When a hotel shops for a new PMS there is typically a single trigger that starts the process. It might be a simple as the hotel being brand new. Or it might be that the current PMS provider is failing the hotel in terms of service or cost. Or it could be a matter of the hotelier wanting to be more competitive in the marketplace and so is looking to innovate.
But regardless of what gets you to shopping mode, there are two big areas of consideration when making your PMS decision – efficiency and flexibility.
Efficiency. Your new PMS needs to help you operate better. It is the core purpose of the system. Yes, it needs to be able to manage room availability, check people in and out, post charges to bills, make reservations, handle groups and accounts and produce performance reporting. But those are merely the check boxes. The question is, how is the new PMS going to do these functions better? One important and often overlooked area is usability and software design. Bad design will cost you time and money. Historically, big PMS software is notoriously complex and requires lots of user training. This training is not free. It costs you and your employees time, and the PMS company will charge you for the days of training.
To make matters worse, poor software design often ends up requiring a staff member to click through a huge amount of screens just to handle simple processes like checking a guest in. That creates decay on the guest experience. No one like standing at the front desk watching someone staring down at a computer screen, especially when it is keeping the guest from getting to his or her room. Good business software design is like consumer software design. No one is training you to use your iPhone. It is designed to be usable by anyone. Just pick it up and use it. Consumer-grade interface design reduces training time and costs – and also user mistakes. And good design also means that the simple everyday processes have been optimized to reduce ‘clicks’ and get through the process quickly.