If you run a hotel, you’ll probably come across the phrase ‘PMS’ when reading up on the latest innovations that are shaping the industry. And unless it’s properly explained, you might be confused about what this acronym means and which solutions it covers.
If you’re regularly asking “what is a hotel PMS and how can it benefit my business?” then strap in, as we’re about to tackle this topic in detail!
Back in the day, a property management system (PMS) for hotels was generally reliant on a mixture of physical documents and digital files. This complicated combination dealt with all the important elements of guest-wrangling, from taking bookings to billing and back-office bookkeeping.
As technology has evolved, the hotel PMS has grown to encompass even more features. This can include a range of services such as catering, building maintenance, sales, marketing and, of course, online booking.
From humble beginnings, PMS tech has blossomed into something truly indispensible, especially for larger hotels and national chains. But with the scalability of cloud computing, even independents, B&Bs and pubs with rooms can jump on the bandwagon.
It may feel like the perks of having a modern hotel PMS are most prevalent behind-the-scenes, but guests will definitely notice the difference thanks to some of the front-facing features.
A cloud-powered PMS can easily be integrated with a mobile app, for example. This lets you offer remote check in and check out, rather than relying on a member of staff being available whenever guests arrive or leave.
Meanwhile, cleaning staff can be kept up-to-date with room statuses via their own app, allowing them to prioritise rooms more effectively and improve their efficiency. Customers won’t be kept waiting, and they’ll always find the place spotless when they check in.
A PMS is also invaluable for storing guest data and using it to drive marketing strategies and promotional offers. Personal details can be kept in one place securely and in compliance with the GDPR regulations, so you can track and analyse trends while coming up with offers that are relevant to individual guests.
Modern guests also expect the services they’re offered by hotels to be personalised to their needs. If your hotel can achieve this, it stands a better chance of winning repeat bookings. And for independents, this is absolutely vital to remaining profitable.
There are a lot of things to think about before you go all-in with a new hotel PMS. And even in the age of cloud computing, there are still on-site systems available which aren’t tied to external servers, although these are fast becoming a legacy option for most hotels.
Wrapping up: how to make the right decision for your hotel
You need to pick a platform that fits your budget, as well as one that will help you overcome the challenges you face. And what is a PMS good for if not giving you the right tools to win over the next generation of guests?
A system that’s hosted in-house might have once been a good idea, but the cloud has the ability to cut IT costs, improve the number of services that are available and make your entire hotel more efficient.
This isn’t a decision one should rush, but as ‘digital natives’ and ‘millennials’ start to define the direction of the hospitality industry as a whole, you have to plan ahead to capture their attention and deliver the best guest experience possible.