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Modern PMS Features That Can Help Properties Overcome Common PMS Pain Points

Apr 27, 2022

A property management system (PMS) serves as the brain of a hotel operation, and it must be able to seamlessly communicate with the other systems efficiently run a hotel property. Today's hotels are finding their current PMS pain points stem from labor shortages and the challenge of providing a positive customer experience despite these issues.

They are implementing PMSs with features that provide the automation of manual processes and mobile solutions for both staff and guests. These features are helping dramatically with the challenges associated with these pain points and are allowing hotels to free up staff to focus on guest service, and better manage inventory and staff scheduling. Hotels must find ways to do more with less, and a feature like automation is one place they can start.

Automation

Reducing manual processes improves staff productivity and frees up more time to focus on guest service. Allowing guests to book all activities online through an online booking engine integrated with the PMS and other property modules (golf, spa, dinner reservations, or other services) relieves staff of making the bookings. The guest is then automatically notified with a confirmation email that includes a single itinerary. Based on the advanced information properties receive on room and activity bookings a property can then plan staffing and inventory needs in advance.

Service solutions that integrate with the PMS help relieve workloads for housekeeping and maintenance staff. An integrated service solution can notify staff of maintenance requests/repairs and automatically update the status of that request once completed.   Housekeeping can receive a notification when it is time to turnover a guest room then alert the front desk when it is ready for the next guest.

Automated room distribution features can optimize room and floor usage, accommodating as many guests as possible with no room moves required. Processes like night audit and reporting can also be automated to help alleviate staffing shortages in the back office and free up team members for other needs.

Guest Mobility

While contactless options were initially fueled by health and safety concerns, guests have now come to expect them. People are used to ordering meal delivery or rides through an app on their phones. Allowing them to order spa or golf services, food and beverage (F&B), or make restaurant reservations on their mobile device, is now second nature and a convenience they have come to expect. Additionally, through contactless payments, they can scan a QR code on their check with their phone, pay at the table without their card ever leaving their hand, and complete the transaction wherever they are on property. They have the option to bypass the front desk through mobile check-in and ID verification, access a mobile key, and trigger automatic checkout upon departure. Additionally, guests can make service requests via the hotel's app or a two-way chat option. These features allow the guest the freedom of requesting services wherever they want to be on property, without waiting in lines and without needing additional help from a staff member.

Staff Mobility

While software training in the past ranged from four to six weeks, today's employees can be onboarded in less than a day for many of these solutions. Staff can perform tasks from various areas across the property through their mobile devices. Through mobile point-of-sale solutions with drop and shock resistant tablets that offer long battery life, staff members can reach the guests at many areas of the property and send their F&B orders directly to the kitchen. They aren't limited to fixed terminals, and orders are more accurate, speed of service improves, and fewer employees are needed to tend to guests. Maintenance and housekeeping team members are automatically notified of task requests and room assignments through their mobile devices, and management can access real-time reports for all property operations.

Improving Overall Operational Efficiency

The common denominator of all these features is that staff productivity improves dramatically and service levels are elevated as a result. Properties need to take advantage of the features that a modern, intuitive PMS offers. While guests have the option of booking services when reserving their room, properties have the opportunity to upsell additional services and capture more of the guest's spend. They can better predict inventory and staffing needs, and provide personalized guest service.

There are solutions available today that complement a property's PMS and take pressure off the front desk, involve much quicker onboarding than ever before, and free up more time for staff to focus on their guests. By adding automation and mobility to a property's tool kit, hoteliers can maximize productivity, and provide guests with the experience they expect and the service levels they demand.

Features That Alleviate PMS Pain Points

- Online booking tools that allow the guest to prebook activities

- Single guest itinerary for the customer, full view of the guest for staff

- Mobile check-in, mobile keys and automated checkout to take pressure off the front desk

- Contactless payment solutions

- Automated room distribution

- Automated housekeeping and maintenance task management

- Quicker employee onboarding

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