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Magnolia Hotels' Revenue Blossoms under Cloud-Based PMS

It seems like every hotel company today promises excellent customer service, but travelers know that real customer service means attentive hotel staff who understand each guest's personalized wants and needs. True customization is what sets excellent hotels apart from those that merely claim excellence. Denver-based Magnolia Hotels understands that the best way for a small chain to stand out from the crowd is to offer an exceptional level of guest attentiveness, the kind that can only be delivered by knowing those small but critical details about the guests that show the hotel genuinely cares about them, like their birthdays, their children's names or their professions.

Two years ago, Magnolia began searching for a hotel property management system built with an industry-leading guest history database platform and which was PCI-compliant. It needed to be accessible by staff at any hotel in the portfolio and easily updatable in real-time.

The five properties in the Magnolia Hotels system have been running Hotel Concepts' IDPMS product suite since July 2008, and the ROI in that time has been substantial, says Jeff Parker, Magnolia's vice president of information technology. Since IDPMS is one of the first hotel property management systems to achieve PCI compliance, Magnolia has peace of mind that its private data and that of its customers is secure. In a more tangible sense, IDPMS has helped Magnolia steer clear of the pricey fees and fines -- not to mention the negative press -- that plague users of less secure technologies.

IDPMS empowers hotel groups like Magnolia to share a single central database, allowing guest and company profiles to be accessed and updated in real time from any hotel, or even off-property, by authorized users. "The single-database format of IDPMS is just terrific," Parker says. "Not only can it facilitate better attention to a guest's needs, it can also increase revenues through analysis of booking channels and by leveraging profiles to promote specials."

Centralized data

IDPMS' central guest database has helped drive many thousands of dollars of additional revenue to Magnolia Hotels. "Without a central guest database, it would be very difficult to send discounted rate offers to only guests that have not already booked a reservation; IDPMS helps ensure that we're not sending special offers out to a guest who has already booked a higher rate," Parker says.

More than any other property management system he has encountered in his long career, Parker considers IDPMS is the easiest platform from which to bring new hotels online, due in large part to its comprehensive yet intuitive database backend. "It's an extremely easy system to write reports for and glean data out of, not to mention the simple process of adding new hotels to the system," Parker says.

PMS Peer Review
In effect, Parker says, IDPMS enabled Magnolia to build its own "cloud" computing platform, putting proprietary guest information in the hands of Magnolia hotels throughout the country. "Everything is on one system and in one place. It's been really great for that," Parker says. "Most systems require each hotel to use their own database. The ability to use a single database greatly facilitates the entire reservations process; having experienced the single-database model, I can't imagine going back to a PMS system that requires a multi-database situation."
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