Focus, focus, focus. That’s the message of The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, which is now available for complimentary download (click here to access). Here are just a few focus areas for hoteliers to keep in mind as they look to improve business operations, the guest experience, and financial performance this year.
Focus on data analysis and business intelligence. Analytics tools are becoming increasing sophisticated and serve as a core function of a next-generation PMS. The tools should inform the decisions made in multiple departments and functions across the organization. The insights gained from the tools can have benefits ranging from improving marketing, sales and customer service effectiveness to generating competitive intelligence. Key revenue stakeholders can monitor hotel occupancy trends, guest demographics, market position, and channel profitability.
Focus on guest experience management. A hotel needs to lavish its guests with personalized attention and pamper them with relevant services. This is particularly true of upscale properties that compete in large part on the quality of guest services. Today, hoteliers are becoming increasingly focused on data-driven personalization strategies. They are seeking ways to enhance the quality of the guest experience by understanding guests’ wants, needs, situations and preferences at a granular level and then acting upon that understanding to deliver superior, tailored services.
Focus on personalization. Closely related to guest experience management is the notion of personalization. The future success of many hotels and resorts, at least those operating in certain categories where service quality ranks as a key point of competitive differentiation, will rest squarely on how well they can gain a deep understanding of their guests on an individual basis. Importantly, success also rests on how well they can act upon that understanding to improve the overall quality of the guest experience. In fact, 89 percent of hoteliers “agree” or “strongly agree” that targeted personalization – i.e., presenting guests with highly relevant messages, offers and services at the right time – is one of the most effective ways to improve the guest experience and, ultimately, guest satisfaction, loyalty and favorable brand advocacy.
Focus on data integration and technology interoperability. For most hoteliers, data integration and technology interoperability are among the primary driving forces in their decision to upgrade to a next-generation hotel solution. In fact, according to the research, 91 percent of hoteliers “agree” or “strongly agree” that technology platform interoperability is a key success factor for hotel performance improvement. A fully-integrated PMS gives hoteliers a distinct and formidable advantage over competitors who may lack the same level of technology connectivity and data integration.
Focus on revenue management. A next-generation PMS captures and houses data related to everything from occupancy rates, ADR and booking pace to lengths of stay, booking channels and guest segments. This vast data repository provides the basis for identifying patterns and predicting future demand in guest room occupancy. PMS rate management features, including seasonal pricing, day-of-week pricing, time-of-day pricing, premium and discount rates and packages, and daily override functionality, enable hoteliers to respond immediately to both predicted and unpredicted fluctuations in guest demand. Advanced revenue management solutions are able to process increasingly large volumes of data, faster than ever before. Platform capabilities vary widely and come in a lot of different flavors in terms of how revenue management is handled.
Focus on mobile access. Mobility cannot be an afterthought when it comes to hospitality technology. A mobile-first design is imperative. All staff-facing interfaces need to allow for anywhere, anytime access. Providing staff members with real-time access to information via mobile devices can reduce guest wait times at the front desk during check-in, which is an important factor in overall guest satisfaction. Mobility can also mitigate other inconveniences that could impinge on the quality of the guest experience, including potential housekeeping and maintenance delays. For most hoteliers, being able to manage virtually all hotel operations from any place, at any time, via any device is a true game-changer.
Focus on building a revenue management strategy and culture. A revenue management strategy is a blueprint for improving financial performance over a specific period of time. It should incorporate all of the revenue streams from across all parts of the hotel as well as all of the revenue drivers, from the sales department to the online distribution channels. The strategy should be built upon a solid foundation of revenue goals using targeted RevPAR, GOPPAR (gross operating profit per available room) and other relevant metrics for tracking progress. It should include a timeline with key milestones and spell out the tactics for achieving success. The strategy should be as specific as possible, detailing, for example, how the property approaches pricing. Done right, the strategy will help create cognitive alignment amongst all employees regarding the value of revenue management.
Published by Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices research in the hospitality industry, The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (click here to access) marks the fifth edition of this popular title, widely regarded as the industry’s most authoritative and comprehensive resource for maximizing success with hotel property management systems and related hotel technologies.