What is a Property Management System?

A Property Management System (PMS) is a software application that is designed and can be implemented to meet the varied requirements of any size hotel or hotel group. A PMS should provide all of the tools that hotel staff need to do their day-to-day jobs - such as managing room inventory, handling reservations, checking guests in, assigning rooms, accommodating in-house guest needs, checking guest out, handling all billing and accounting requirements, reporting and marketing. The application should be configurable to each property's specific requirement and can be configured to operate either as a single-property or in a multi-property configuration, whereby all properties within a group share a single database.

Multi-Property functionality can help hotel chains dramatically reduce hardware and software investments, and labour expenses, by running multiple properties off of a single database / hardware platform. Centralised hardware and software can also make system support and upgrades easier as all hardware and software is contained to one central location. Hotels may also reduce labour costs by sharing common functions between properties such as reservations, accounting, sales and PBX.

Key Features

In a well developed PMS, reservation features are integrated with other system functionality, offering a complete set of features for the making and updating of individual, group, and business block reservations, including integrated deposit handling, cancellations, confirmations, wait-listing, room blocking, and sharing.

An extensive set of integrated features for the setting, automatic controlling and yielding of rates should be an important factor when selecting a PMS for your hotel as you will need this for rate quotation, rate yielding and for revenue forecasting and analysis.

Another important function you should focus on is 'Profile' handling - complete demographic records for guests, business accounts, contacts, groups, agents, and sources should be available. Profiles should including addresses, phone numbers, membership enrolments, stay and revenue details, guest preferences, and any additional data that make reservations handling and other activities faster and more accurate.

Arrivals and in-house guests should be served with easy to use 'Front Desk' features such as Dash Boards. These should be able to handle individual guests, groups, and walk-ins, and include features for room blocking, managing guest messages and wake-up calls, guest locaters and creating and following up on inter-department advisories, or traces. 'Rooms Management' should be available to handle all facets of room supervision including availability, housekeeping, maintenance, and facility management.

Posting guest charges, making posting adjustments, managing advance deposits, settlements, folio printing and checkout are just a few of the many activities that should be handled by the cashiering module. Cashiering should accommodate multiple payment methods per folio and credit card settlements including integration with Chip and Pin devices. In multi-property environments, it should be possible to cross - post guest charges from any property to any other property in the hotel complex.

An 'Accounts Receivable' feature should be fully integrated with the PMS and include direct billing, invoicing, account aging, bill payments, reminders, statement generation, and account research.

Revenue transfers, market statistics transfers, daily statistics transfers, and city ledger transfers can be easily made from PMS to a back office system via an interface if you choose a comprehensive solution.

PMS should offer you integrated features for the calculating, processing, and following up on travel agent and other types of commission payments.

A more sophisticated PMS will support multi-currency and multi-language features to meet the requirements of global operations. Rates and revenues should be dynamically converted from the local currency to any other currency. The appropriate language for guest correspondence should be automatically determined by the guest's profile language; and a country-specific address formats should be supported. The user interface should also change to the language of the user based on their sign on password.

A good PMS solution will always offer standard reporting. Reports should also be able to be customised for each hotel and new reports created as needed using built-in report writers or advanced but easy to use reporting tools.

An important factor when evaluating a solution which will work with your currently deployed systems is whether the PMS solution provider includes interfaces to third-party hospitality systems including yield management, telephone and wake up call systems, TV and video entertainment, door locking, EPOS, internet, activities scheduling and mini-bar.

For the smaller properties or independent hoteliers offering limited services, scaled down Xpress versions of the full PMS should be available. Based on the core PMS product, properties should be able to choose the relevant features they want from a menu of product options.

Installation

If you're purchasing a PMS for your hotel, you should ensure that there will be no unnecessary disruption or downtime to running your business. A good installation should not have an impact on your operation or your guests. However, detailed planning and working closely with your chosen supplier and following their guidelines and listening to their advice is essential.

For more information on Property Management System solutions available from Micros-Fidelio UK Ltd, please contact the sales department on 01753 501 607 - http://www.micros-fidelio.co.uk


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