Hospitality industry leads the technological development for the improvement of operational processes. The implementation of new technological solutions is strategic from a business point of view and it may promote and improve several aspects of your hotel’s operation.
«This is not a bad decision – as long as the different technological systems such as PMS, channel manager and booking engine, CRM, price shopper or rate comparator, etc. – all have the possibility of integrating with each other.«
But it is very important to bear in mind that, in order to maximize the benefits of this technology, all systems should preferably work together; that is, integrated. The latter is a decisive factor for the operation so it must be analyzed when selecting new technological tools and although having a single provider for all these tools can be considered the best option, it is very frequent that hotels or lodges use more than one provider. This is not a bad decision – as long as the different technological systems such as PMS, channel manager and booking engine, CRM, price shopper or rate comparator, etc. – all have the possibility of integrating with each other. If one of them does not have this flexibility it may fractur the entire process, increasing the operational load and finally having a negative impact over the guest’s experience.
For those hoteliers who are starting with the implementation of these systems, one of the greatest benefits is the automatic transfer of customer’s information which adds efficiency as it increases staff’s productivity: they do not require to manually type in this information running the risk of making mistakes during the process. For example, having a channel manager, a booking engine, a POS, a reputation management system and a PMS greatly improves guest data transfer thus increasing efficiency and ultimately having a positive impact over the guest’s experience. This will also have an impact on property income over time as satisfied customers attract more customers.
«a Booking Engine on the hotel’s website – connected to Metasearch such as Tripadvisor, Trivago and Google Hotel Ads – integrated with the channel manager and the PMS, makes the flow of direct reservations more efficient.«
Benefits go far beyond just improving the transfer of guest data. The PMS or property management system is at the core of this integration and any interface with other systems – such as a channel manager – allows the hotel to automatically download incoming reservations from any online channel connected to this channel manager. It also allows hotels to modify rates and availability in real time and from a single platform which also generates an increase in productivity. Another key integration is a «Point of Sale» system or POS since it automatically charges of all the consumptions made by a guest during his stay. Last but not lease, a Booking Engine on the hotel’s website – connected to Metasearch such as Tripadvisor, Trivago and Google Hotel Ads – integrated with the channel manager and the PMS, makes the flow of direct reservations more efficient. A Booking Engine combined with a good business strategy may turn the hotel’s website into one of the most profitable channels at a minimal cost, compared to other channels.
Before choosing a technological solutions and far from just considering price, hotels should consider the system’s integration and adaptability possibilities as this can make a difference during the implementation and later during the operative process.
Being connected in real time is essential in order to distribute the hotel’s inventory strategically and efficiently. But some hoteliers may ask themselves a series of questions:
What happens now that I am already connected to the world? Do I need to hire resources with more knowledge to control these new tools? Will I end up having higher expenses?
We made these questions to Cinthia Gawianski CEO of CM Reservas – a well-known company that distributes hotel technology solutions in the USA and Latin America – who believes that a decade ago the answer would have been yes to all those questions. But today, without a doubt the answer is different. Having integrated systems such as channel manager, booking engine and PMS the hotel can train some of its current staff to efficiently control these systems. In some cases providers offers staff training services as an additional benefit with no additional cost. In some other cases, the set up and training process and the later technical support are included in the fee. She also believes that the costs of these new tools will be recovered over time through increased productivity, competitiveness and the inherent increase in sales.
No need to fear when investing in new technology for your hotel but be careful when selecting your provider. Verify that these new systems or tools have the possibility of integrating with those that you currently use.
Select companies with technical support, which may provide not only a solution for the current moment but have adequate and efficient technical support in your own language.