Demand more from your PMS Provider, it’s the Beef of your Operations
Today’s guest demands more from hotel restaurants. They imagine succulent specials, premium beef, and they expect it to be supplied from Mr Smith down the road with his award-winning sustainability practices. Hoteliers are proud to ensure the guest’s expectations are met. The chefs have a passion for quality and use only the finest cuts of beef, it is cooked to absolute perfection and it has prime placement on the menu next to the Bord Bia ‘Made in Ireland’ stamp of approval.
Why is it that hoteliers put their beef supplier on a pedestal, not just taking into account the sourcing and quality of the beef that it serves, but also how to make the best environmentally responsible decisions and the impact its taste has on the customer experience. But, when it comes to their PMS, the system that runs the operations for the entire hotel, why do they expect less than the best and don’t demand the same level of expectations from their technology partner?
A recent (March 2021) survey by the Irish Hotels Federation examining satisfaction levels with Property Management Systems (PMS) showed 46% of respondents have considered alternative options to their current PMS providers with the vast majority (76%) of properties being with their current provider for over 3 years. With the challenges presented by Covid-19, now more than ever will be the time for hoteliers to review their hotel technology solutions to create an agile environment that sets a higher bar of technological excellence moving into the future. After all, a hotel PMS is the ‘beef’ of your operations.
Guestline, who are a global leader in hotel cloud-based property management systems, distribution and guest engagement technologies are encouraging today’s hoteliers to demand more from their PMS in a bid to make it work harder for the hotel, personnel and the guest: “Since Covid-19 hit, hoteliers have become more involved in their business than ever before. They have been on the floor supporting their teams, understanding their guest needs and are perhaps finding some of their processes and procedures heavy and time consuming. They are examining and dissecting front and back-office processes and are for the first time perhaps witnessing the frustrations that their staff have been dealing with for some time. They need to pull it apart, investigate new processes and procedures and explore evolved technology to help them make improvements. If their technology stack is outdated or simply does not meet their expectations, the cost of ignoring could be more critical to the long-term bottom line of the business. My one piece of advice would be for hoteliers to evaluate how their partners are supporting them, open their minds to adopting new technology and come to terms with how it can actually improve their overall business model through the entire customer journey. If they go and look at what they are currently spending on products that are frustrating them they can be clever and re-spend the money they’ve already got on a fully integrated platform where all the solutions works seamlessly together.” Clio O’Gara, Country Manager Ireland at Guestline added.
Gone are the days of unnecessary firefighting and manual uploading, there are tools and processes that can help relieve some frustrations and stresses whilst also boosting a hotel’s bottom line. For example, automation doesn’t remove the ‘personal’ if it is built properly, it’s faster, more efficient and by recording your guest’s history, can add simple birthday and anniversary touches, offer increased upselling opportunities and ensures the guest remains informed. There is also time and money savings to be had by introducing an integrated payment solution, such as Guestline’s GuestPay, that offers best value by processing all payments together in one place. The more processes a hotelier can leave in the capable hands of its PMS, the More Guest Time this brings.
Clio adds: “Hoteliers need to ask themselves questions such as ‘How easy is my direct booking processes?’, ‘How well are we handling our payment processes?’ etc. It’s about being smarter, more adaptable, choosing better and more effective integrations and core products that can really drive the business forward. Independent products can be somewhat redundant by themselves; they need the right integrations (CRM, Channel Manager, Tills etc) to really enhance the guest journey. A two-way integration to your PMS is imperative to ensure you are maximising the yield from each product. Hoteliers are very smart in understanding their beef margins and it’s time to apply that same mentality to their technology”.
The 18th century 4-star Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel in Killiney, Co. Dublin is an ideal venue and location for businesses and families. Having had problems with an old server-based system which was not very intuitive, they had time management issues accessing data, limited access to their systems when off site and required a PMS that was accessible, functional and intuitive. They required a PMS they could demand more of:
“We are delighted that we migrated to the cloud and implemented Guestline’s Property Management System. The remote access and automated processes are key in helping us deliver efficiencies and enhance the guest experience. Not only has it made us more productive, it has enabled our staff to be more guest facing and spend less time on the systems. It’s intuitive and easy to access all the data and reports remotely which allows me to make informed decisions with the enhanced business intelligence I now have access to, from wherever I am, be it at home, off site or at the hotel. We’ve also got peace of mind that our systems are safe and secure.” Mark Scott-Lennon, Director & General Manager of Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Dublin said.
Over the years, PMS systems have become much more advanced with cloud offerings, open API’s, and the ability to transform the guest experience. In addition, hoteliers are learning to become more demanding of their providers and are now privileged with the option of being able to select the perfect combination of software functionality that complements the property’s specific needs, which is fully integrated and provides value for money. Guestline has a helpful checklist to assist in reviewing your hotel technology solutions. From implementing a technology strategy and the impacted cost of ignoring, to the affordability of acquiring a new system and a guide to getting your strategy to the boardroom and over the decision line. As the future becomes more technologically advanced, now more than ever it is time to research, instil change, embrace it, and invest in it.