IT department. The latest versions available help you stay compliant with changing local laws and compliance requirements.
Key Features and Functionality of Hotel Management Software
So how exactly do how hotel management systems help to make your operation run more smoothly? Here are some ways in which the software will help your business.
Hotel management software can often be extended beyond these core features and tailored to the needs of your business by add-on applications with the common interface.
Must-have hotel management system software features:
Processing reservations via any channel.
Check-in and check-out guests.
Managing guest booking details and guest profiles.
Managing inventory, rates, and availability.
Organizing housekeeping tasks and schedule.
Processing transactions such as payments, deposits, and refunds.
Owning guest communications
Managing property maintenance
Generating business performance reports
Handling front office accounting
Types of Hotel Management Systems Software
Hotel Web Booking Engine Software
Your hotel booking engine is often, the first exposure future guests have of your hotel. It is your hotel’s welcome wagon and should always be a pleasant experience. A fully featured hotel booking engine software gives customers the power to choose options they most want in an easy to use and intuitive format. This also allows you upsell opportunities for subsidiary items. This is where having a complete hotel hospitality management system comes in handy.
By leveraging all of the data across your entire system, you showcase tastefully and strikingly for your guest the complete array of your offerings. When all of the guest sojourn data is collected and available in one place, algorithms will be able to help you identify ways to appeal to different guest-segments and vastly improve the ROI from your hotel booking system.
Hotel Front Desk System
Your hotel front desk is the brains of the operation: if a guest needs information and has questions about any aspect of your hotel, they will always revert to the front desk for answers. So having a hotel front desk system that ties in with all of your other systems is crucial to an efficient workflow.
It eases work flow, as your staff will be able to quickly access everything from one location, and will not have to call different departments or switch between different software programs to get answers for guests and help them achieve with whatever they required. One software handles everything: from booking an appointment at the spa or be reminded their room number.
Hotel Housekeeping Solution
Keeping track of housekeeping duties for a large number of rooms to keep track of, is daunting to say the least, and is also a perfect reason to move to digital management. It becomes so much easier for housekeeping staff to quickly turn over rooms and ensure that they are up mark, and is also vital to your operation.
A good hotel management system centralizes all work processes by keeping detailed track of all the work that needs to be done. Once tasks are defined and organized, the software can help assign housekeepers to a given project, automatically notify them when there is work to be done, and allow them to instantly update the system once it is.
Hotel Channel Management System
You cannot have a single sales channel, or rely solely on walk-ins. Between popular booking websites and travel agencies, there will be a lot of different channels that you will need to manage. If your room inventory doesn’t stay in sync between all of your sales channels, you could end up overbooking, and cause issues for your own work. The opposite will occur if your sales channels aren’t promptly notified when a room becomes available. Having all of your sales channels in one location gives your staff access to reservations all at once.
Hotel Billing and Invoicing Software
Your reservations from various sales channels will need to be connected to a unified billing and invoicing system. New guests arrivals may want a drink at the hotel bar or order food from room service. All of these different revenue sources and additional charges need to be tracked and managed efficiently.
With hotel management software you’ll be able to see where every dollar originated, create an invoice for the customer to reflect those charges, and provide them with convenient ways to pay those bills. Your billing and invoicing software will be directly connected to the POS systems used by staff around your hotel.
Hotel Reporting and Analytics Solutions
In the age of big data, analytics provide actionable insights into your day to day operation that no human would have ever picked up on. They need sufficient data to do so, however.
If your systems are spread out over several software platforms, and from multiple vendors, your hotel reporting and analytics solutions package will not have a complete picture of your business. You could have multiple applications with unsynched duplicate data. Hotel management software eliminates these data silos that result in an incomplete picture of your business and helps you avoid missing key patterns due to a lack of robust data.
Hotel Management Software – Features and Functionalities
Know that all the features and functionalities of a HMS system must cohesively work and be integrated with the main hotel property management system. In a typically functioning hotel, resort or similar establishment, the front office receptionist will need to check a guest out, through the billing and invoicing feature, which must be legally compliant in the county of operation.
