Selecting Guest Management Software

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Developing a checklist for comparing and evaluating Guest Management (Property Management) Software

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Selecting Guest Management Software

  1. 2. How to Select Guest Management and Online Booking Software
  2. 3. Definitions! What do we mean by Guest Management Software and Online Booking Software?
  3. 4. Definitions! What do we mean by Guest Management Software and Online Booking Software? <ul><li>Guest Management Software (or Property Management Software) is software used to keep track of guest information, including contact info, reservations, charges, payments, history, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Definitions! What do we mean by Guest Management Software and Online Booking Software? <ul><li>Online Booking Software allows a guest to request or make reservations via the internet </li></ul>
  5. 6. Guest Management Software Database Rates Seasons Discounts Packages Guests Reservations Payments ... PMS User Interface Input Guest Reservations View Reservations Get Reports, Invoices Online Booking Input Guest Reservations
  6. 7. I already have guest management software <ul><li>If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! </li></ul>
  7. 8. I already have guest management software <ul><li>If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!
  8. 9. If you're missing something important, make a change </li><ul><li>Interface to online booking and availability
  9. 10. Inadequate reporting
  10. 11. Weak guest data
  11. 12. Other feature(s) you need </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. What we can't do here <ul><li>Make specific recommendations for your property
  13. 14. Decide which Property Management System or Online Booking System is right for you </li></ul>
  14. 15. What we can do <ul><li>Discuss features you may want in your Property Management System and Online Booking software
  15. 16. Discuss the pros and cons of different ways the software may perform its tasks </li></ul>
  16. 17. Something to think about... <ul><li>If you decide that a particular feature or type of system is essential, that will limit many of your other choices </li><ul><li>For example, if you decide you must have a system that works with a specific third-party online booking system, you have eliminated all systems which use only a proprietary online booking system or other third-party systems. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Features to consider – System Type <ul><li>Stand-alone PMS system </li><ul><li>Installed on your computer
  18. 19. Online booking </li><ul><li>Proprietary module, or
  19. 20. Third-party software </li></ul></ul></ul>Property Management System Online Booking System Reservation Data
  20. 21. Features to consider – System Type <ul><li>Stand-alone PMS system </li><ul><li>Installed on your computer
  21. 22. Online booking </li><ul><li>Proprietary module, or
  22. 23. Third-party software </li></ul></ul><li>Internet-based PMS system </li></ul>Web Browser Property Management System and Online Booking System
  23. 24. Pros and Cons – System Type <ul><li>Stand-alone PMS system </li><ul><li>May have a more powerful feature set
  24. 25. Usually you must backup the data
  25. 26. Software upgrades are often an additional cost
  26. 27. Support is normally an additional cost
  27. 28. Can be used without internet connection
  28. 29. Can be accessed remotely, but not always as easily as an internet-based system </li><ul><li>May not work well with mobile phones </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 30. Pros and Cons – System Type <ul><li>Internet-based PMS system </li><ul><li>Available whenever you have an internet connection </li><ul><li>May not always work well from mobile phones </li></ul><li>Upgrades and backups are managed for you
  30. 31. Support is not normally needed (except at start-up)
  31. 32. May not have all the features of stand-alone systems </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Features to consider - Rates <ul><li>Rates by room type vs. individual room
  33. 34. Seasonal rates
  34. 35. Specials, packages, discounts
  35. 36. Additional charges </li><ul><li>Extra person/bed
  36. 37. Add-on amenities
  37. 38. Meals </li></ul><li>Groups or multiple rooms </li></ul>
  38. 39. Features to consider – User Interface <ul><li>Ease of entry of guest information </li></ul>
  39. 40. Features to consider – User Interface <ul><li>Ease of entry of guest information
  40. 41. Calendar view of reservations for week, month, etc. </li></ul>
  41. 42. Features to consider – User Interface <ul><li>Ease of entry of guest information
  42. 43. Calendar view of reservations for week, month, etc.
  43. 44. Sortable lists of guests/inquiries
  44. 45. Ease of review, modification, cancellation of reservations </li><ul><li>Search for guest
  45. 46. Easy to open record
  46. 47. 'Save' to update record </li></ul></ul>
  47. 48. Features to consider – Guest Communications <ul><li>Confirmation emails/letters
  48. 49. Invoices/folios
  49. 50. Cancellation emails/letters
  50. 51. Reminder emails
  51. 52. Follow-up (Thank you) emails
  52. 53. Marketing emails </li></ul>
  53. 54. Features to consider – Reports <ul><li>Reservations </li><ul><li>By arrival, payment, status, referral source, forecasts </li></ul><li>Occupancy </li><ul><li>Overall, per available room </li></ul><li>Financial </li><ul><li>Taxes, income detail, by room/rate, RevPAR, ADR
  54. 55. Income by booking source, date </li></ul></ul>
  55. 56. Features to consider – Reports <ul><li>Housekeeping </li><ul><li>Arrival, departure, sheet change, out of service </li></ul><li>Gift Certificates </li><ul><li>Sold, redeemed, outstanding </li></ul></ul>
  56. 57. Features to consider – Accounting <ul><li>Built-in accounting vs export to accounting software </li><ul><li>One program to manage all financial matters
  57. 58. Be sure built-in accounting is adequate for your requirements </li></ul><li>Export or direct link to accounting software </li><ul><li>Is it really important?
  58. 59. How do you know it really works? </li></ul></ul>
  59. 60. Online Booking and Availability <ul><li>Proprietary Systems </li><ul><li>Online booking as built-in or module
  60. 61. Check out the features to be sure you are satisfied </li></ul><li>Third-Party Systems </li><ul><li>Many similarities
  61. 62. Some important differences </li></ul></ul>
  62. 63. Online Booking and Availability <ul><li>Match appearance to web site
  63. 64. Frequency of updating online info
  64. 65. Frequency of updating Guest Management System data
  65. 66. Confirmed reservations vs. reservation requests
  66. 67. Display of rooms, photos, details
  67. 68. Display of specials, add-ons </li></ul>
  68. 69. Evaluating the Systems <ul><li>Create an evaluation checklist </li></ul>- Features you feel are essential - “Nice to have” features
  69. 70. Evaluating the Systems <ul><li>Create an evaluation checklist </li></ul>- Features you feel are essential - “Nice to have” features <ul><li>List systems and their features </li></ul>- If you decide on a system type, research only that type – compare apples to apples = /
  70. 71. Evaluating the Systems <ul><li>Create an evaluation checklist </li></ul>- Features you feel are essential - “Nice to have” features <ul><li>List systems and their features </li></ul>- If you decide on a system type, research only that type – compare apples to apples <ul><li>Obtain an evaluation (download or online) </li></ul>- Limit this to two or three systems, if possible
  71. 72. Evaluating the Systems <ul><li>Use the evaluation system </li></ul>- Make notes about features from your checklist - Score the systems against each other - Don't blind yourself with numbers <ul><li>Decide on the system that best meets your requirements </li></ul>
  72. 73. Evaluating the Systems Example spreadsheet for comparing systems: Google Documents Spreadsheet http://www.AboutTheInn.com/spreadsheet.html
  73. 74. Thanks for your attention! Scott Thomas [email_address] AboutTheInn.com

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