Your property management system (PMS) is the hub of your hotel operation. It does everything from processing guest reservations to keeping information about guests’ preferences and spending. The Property Management System is a useful tool not only for managing guest reservations but also for assigning room allocation and hotel rates to 3rd party agents.
Because it’s only a tool – the decision whether to use the enhanced features to manage room allocation and rates is one of choice. Many small and medium sized hotels may choose to manually update this information on their agent websites. Whether it's sensible to do so in a digitaly connected environment is open to debate. What's certain is that leaving this function to manual entry opens up the possibility of errors and overbookings. Case studies show that hoteliers that have made the switch, never want to go back because many things can go wrong and it’s a poor use of human resources.
PMS automation is designed to allow you to make managing rates and allotments faster. To get the full benefit of your PMS, it needs to be integrated with a Channel Manager. Once connected, the Channel Manager can send a live feed about your rates and allotments directly to 3rd party agents as well as updating your own direct booking channel. That way, your agents and guests will know exactly what they can book at any one time.
If you haven’t already done so, then you’re not taking advantage of your PMS’s essential capability. Hoteliers who haven't integrated or use both systems simultaneously may not know or understand the full potential their PMS offers. Let's take a closer look at how things work:
In case you didn't know.... Channel Managers provide the ability to distribute rooms effortlessly across many agent booking platforms as well as your own direct booking engine. It should come as NO a surprise, that the Channel Manager should be one of the main tools synchronized with the PMS. This is because the PMS has special features designed into the software that allows users to push out and retrieve allotment, rates and booking information from the channel manager.
1. Show Full Availability - All Booking Channels
The channel manager’s unique advantage is the way it uses a pooled inventory system to assign available rooms. By showing you have inventory open for sale to all channels – you’ll never miss a booking from any one source. Whenever there’s a new booking, the pooled inventory is automatically updated in real time across all channels to reflect what’s remaining in the pool. In this way, the two platforms working simultaneously can help you achieve maximum efficiency.
You can automatically update room allotments and rates across multiple agent channels in real-time, directly from your PMS and this is why you can advertise full inventory to all agents at the same time.
Consider the scenario of not using a channel manager. In order allocate rooms between online agents, you’d have to keep a close audit of your inventory and shuffle rooms around to mix and match availability every time a new booking is made - how cumbersome!
2. Cancellations - Instantly Processed
Similarly, integration of both platforms makes booking amendments and cancellations much easier and faster because the information is automatically updated in real-time to all channel partners. For example if one of your rooms become available through amendment or cancellation, the channel manager can re-assign the room back in to inventory ensuring you don’t miss out on any possibility to make a sale. In simple terms, the latest inventory and rates are reflected across all channels, so any cancelled rooms become bookable again in minutes.
3. Overbookings - Minimised
Overbookings can be a big problem for hoteliers who don’t have PMS, channel manager integration. Overbookings occur when you accept bookings without having a clear picture on how many rooms are sold, how many of them are vacant and how many of them are under maintenance at any one time. Juggling rooms and inventory manually is not effective and increases the risk of overbookings.
You can eliminate the error of human entry. The PMS Channel Manager live feed, guarantees the most up to date information is displayed - all but eliminating the possibly of discrepancy between available rooms and new bookings.
4. International Markets - Expand your horizons
Keeping the latest information about your hotel rates and allotments through the channel manager gives you the flexibility to advertise open rooms for sale. Being visible online through as many booking channels as possible now becomes easier which means you can advertise in many more places. Having available rooms for sale is particularly important if you want to attract foreign guests to your hotel simply because there are many markets to consider. In some csses there may even be more markets to selling to then there are available rooms for sale.
And therein lies the beauty of the channel manager. All you need is to identify is the which market or regions you want to target, connect with a leading and popular OTA and make sure your PMS is integrated with the Channel Manager and its as good as done!
5. Multiple OTAs -
Guests typically use multiple booking sites to plan their travel, so it makes sense to list your rooms on as many OTAs as possible. Doing so creates the “billboard” effect, so people see your hotel more often and across many different websites. The billboard effect can enhance your hotel exposure over more than one website alone.
If you’re not using a Channel Manager – every site you want to list presents extra challenges. This is because you’d have to log into every OTA extranet and update your inventory whenever a new booking is made.
As stated earlier - when your PMS and channel manager are connected, the live feed helps broadcast your allocation and rates to an endless number of OTAs within your distribution network effortlessly and with full inventory so you never miss out on booking opportunities.
Your PMS performs a lot of the tasks at your hotel, but it needs to connect and communicate with other technology to be most effective.
If you already have a channel manager, but haven’t integrated it into your PMS, you’re probably missing out on sales opportunities.
If your Hotels is using a PMS that’s not fully integrated, perhaps it's time to upgrade to on of Hoteliers Guru all in one Digital Marketing Solutions combining PMS / Channel Manager and Direct Booking Engine.
For more information about how to connect your Hotel, please get in contact with our Sales team: Bangkok 419 099 8735 Phuket 070 095 7437 or by Email: [email protected]
For more information about why your hotels needs a Channel Manager- read our blog here https://www.hoteliers.guru/blog/your-hotel-needs-a-channel-manager