Once the guest has been checked out, the HMS should indicate to housekeeping that the room is ready to be cleaned and once cleaned the HMS must make the room available for sale again.
The booking engine, should now make the room available across all channels. If a guest books the room, it should immediately become unavailable for further booking by the HMS.
It is important for any hotel managements system to work cohesively and be integrated with hotel property management systems. In a typically functioning hotel, the front office receptionist will need to check a guest out, this requires the billing and invoicing feature.
The billing feature should furthermore be legally compliant in the county of operation. Once the guest has been checked out by the front office receptionist, the HMS needs to indicate to housekeeping that the room is ready to be cleaned.
Next the HMS must make the room available for sale again. The booking engine should take over here, making the room available across all channels. The guest then books the room, and he HMS makes the room unavailable for further booking, again.
Let’s take a real life example as a guest arrives at the hotel and is checked in by the receptionist. Ideally, the HMS will have a currency exchange function that allows guests to exchange money from their currency to the local currency – usually this requires a copy of a passport or travel document, which can also be made with the passport scanning software which any modern HMS will have. The hotel billing and invoicing system allows charges to be made by the various departments within the hotel such as the restaurant, spa and any other additional rate-excluded charges.
Room charges and other rates, such as bed and breakfast charges are automatically posted by the hotel HMS when the night audit runs. The room is then flagged as dirty for housekeeping to clean the room. This cycle is repeated until the guest checks out and then the whole HMS cycle is complete.
Structure Chart for Hotel Management Systems
The Importance of Hotel Management Systems
Deciding what is important for your business and what is not in terms of investment is crucial. If you are looking at hotel management systems but are hesitant as a first-time user or are unaccustomed to using technology in general, here are some facts to put your mind at ease.
Cloud-based systems are foolproof
The best hotel applications like Appedology bespoke solutions are all cloud-based systems – they operate online. The ‘cloud’ allows huge amounts of data to be shared between different systems and housed in one secure location, and it can be accessed remotely.
This is vastly superior to a server based system, which requires a central computer system to house and process data.
All you need is an internet connection and you never have to be tied to one location, office or computer to operate your software. This means you can manage your back end wherever and whenever you like. You could be in transit, between meetings or even on a hike, and as long as you have a laptop, mobile device or smartphone, you can processing reservations or update inventory.
All-in-one systems make processes easier
HMS bespoke solutions created by Appedology are more than just a management system; it’s also a booking engine, channel manager, website builder and payments solution. There’s no lack of features to add in as a functionality.
Small businesses make better progress with everything under a single operating system. With an integrated platform, you have everything you need to run your business successfully online.
These additional products can make life easy for an establishment of any size:
Booking engine is a reservation system, it is your online booking engine that will accept bookings from direct channels such as your own website and social media pages like Facebook, allowing you to take commission free bookings from travelers or groups on social media and other platforms who are most likely to visit.
A channel manager allows you to rent out rooms on as many travel agency platforms as you like. A pooled inventory model means rates and availability are updated automatically across all channels whenever a booking is made or when you make a change. You’ll no longer need to split inventory between channels.
The Website builder helps you to create a search engine optimized, guest converting website in minutes. Simply add your content to a choice of a number of available templates.
Payments solutions connects seamlessly with your management system so you can process payments, deposits and refunds without having to wrestle with a clunky terminal or constantly look for or record guest details.
A system that works in real-time – works quicker than you can: The painstaking tasks of recording and updating guest details, correcting clerical errors, updating information in booking channel extranets, and sending emails is shortened, freeing you up to other business decisions.
Need forComputerization of Hotel Management Systems
Computerization in hotels is no longer a luxury adopted by five-stars and Michelins, but a basic necessity. All the star category hotels are definitely computerized but so are many smaller ones nowadays.
Choose a software which connects all the departments so that it becomes easily accessible in preparing bills for food and beverage outlets, maintains standard recipes in food production department, holds Store Inventory information, tracks KOT in restaurants, and prevents miscommunication among employees.
Your system will convey new reservation information everywhere it needs to go, with accompanying updates being made instantly, automating actions to save you not just time but money.
So contact us for all your HMS needs, we will tailor a system to work perfectly for your business.