An efficient hotel management software is the heart of your business. The ancient era of maintaining Excel sheets, ledgers and hardbound notebooks is long gone. From confirming reservations and settling bills to housekeeping and inventory management, everything is managed by a hotel management software. The transition from manpower to technology shows no signs of slowing down. As everything keeps upgrading, you might wonder if your hotel management software needs a makeover.
We have a list of ten red flags of an outdated software. Then, we will walk you through the types of hotel management software and their pros and cons.
1. Your guests are unsatisfied
Word-of-mouth marketing is crucial to any business. When your guests are satisfied, they recommend your hotel to others. On the other hand, an unpleasant experience can spread like wildfire. Just a handful of bad reviews on the internet can tarnish your reputation.
One of the most reported guest complaints is housekeeping mismanagement. Nobody likes to be welcomed with dirty linen and untidy rooms. New-age hotel management software will block dirty rooms and allot housekeeping activities to different staff based on the expected guest arrival time.
Most importantly, your front office staff will be updated about the blocked rooms. So, they will know which rooms to allot for walk-in customers.
2. New employees take a long time to understand the software
Staff training should not take a long time. The user interface should be simple and easy to operate. If you find your staff constantly raising doubts or complaining about poor software support, it is a major red flag.
Even experienced staff can face a tough time understanding the software after an update. So, go for a hotel software that non-tech-savvy people can easily understand.
3. It is hard to manage reservations
There are many reasons for overbookings. Your channel manager should update the status of your rooms in real-time across all the channels. If it fails to do so, an unoccupied room could be booked multiple times. This leads to overbooking, and you’ll find your front office staff handling angry customers. Added to that, you could see them taking down reservations manually. This leads to unnecessary confusion and queueing of guests in the reception area.
Overall, this will affect your hotel’s reputation and could potentially lead to revenue loss.
4. Contactless technology is not available
A fantastic way to enhance the guest experience is by including contactless technology in your hotel. This is the hallmark of a modern-day hotel software. You will have the option of introducing a QR code scanner in the front office, restaurant and door locks. Guests can order food, pay bills and lock their rooms by scanning the QR code.
This saves time and gives more control to the guests.
5. You cannot monitor your hotel from anywhere
If you are managing multiple properties, it is impossible to physically monitor them at the same time. Instead, you can login to a browser or mobile application and view the status of your hotel. All you need is a login ID and password. Even if you are going on long vacations, you can keep an eye on your hotel.
As all the hotel operations will be updated in real-time, you can sit back and relax.
6. Inventory management is done manually
Materials management is an integral part of running a hotel. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your hotel’s stock. You should be able to view the expiring stocks, reorder level, pending intent, pending PO, and goods received with details of the supplier.
These operations should be automatic and not managed manually.
7. It is hard to make informed decisions
Based on your hotel’s performance, you should get reports to analyse your business strategy. These reports can be downloaded in PDF, CSV and HTML formats. They can also be viewed as pictorial graphs. You can set the start and end date to view these reports. They will help you take informed decisions to run your business better.
Doing this manually can be tedious and prone to human error.
8. Updates are not automatic
Are you experiencing downtime during each software update? Do you need technicians to come to your premises to install the latest updates? This is an obvious indication of an old software.
Your hotel management software should inform you about updates beforehand. These updates should not affect your hotel operations. They should function in the background. Most importantly, these updates should be easy to understand and enhance the user experience.
9. Waiting long hours for software support
When you spend a lot of money on purchasing a hotel software, it is natural to expect good software support. Support queries can be bug related or training related. In any case, the support team should be reachable via phone or email around the clock.
However, if you find your staff waiting for long hours to get a simple issue resolved or if the support staff are not well equipped to handle the issues, it is necessary to change your software.
10. You cannot create limitless POS outlets
Is it hard for you to create POS outlets? If you are assigning individual staff to handle each hotel operation, you are wasting up to 4 hours of working time every day.
POS outlet can be integrated with your restaurant. It helps you to track each transaction, so that you never miss out anything. You can generate different kinds of outlets like fine-dining, room service, and fast food. You can create multiple user accounts and with the low learning curve, you can easily deliver performance-oriented results.
