There are 5 trends influencing the hotel management software industry in 2014. The underlying theme is making lives of hotel managers and owners, easier. These five trends are not surprising as many industries turn to technology to make their business processes more efficient. The hotel management industry is no different.
Five Hotel Management Software Trends
- Cloud based
- Software that solves more than one problem
- Easier Integrations
- Importance of OTAs
The switch from on-premise software to cloud-based software within the hotel management industry has been an ongoing process since 2008. Hotel managers and owners appreciate the freedom the cloud provides them. In fact, many are relieved to not have to act as IT support staff in addition to keeping their guests happy. Being able to manage hotels via the cloud gives multi-property owners the ability to control all of their locations from one screen. Cloud-based hotel management software is a great time savings for organizations of any size. New features are quickly available and working at your location within minutes of release. It affords owners and managers the time to get back to their guests without the hassle of hardware and software upgrades, because everything is done in the cloud.
Hotel managers and owners are trying to solve many problems throughout their day. They deserve software that does the same, without all the hassle. In order for a hotel to be successful they have to provide a great guest experience from online search and reservation booking to post stay surveys. A great hotel management system will support the hotel manager and owner throughout the guests’ life-cycle. Posting availability online through OTAs, taking reservations online, checking guests in and out, easily running all the reporting necessary to keep a hotel running, analyzing the hotels’ success via a revenue management tool should all be done within one system.
Having one system does two things:
- Saves time
- Reduces errors
When you have one system that helps manage guests from their first interaction, hotel owners and managers are able to focus on keeping guests happy in all the ways software cannot. Hotel owners and managers that use one system to manage inventory, know that over-bookings and lost reservations are a thing of the past, because every reservation and cancellation is done in ONE system. It doesn’t take time to manually update one system with another. And, there is no need to make sure that one system is updating others correctly, taking away time from your guests.
The time saved from having all hotel management functionality centralized in one system makes for happier guests.
One of the proclaimed benefits of cloud-based software is its ability to integrate easily with other software. And, for hotel managers and owners, there are so many systems that help you run your business, it makes sense to integrate where possible. In an ideal world, every system a hotel uses “speaks” to the others like you speak to your best friend, never missing a beat. The problem with any integration is that it’s still software, sending code from one type of system to another. Sadly, they aren’t life-long friends that can finish each-others sentences, they are passing a bunch of 0’s and 1’s in the hopes that the communication is fluid and perfect every time. That is very rarely the case.
The easiest integration is no-integration.
As a hotel manager and owner, mobility acts as a benefit for you and your guests. If your site is easy to use and book on a mobile device it will increase reservations. And, if your systems and site are accessible via your own mobile devices you can get more done on the go. In either case, mobile access is not a trend to be ignored.
According to recent PhoCusWright research, more than half (51%) of mobile web users purchased travel products such as hotel rooms, flights or car rentals on a smartphone in 2012. A smaller share completed a mobile travel booking (28%). By 2014, PhoCusWright reports that mobile bookings will grow to $25.8 billion, representing 8% of the total travel market.
Having a site optimized for mobile research and bookings is an important part of any hotel looking to increase occupancy.
Importance of Online Travel Agencies
In a hotelnewsnow.com article Brian Mullan, a research analyst with Janney Capital Markets in New York stated that, “many of the large OTAs are shifting their business model to less airline business and more hotel business because the margins on a hotel booking are much larger. There is no question that the number of people using sites like: Priceline, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Orbitz & Makemytrip are increasing. These sites offer an easy way for guests to compare and book in just a few steps.
There is a great opportunity for independent hotel owners, to increase occupancy rates and take market share from their competitors. OTAs are a key part of this opportunity. If hotels can use an integrated system that captures OTA reservations and puts them directly into a PMS without manual intervention, increased revenues and decreased costs will lead to higher profits.
These five hotel management system trends are all aimed at making hotels more efficient and increasing revenue. At innRoad, we believe that an easy, integrated system is the best way to achieve both of those goals. Learn more about the integrated innRoad system here.