Property Management System (PMS) –
Computer systems that mange a
*A hotel PMS manages a guest’s check-in
and check-out cash transactions at the
front desk, outlet / ancillary transactions,
reservations, housekeeping, night audit,
and other tasks.
*PMS’s by nature differ greatly. Due to the wide
variety of hotels currently in the market place,
PMS’s have evolved to meet the differing array of
Factors that influence the type of PMS:
Conduct a needs analysis
Need Analysis - Is a process where hotel
senior managers determine the
required scope of
their PMS needs. The
documents are exactly what
particular hotel will require from its PMS.
Factors such as hotel size, product type, location
and target market affect this analysis.
The appropriate software should be secured
PMS Software- Is a computer program designed on
a particular programming platform. There are
several PMS’s on the market currently that
operate on different software platforms.
• Older PC systems are MS-DOS based
• Newer PC systems use a Microsoft Windows™
• Other software platforms are available in Linux
• Still others are written specifically for Apple
*The functionality of the software platform is
important when selecting the PMS
Questions the decision makers should ask
-“How easy is the system to learn?”
-“Does it do everything I need it to?”
Consider the requisite hardware needs
Hardware – Is understood to be the actual
machine the software runs on. The software
dictates the hardware needs. The
software will require specific
capability of its hardware.
PMS Workstation - the areas where an employee
or manager can access the PMS. The end users
chosen configuration are the hotel
managers. Each PMS
workstation will include
software, hard ware
and computer monitor.
Consider the aesthetic impact of the hardware
* PMS workstation will need to be placed in many
areas of the hotel. The workstations are most often
located in front office (at the front desk; behind the
front desk; in reservation, PBX, and accounting).
However additional workstations are generally
needed at the bell stand, concierge desk, in
housekeeping, and at various outlets throughout
* A PMS network also referred to as LAN (Local Area
Network) allows each station to communicate with the
other. This communication is vital, as hotels must know
the status of their facility in real time. That is, every PMS
station will know the status of every room and every
The PMS station will show a room as checked out as soon
as the front desk employee completes the transaction.
The house keeping department will instantly realize that
they have another room to clean. Once the room is
cleaned, the front desk will immediately determine that
they have another room to sell. The efficiencies created
by PMS networks are very valuable in maximizing
*PMS’s are more than communication tools. They can
also be thought of as extensive databases. They store
guest information and preferences. This information is
valuable because it enables a hotel to target its
marketing effort. PMS’s capture demographic and other
information on each guest. Direct mail, newspaper, and
other forms of advertising media are much more
effective when targeted to a specific demographic or
Most PMS’s are organized based on a series of
menus. Within the PMS, the guest account tracks
all the data that pertains to an individual guest.
The guest account contains two separate menus
The guest registration menu – contains all the
pertinent information garnered from the initial
reservation during the stay (i.e., name, arrival,
room preferences, method of payment, and other
The guest accounting menu – will be used to
track all credit/ debit transactions related to the
Guest Registration Menu
* Each PMS will contain this information in some format.
Though the order and verbiage may differ, the
following list the information contained within the
Name of individual's account
Date of checkout
Address of guest
Phone of guest
This field is unique inm that it lists different information on one line. A guest's
reservation status will indicate two things: (1) Prioir to check-in, it will indicate
what type of reservations was made; (2) After check-in, it will list the status of
the guest's stay. Prioir to check-in the reservation status line will list a (G) for a
guaranteed reservation or a number (4 or 6) which would indicate a non-guaranteed
reservation (i.e., 4 or 6 P.M. hold). Once the guest has checked-in, the reservations
line may indicate (I), which means they are in-house. An (O) would indicate they
cheaked out. (D) would indicate a deleted reservation, which might happen if the
guest cancels the reservation, or there was an obvious error in the reservation
itself (i.e., duplicate reservation).
Method of Payment:
Guest Loyalty #:
Frequent Flier #:
Actual room assigned
Lists the room type, configuration, and designation
Actual rate paid
Lists the curremnt room status of the room reserved (i.e., V/R, O/D)
Cash, check, credit, or direct billing
EPO (Each Pays Pwn), SRT(Sign Room and Tax), SAC (Sign All Charges). Note, some
PMS's may combine billing method and mnethod of payment on the same line like
this: CA/EPO (Cash/ Each Pays Own) or CC/SRT (Credit Card/Sign Room and Tax),etc.
