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Top Three PMS Features

Technology plays an essential role in hotel operations, profitability, and revenue generation. Selecting the right property management system (PMS) can mean the difference between an efficient staff, good revenue, and a consistent flow of reservations, and an under-performing hotel. Here are the three most important things to consider as you select a new PMS or upgrade your existing system. 
Guest Centric PMS Focus: It is essential that a PMS have functionality that supports a guest-centric focus. Guests are the reason hotels are in business. They generate the revenue that drives the entire operation. Guests are buying an experience at your property and they expect personal attention and recognition. A PMS with a robust, easy-to-use guest history or CRM (customer relationship management) system database at its heart enables operators to deliver personalized attention that results in revenue and guest loyalty. 
Personalized attention is an area where independent operators frequently surpass chain properties and attract a loyal following. Meyer Jabara Hotels operates 25 properties, some of them independents. While most franchisors mandate the PMS for flagged properties, Meyer Jabara uses the Maestro PMS from Northwind to deliver the guest-centric functionality for its independent hotels.  
Integrated Revenue Management: Revenue is the life blood of hotel operations. To intelligently optimize rates and maximize revenue, a property must have a PMS with an effective, integrated revenue management (RM) system. Every major chain provides its own RM system, and all are different. Meyer Jabara operates hotels with several different flags and it has found the most important aspects of a revenue management system are its ability to quickly change booking criteria like rates, length of stay, and apply restrictions that keep ADR as high as possible. The key to a RM system’s effectiveness is speed. The faster a property staff can update rates and booking criteria to respond to promotional and market factors the more successful it will be. Choosing a PMS with a solid, integrated revenue management system is important because of the potential daily revenue involved.
Establishing a property’s optimum rate is a complex process that factors together comp-set strategy, property promotions, day of week and seasonal variables, local market events, and many other metrics. Since the PMS provides the revenue management module with a great deal of data including availability and current pricing, the two systems must be fully integrated. If they are not integrated, staff must take time away from serving guests to enter updated data into the system. When revenue management is integrated with the PMS, all reservation channels receive the appropriate optimized prices in real time and the property’s rates are standardized whether they are accessed online or at the call center.   
The Ability to Connect to Online Sales Channels: In today’s online marketplace it is also crucial that a PMS drive sales through two-way communication with a wide variety of Internet channels. Online channels are the fastest growing source of reservations, and getting your property’s optimized rates and accurate availability to the most effective of those channels is essential. To accomplish this, Meyer Jabara Hotels uses Northwind’s ResWave at its independent properties and several third-party providers at its flagged hotels. To make the best use of online channels like Expedia, a system will enable the property to instantly change rates to adapt to demand and promotions. 
The Internet is leveling the playing field for many operators. Today, a 30-room independent has the potential to have as successful a web presence as the largest flagged hotels. Properties whose PMS has two-way communication with the web will be able to push optimized rates out to dozens of websites to generate revenue from local events or other market factors and always be confident of accurate availability so their property is not in danger of being oversold.
2011 Property Management System Innovations
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