The Benefits of Integrated Hotel Software
Being in the hospitality industry can be difficult enough in consideration of customer service, competition and maintenance. However, one of the largest challenges hoteliers face today is a lack of technology integration. Current software conditions do not communicate well with one another, giving the challenge the common reputation of being ‘islands of automation.’ This increases the amount of busy work for hotel management, which wastes resources and keeps hotel transactions running slow in a fast-paced industry. The way to go for hoteliers may thus be to invest in integrated hotel software.
Some of the biggest challenges hoteliers face involve hurdles with technology, most specifically talking about software integration. Michael J. O’Fallon and Denney G. Rutherford state in their book, Hotel Management and Operations, that revenue management and customer relations management is often left unconsidered, particularly in cases of smaller hotels. They argue that this is the biggest area of concern, as properly keeping track of things like consumer spending habits and hotel revenue can give hoteliers the tools needed to effectively invest in their business. Peter O. Connor states in his book, Using Computers in Hospitality, that without proper integrative software, information from separate programs must be entered manually in a comprehensive method, wasting time. He argues that revenue is also often times missed when items such as hotel phone service isn’t charged to the customer, per lag time in transferring information. Both books argue that integration is the way to go in the hospitality industry and aside from making logistics more efficient, there are other benefits that include marketing and sales tools when investing in an integrative software company.
The benefits of integrating a hospitality software program are countless. First and foremost, an integrated system eliminates the need to re-enter the same data across different systems. This saves time, but it also saves revenue, as the need to pay for that duty is eliminated. The property management system (PMS) serves countless purposes, as it handles all the information ranging from clients’ personal information to phone service usage. This translates into client information being more securely stored and more easily accessible, real-time. This also ensures the client is billed for all services as they are received, such as telephone charges, since they are posted to the PMS. Thus, all revenue is captured. With this, integrated systems are linked to the Global Distribution System (GDS), again, maximising profit potential. System integration can also provide tools for strategic pricing, by providing information about competitors.
There are a few options when considering an integrated system, although successful models are a fairly new commodity. NFS Technology Group is one of the leading companies in hospitality technology, and their hotel software, roomMaster – PMS, indefinitely merits highlighting. Along with GDS and telephone system integration, the software also handles reservations, sales ledgers, points of sale, offers commission-free internet booking, enables management to analyse competitor rates and also offers sales and marketing functionality. The sales and marketing tools make it easy to keep track of prospects, emails and target-market via email to increase business.
Companies on the fence about investing in an integrated hospitality software should be put at ease that a great-quality-software will make transitioning seamless. In any integrated system, the key is to look for a software that takes away the busy work and helps management focus on what’s important: servicing the customer.