Frequent stay program number
Airline incentive partnership
Early/late check-in or checkout request for an update, etc.
This field s generally a " free form" field that lets front desk personnel communicate
to one another regarding a specific guest. This field may be used to notify the front
desk that the guest ha s mesage waiting, or that a credit card has expired.
The market code is used to track the accuracy of the guest room rate.
* The guest accounting menu will contain a limited amount of
information relating to the guest’s reservation. Its primary
purpose is to document every financial transaction relating
to the guest. Each time a charge is posted, a credit issued, or
a payment made, it will be reflected in this display.
Name of individual's account
Date of check - in
Date of Checkout
Actual room assigned
Cash, check, credit, or direct billing
Lists the current room status of the room reserved (i.e., V/R,
Reservation Status: O/D)
*The remainder of the accounting menu summarizes the
financial transaction of the guest. Each transaction is
issued a line number so that the record is easy to
follow. The date of the transaction is also recorded. A
reference space is usually provided as a free- form cell
for any additional information needed to a document
* For the front desk, the PMS is used continuously to
check guest in and out of the hotel. This process, as
has been reviewed, is crucial in effectively managing
room inventory. It also a very good way to illustrate
the operation of a PMS. This section illustrates the
check- in of a walk - in guest, that is, a guest with no
The following series of PMS screens shows step by step
what information is needed to check in walk - in guest.
Step 1 is to identify the arrival and departure
information, and if need be, verify with management
the availability of sleeping hours.
Step 2 is to identify the room type the guest prefers.
The agent should do their best to match the guest’s
room preferences with what is available.
Step 3 is to use the PMS to determine what available
rooms in the hotel inventory match guest’s room
Step 4 is to assign a specific room number based on
what PMS indicated was available.
Step 5 is to determine the tax status of the
guest. If the guest works for agencies of the
government, or certain not-for-profit
organizations, he or she may be tax exempt.
is needed to determine method of
Step 7 In this step, the front desk agent is
able to make notes relevant to the guest for
other employees. Because this guest is
paying by check, a good practice is to note
the check number in the registration menu.
Also, this disabled guest may need
assistance later, so another note was made.
Step 8 is to gather personal identification
information, such as name, address, phone, and
company name, if applicable. A driver’s license or
some other proper form of identification should be
Step 9 is to verify the rate market code. Every rate in
the rate structure is assigned a market code in PMS.
This code is read by the system and the company
determines the appropriate rate. The market code is
needed to serve as a “check and balance” to the
sleeping room rate assigned. The market code must
match the rate. This needed to uncover any possible
fraud by front desk employees (e.g., reducing a rate for
Step 10 is the final step. The rate is typically assigned
at the same time a market code is issued. However,
because this was walk-in, and the walk-in rate changes,
this rate was assigned last.
Registration card- summarizes much of
information contained in the guest registration
menu of PMS. The information on the card is used
to verify the accuracy of that information in PMS.
Arrival/departure information, spelling of the
guest’s name, and assigned rate should be
reviewed by the guest to ensure that both parties
understand and approve the transaction. The
registration card is the successor to the hotel
registration book, or log. Prior to the advent of
computers, hotel guest would “sign in” to verify
that they were actually staying at the hotel.
Arriving guest should sign the registration card
as they would the hotel log.
Each PMS menu contains specialized
information and reporting capabilities for a
specific rooms- division area. Several of these
menus lead the user to even more specialized
menus and reporting options. The organization of
these menus and their interrelationship is called
a PMS hierarchy.
A front office menu can then lead the user to other
Night audit menu
Uniform services menu
* Each of these menus, based on their
position within the hierarchy, requires a
specific level of authorization for access.
* A PMS hierarchy starts with the most
broad menu (front office) and narrows its
scope as each menu gets more specific.
* As the illustration showed, each rooms
division areas was allowed access to only
the options it needed to get the job done.
The PMS must be able to communicate with other
hotel computer system in order to maximize
The point of sale (POS) system may also be running
on different platforms. In an automatic posting
environment, a similar process of “passing along”
occurs. Outlet/ ancillary charge data is given to the
PMS. The difference between this and the information
shared from the reservations system is that this
information is passed along and posted to the guest
account immediately. This is to ensure that the guest
does not check out prior to paying for all incurred
MARY GRACE V. MANCAO
MAE BLANCH L. VILLOCERO
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