While information technology continues to advance at a pace that few can keep up with, luckily for hoteliers hospitality technology isn’t lagging behind.
Hoteliers appreciate that juggling profitability, performance and customer relations can be complicated and time consuming so they rely on innovative hotel management software to make this work simple and efficient.
The challenge, however, is finding the right fit. Gary Ernstzen, MD of Nu Menu Solutions, says: “Hoteliers need a solution that fits their needs. So if a solution is too small, it will not satisfy all their requirements. On the other hand a larger solution may seem great, but one ends up spending too much money and getting too little out of the investment.”
In the hotel property management sphere, Oracle’s OPERA Hotel PMS dominates the field but there are some excellent property management systems alternatives.
Solutions like Hotello, which are now available in South Africa, are scalable and flexible, he says.
“The beauty of this product is that it can scale it down to meet the budget of the smaller hotel or independent chain or scale up to meet the requirements of the large hotel chains. At the end of the day all hoteliers need flexible and reliable software that optimises their performance and integrates well into their other systems at a competitive price tag,” says Ernstzen.
Ernstzen says integration needs to be simple and seamless so that once everything is switched over, all departments of a hotel staff will have their own module within the program which allows owners and directors to see in a glance how each department is doing. “The software needs to be easy to learn and the service must be quick and responsive.”
Back-up service is key, because without the team behind the product, it is just a product. “A good support service from the software provider ensures that the problem or issues which may come up with the software will be resolved without wasting time.”
Ernstzen says with fierce competition, it is essential that hotels provide an exceptional guest experience or risk having guests take their business elsewhere. “When the hotel staff have access to better systems, they are able to devote more time to welcoming and servicing guests so it makes sense to really do one’s homework when selecting the right hotel management system.”