2020 AccomNews PMS Supplement

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PMS By Lucinda Dean, Industry Reporter

A property management system should be your star performer. At the heart of almost every aspect of day-to-day operation, it should power the seamless integration of everything from reservations to rate setting, billing to revenue management and housekeeping to maintenance. A quality system coordinates operational function to deliver a smooth guest experience from enquiry to checkout and beyond. And its ability to synchronise systems to speed up tasks and collaborate useful data makes it indispensable to property managers - whether running an inner-city hotel or an outback hostel. Which means if you’re frustrated by a clunky PMS which fails to protect you from double ups and bookings errors, or you find yourself clicking through multiple screens to complete everyday tasks, you’re looking at an incompetent and archaic member of the team. Is your PMS more ‘hard work’ than ‘hard worker’? AccomNews is here to guide you through the process of recruiting the perfect candidate. We spoke sought specialist supplier viewpoints on what is new to the industry. Peter Ferris, head of global sales and marketing for RMS Cloud, says: “Switching property management systems is one of the hardest decisions property managers face. But it’s also an essential move for operators using outdated or inefficient


AccomNews - Winter 2020

Over the past six months we’ve signed up quite a few operators who made the mistake of buying on price alone and have regretted it. systems that are impacting on staff efficiency, customer service, revenue generation and sales. “In terms of motivation to switch, the biggest trends we’re seeing is operators moving from server-based systems to cloud software, or those who are using other cloud systems who have failed to deliver on the promises made by their developers, lacking critical functionality. “Over the past six months we’ve signed up quite a few operators who made the mistake of buying on price alone and have regretted it. “They’ve realised it’s pointless saving a few dollars each month if the system can’t do what they need it to, which is efficiently manage reservations, communicate with guests, analyse data, integrate easily with other third party systems and execute revenue-generating rate management strategies and marketing campaigns from within their PMS application.”

What should your PMS deliver? Justin Owen of REI Master told us: “When looking to upgrade your PMS software you should choose a system that provides flexibility and features that will

help your business achieve results. Choose a PMS that can manage all your business requirements within the one program. “It is critical that you create a list of vital elements that you require which will provide a starting point when choosing the right PMS, such as necessary functions, features, third party integrations, whether you are looking for a platforms desktop, hosted or cloud platform to run your business. BUT also ensure the software is not limited to and is capable of expanding, with you and your business.” A PMS should deliver easy integration with other systems, such as OTA booking channels, point of sale, customer relationship management software and in-room entertainment. It should allow for the easy collection and packaging of guest data to help inform marketing programs and loyalty programs and package offers. And, according to Justin Owen, it’s important PMS is compliant with legislation and can produce “rock solid” trust accounting. “He says: “Ask whether your auditor/ accountant recommends them and find out if the EOM (end of month) process is easy to perform. “When evaluating your PMS choices, find out how many customers with trust accounts they service. A PMS vendor


with a small number of trust account clients may neither fully understand the relevant legislation, nor have the staff with enough expertise to support and resolve complex compliance support requests. Also, find out if trust accounting is an add-on module or if it was built into the PMS for trust accounting from the ground up. Trust account operators would be wise to steer clear of those with trust accounting as an add-on module. “Businesses with staff also need to consider that the actions of their employees can affect their compliance with the legislation. Business owners should look for a PMS vendor that allows staff activities and access to be controlled, restricted and monitored wherever trust account transactions are concerned.”

What are your business needs and considerations? 1. Ease of use When choosing a PMS supplier, bear in mind the level of ongoing support you’re likely to need some suppliers, for example, offer face-to-face tutorials and seminars while others provide 24-hour customer support. Justin Owen says: “No matter how computer savvy you maybe, it is always important to know that your chosen PMS software provides you the ongoing support required, especially if you are entering into the industry without any prior experience. Knowing you have the support from your chosen PMS provider is one of the most important business decisions that you can make.” 06 www.accomnews.com.au