Nowadays there are thousands of companies promising you the perfect PMS(Property Management Software) for your establishment, especially if that establishment is a hotel. Like choosing anything else that has to do with technology and payment, the decision of choosing the right PMS for you might be time consuming and frankly very stressful. All these companies offering the best “Turnkey Solution” for you, come with a lot of promises of uniqueness and perfect functionality, but how should you choose when all your options look like one of those Chinese menus with thousands of choices.
Before you start the all so complicated process of choosing let’s go back to the basics, and I will walk you through some of the problems and how to pick the right PMS.
What is a PMS?
Property Management System or PMS, is a software that gathers all the data from all operational departments such as management, f&b, accounting, and so on; as well as automating operations such as invoicing, reservation management, rooms assignment etc.; it uses all this information towards the management of the property.
It also provides other kind of important data such as ADR, RevPar, pickup and occupancy rate and all other information that helps your hotel to be ahead of the competition and profitable. The PMS is the core of your business as is directly integrated to all 3rd party solutions such as channel manager, booking engine, CRS, yield management software, POS and so on.
This is how the PMS system connects to many other operations in the hotel:
Here are some common problems hoteliers encounter with their PMS systems. Knowing these problems, means knowing how good is your PMS for your hotel at this moment.
This diagram from SnapShot will give you an idea of how integration in a hotel should work:
|Reporting: Can you output the reports you need to manage the hotel both operationally and financially||Owners, Accountant, Maintenance, Operations, Revenue|
|Design: Is the user interface intuitive for the staff, can you train them rapidly. If you hire temporary staff, will they be able to use the system without days or weeks of training?||Front Desk Team, Operations Team, Revenue Teams, Reservations Team, Management|
|Pricing: Is the pricing easy to understand? Are there hidden costs for integrations or features you will need? Get the lists of all additional costs that could be added to verify how transparent the pricing is and that you won’t have any surprises.||Provider|
|Support: Do you get enough support? While you can’t know how much you will need in advance, ensure that you have full coverage for the first 6 month at least. Can they fix problems remotely?||Provider, Other Clients|
|Local/Cloud: Is the system built as a cloud system or is it built to be on-premise? Verify if the systems were built natively that way and not adapted later on which can lead to complications later on.||Provider|
|Integrations: Verify the existing integrations and if they cover your current needs. But more importantly verify if the system is open to new integrations, at what cost and at what speed.||Provider, Other Clients, Other System Providers|
|Features: How frequently is the system being updated with new features. Do they actively bring in 3rd party tools? Is the system ready for future advances in hotel technology?||Other Clients, Other System Providers|
Choosing your PMS is a crucial decision for your property and it has to be taken very seriously as it will impact your performance in the long run and your costs.