Answers to the Top Questions About Switching Hotel Property Management Systems

By Todd Davis Chief Executive Officer, SkyTouch Technology | December 31, 2017

You rely on your property management system (PMS) to help you run your hotel. It is the central nervous system of your property. Most of your hotel's technology runs through your PMS; more reason to have a modern system at your front desk. In fact, many hotels have migrated off premise-based systems for a cloud-based PMS for that very reason. Still, there is a tremendous opportunity to move more properties to the cloud. Nevertheless, there are important questions to ask before making the switch from a premise-based system or from another cloud-based PMS. Here are answers to some of the top questions hoteliers ask before making the switch.

Is it Accessible From a Mobile Device?

Selecting a solution that is cloud-based and is mobile-ready will pay many dividends. Your guest service will improve, staff will be more efficient and you will save on not having to purchase expensive hardware.

Today's top solutions can be operated using a tablet or even a smart phone. This will present the hotel with needed flexibility. For example, you could leave the front desk to greet guests and check them in anywhere in the lobby. Or a housekeeper can view the list of rooms assigned to him or her by logging in to their smartphone, updating the room status or add work orders without having to call the front desk.

For many hotel owners and managers having the ability to log in from anywhere and see how the hotel is doing at any given moment is a powerful feature. Add to that the ability to make rate changes on the go, and you are now adding dollars to the bottom line.

How Easy is it to Use?

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Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.