Cloud hospitality technology is changing the game for independent hotels by putting the kind of technology previously reserved for the big brands (and their big budgets) into the hands of operators of small- and mid-sized lodgings. Independent properties now have access to automated and innovative tools that streamline daily operations, provide deeper insights, and improve guest service and management.
While cloud property management software is being adopted at an impressive rate, some small and mid-sized properties are still hesitant. Lodging operators who are stuck with clunky, outdated legacy systems or who feel more comfortable with paper and spreadsheets may not realize the extent to which they are holding their property back.
Here are six reasons every independent hotel should shift their property management system (PMS) to the cloud…
- Shifts focus from systems to guests.
Because cloud PMS run via the Internet, they are simple to use and maintain; in fact, the technical side of the system — including software updates and maintenance and data security — is managed by the PMS vendor. With a cloud PMS, no technical expertise is required of lodging operators at all, freeing hotel staff to shift focus from their systems to their guests.
- Centralizes data for improved efficiency and service.
A cloud PMS automates processes by centralizing data and, thereby, eliminating the need to manually cross-check information between departments such as reservations, housekeeping and accounting. Furthermore, compared to on-premise systems, cloud PMS are much more easily integrated with other hotel systems (like POS systems, payment gateways, online distribution channels, and in-room entertainment systems, etc.) for optimal efficiency property-wide.
Centralized data is the foundation of great guest service; it boosts efficiency through process automation, and, equally importantly, improves data transparency for deeper knowledge of business and customers.
- Unchains hotel staff from the front desk.
Any lodging operator who has to drop what they’re doing to return to the front desk every time they need to check or update information has no doubt thought there must be a better way! Cloud PMS are the answer. Because cloud software is deployed online and not installed on a single computer, authorized hotel staff can securely log into their PMS anywhere, any time. Many cloud PMS are now optimized for mobile devices too, providing access to popular functions on the go, like paperless check in, housekeeping and maintenance reports, and guest folios and requests.
Anywhere access essentially allows hotel staff to take the front desk with them wherever they go, positively impacting both productivity and guest service.
- Simplifies online distribution.
Cloud PMS make it easy for properties to sell inventory online by offering integrated online booking engines for direct bookings through a property’s own website, as well as seamless integration to third-party distribution channels. Direct integration between online channels and a property’s PMS automates the process of updating availability and rates across all online channels and capturing online bookings in the PMS, simplifying management of online inventory and giving lodging operators greater access to and control over distribution.
- Keeps operators ahead of hospitality technology trends and competition.
The cost of innovation of a cloud PMS is much lower than that of legacy systems, which face lengthy development cycles and require expensive upgrades. Because of this, cloud systems are constantly improving, with new features and updates delivered to users frequently and often at no charge. Cloud PMS provide lodging operators with technology that is always current and that helps to keep a property ahead of its competition. Think mobile applications (both operational and guest facing), revenue management innovations, third-party integrations and the like.
- Saves money.
Those coming from legacy systems are pleased to find cloud systems much easier on the pocket. The subscription pricing model of cloud PMS allow lodging operators to pay as they go — and only for what they need, shifting the cost of a PMS from a substantial capital expense to a much more budget-friendly operational expense. What’s more, a cloud PMS eliminates the cost of purchasing, maintaining and powering expensive on-premise servers.
While lodging operators moving from paper-based methods may initially resist the cost of an automated PMS, they quickly discover that the benefits a cloud system brings to efficiency, guest service and revenue make switching well worth it.
Making the move to a cloud-based PMS is a fundamental step toward an independent property’s success. Greatly simplifying operations and providing access to real-time data, cloud PMS help to boost revenue and guest service and are key to getting ahead in an increasingly competitive market.