This is a guest blog by our integration partner SabeeApp. For more information about SabeeApp visit https://www.sabeeapp.com/
In the hospitality business, we all rely on a hotel PMS to assist with day-to-day operations. However, when they sometimes stop improving, systems need to be updated. The product that once was a great help has now turned into the anchor that drags you down. It may be time to find a better hotel PMS and upgrade your hotel technology. When that time comes, there are certain factors you’ll want to consider.
Things to consider when changing hotel property management systems:
- How much does it cost to change? It’s important to remember that “new” doesn’t always mean “more expensive.” With a modern, cloud-based PMS, there are several advantages regarding pricing. Typically, these systems charge monthly, meaning you won’t have to pay upfront for a year or commit to a long-term contract. Additionally, cloud-based solutions are more affordable since you won’t need to pay separately for installation, updates, or backups.
- When is the best time to change? It is no secret that change of the systems will require time from you and your staff, not only with training but with the whole preparation process. Choosing the best time for switching systems is essential, typically during the off-season when fewer guests are at the hotel. Additionally, ensure that employees using the new system are available for training and not on vacation during the installation.
- Do you have technical knowledge? Don’t worry. It is okay if you’re not a computer geek. Most cloud-based systems are very user-friendly and easy to learn. Plus, with cloud systems, full technical support is maintained by the system provider. All you have to know is just basic system features that you use in daily operations.
- What kind of integrations does the new system have? Most cloud-based systems are flexible or already have integration with other solutions like accounting software, restaurant POS systems, automated pricing tools like RoomPriceGenie etc… With the ability to connect various other systems and services to your cloud-based hotel software, you can make your business more efficient, profitable, and successful.
- Is your data going to be safe? The answer should always be yes.
With the help of these questions, you can begin your search for a new hotel PMS. You may be overwhelmed by the number of choices you will get after entering ‘Hotel Management System’ in the browser. So how do you make the right decision with so many different systems available?
First, you must know your business and what you expect from the system. Some hotel property management systems that you will find will be designed for slightly different accommodation providers. While every hotel’s needs are unique, you can generally prioritise requirements by dividing them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”.
- Inventory management works in real-time to track the availability and status of rooms, not only internally but also connected to OTAs and third-party applications.
- The hotel software is easy-to-use, cloud-based, and allows staff to modify reservations quickly. It is also designed to be easily understood by new users.
- The Booking Engine enables guests to make direct reservations, which helps save on commission costs that would otherwise go to third parties.
- Analytics and reporting provide clear feedback on business trends and revenue performance.
- Personalised support in your language, a contact number to reach them, plus an emergency out-of-hours contact available.
- It’s advantageous to have a new hotel property management system that meets all (local) requirements for every aspect of your business.
- A suite of additional products to enhance the guest experience, such as the ability to instantly book spa treatments or get advice on things to do in the area.
- If your business includes accommodation and a small restaurant, consider a solution that integrates with a POS system.
- Guest check-in and check-out can be accomplished using contactless features on their smart devices.
How to plan a smooth transition?
Planning a smooth transition to a new hotel PMS requires careful consideration of several vital factors. Once you have identified your property’s needs and selected potential property management systems, it is recommended to conduct a “stress test” by taking advantage of free trial periods offered by many PMS providers. Only when you are confident that a system fits your requirements should you purchase or subscribe to it.
There are several vital points to consider when changing your hotel PMS to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
- To ensure a seamless transition, it is crucial to have a plan and choose the right timing. Avoid periods of high business activity or when key personnel are on vacation.
- Ensure that everyone interacting with the new system is onboarded and trained thoroughly. Utilise training modules provided by the software vendor and take advantage of any additional training experts offer.
- Before going live, ensure the system is completely configured and all data, including hotel name, rooms, and rates, is inputted during the initial training sessions with the provider’s help.
- Finally, set a deadline for the new system to run, allowing sufficient time for any unexpected issues.
To sum up
In conclusion, though it is challenging, switching to a new property management system can have significant advantages for your hotel business. Assess your current system’s shortcomings, research other providers, and prioritise critical features such as integrations to other systems, mobile accessibility, and support services.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to transition to a new cloud-based hotel PMS successfully, be sure to download SabeeApp’s free ebook or visit their website for additional tips and insights.
The RoomPriceGenie Take
In the past, switching a property management system used to be compared with open heart surgery – necessary but always risky. Luckily, with modern cloud technology, the process has become much easier and less risky.
Proper planning and preparation will make the process even smoother. Defining your property’s needs is crucial so you can select the right system that will suffice your needs now and in the future. This checklist and tips give you insight into topics to remember when planning a switch.