If you face the following issues, it is time to upgrade your hotel management software. Given the plethora of options in the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed. We will walk you through the types of hotel management software and their pros and cons.
Types of hotel management software
On-premises hotel management software
As the name suggests, it is a desktop software that is installed on the premises of the hotel. It is operated from an in-house server and requires a licence for each server.
Cloud-based hotel management software
A cloud-based software service (SaaS) can be accessed on any device through the internet. Unlike on-premises software, cloud software is not physically installed on each device. You will be given an ID and password to access the software. The data is stored on remote servers. The servers are located in data centres. So, hoteliers do not have to manage physical servers or store data manually.
Which is better?
According to Gartner prediction, the world-wide spending on cloud services is expected to grow to $304.9 billion. Hoteliers are moving away from on-premises software. Why is this trend increasing? We have curated a list of reasons for cloud migration in the hospitality industry.
Cons of on-premises software
1. Managing multiple properties
When you own multiple properties, it is tedious to install the hotel management software on each computer. The installation, maintenance, data management and integration with external systems costs a fortune. Added to that, you need to buy a licence for each system. There is no centralised software to manage all your properties.
2. Downtime during software updates
From time to time, your on-premises software will release new updates. This takes up a lot of downtime and labour, as each system should be individually updated. Your system will be inaccessible during this period and can keep your customers waiting during working hours.
3. Hardware cost
The hardware maintenance cost of on-premises software is expensive. It is not just limited to the time of installation. Every time there is an update or hardware malfunction, you will either have to repair the existing hardware or get a new one. There is no way of escaping this expenditure.
4. Data breach
Since the data is stored within your property on a remote server, data security is solely your responsibility. You must spend money on installing firewalls and anti-virus software. A data breach can release confidential information like your customers’ personal details, bank details, passwords, etc. This will severely affect your hotel’s reputation. In worst case scenarios, you can attract legal action against your property.
5. Workload Most of the on-premises software lack automation
Automation can range anywhere from updating inventory rates and house-keeping tasks, to downloading insightful business reports and managing reservations. This saves time and the workload of your staff will decrease significantly, as they don’t have to update the information manually.
Pros of Cloud Migration
1. Pocket friendly
Cloud-based hotel management software can be purchased on a quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis. Some companies offer a free trial period to let the users understand the software and see if it fits their requirement. Unlike on-premises software, you don’t need a software licence for each device. This makes it more profitable, as there is no installation fee. Moreover, cloud software does not need any hardware. This eliminates the cost of hardware maintenance and upgradation. So, money saved is money earned.
2. Seamless integration
With the help of APIs (application programming interfaces), cloud-based software can be integrated with external applications like OTAs (online travel agencies), channel managers and payment gateways. This helps in automating tasks, connecting various departments within the hotel and monitoring hotel activities in real-time. This minimises the workload of staff and reduces human error. With the integration of QR codes, you can ensure quick, contactless service to your guests. This is a boon as businesses are still recovering from the pandemic.
3. Data security
Data is stored in the cloud. So, you don’t have to worry if a particular device stops working. The vendor will take care of restricting unauthorised users, automatic data backup, preventing bugs and implementing robust security measures.
4. Access from anywhere
You don’t have to be inside your hotel to know what is happening. You can monitor all your hotel operations from anywhere in the world. All you need is a stable internet connection and login access to your hotel management software. You can also download real-time reports to take important decisions while sipping a cup of coffee.
5. Automatic software update
This is the biggest advantage of cloud-based software. Software updates happen over the internet. So, there is no need for manual installation. You can start using the new features right away without depending on anyone. Whereas on-premises software needs to be updated on each individual device. This causes downtime and disrupts hotel operations. Another advantage is you don’t have to worry about hardware cost during each update.
There is no universal hotel management software that fits everyone. Based on your business strategy, analyse and pick the software that best suits your needs.
Do you need assistance? Schedule a call with us.
About Cheerze Connect Cheerze Connect is a cloud-based hotel management software. It is user-friendly, affordable, and accessible from any device. Running a successful hotel has never been this easier. Cheerze Connect covers all the bases from front-office, reservation, housekeeping, banquet and material management, channel manager, booking engine, food costing, and tracking bar stock. It is also available as a mobile application to keep you informed on the go. Learn more about Cheerze Connect.