Hotel Information System

A profitable hospitality business not only needs an efficient team of seasoned hotel management professionals, but excellent administration tools as well. An effective hotel management system can go a long way in ensuring efficient management of the complete hotel’s business. Apart from taking care of the administration aspect of the hotel, a hotel management system can assist you in management of inventory, reservation, sales and several other functional aspects of a hotel.

Having a software custom-made for your hotel’s requirements can be a very costly affair; the better option is to buy a good off the shelf application which can be operated from multiple locations. However, it is important that the pre-built software application meets the following criterias: * Overall functionality – It is important that the hotel management system is chosen keeping in mind the specific purposes it is going to solve. It can be implemented to either automate one or two specific functions or to perform multiple tasks.

Most importantly, the software should be web-based, so that it is able to import/export data from/to different websites/locations.* Ease of implementation – The hotel management system should be compatible with the pre-existing system in the hotel. Moreover, it should have the ability to import data from the old system without any difficulty.

Ease of adaptability – The hotel management system should be easy to install and operate. Since the hotel staff is normally not technically qualified, the software has to be easy to navigate and supported by a comprehensive manual. Further, it should also have a help option built into it, which can be referred to instantly, in case of any technical problem. The system administrator should also be provided with proper guidelines for effective troubleshooting.

* Vendor’s reputation – The reputation and authenticity of the software manufacturer should be checked and verified properly before making a decision to invest in a particular hotel management system. One should ask the vendor to provide testimonials/references of existing clients, which should then be cross-checked on a random basis. Furthermore, it is extremely important that you take into account the after sales support and terms and conditions of service into consideration as well. * Ease of Scalability – The hotel management system should be easily scalable without having to incur excessive expenditure in the event of future expansions.

It should have the features to add and manage multiple properties without compromising on the performance of the system. Third party Integrations- It should have the ability to integrate third party utilities such as video-on-demand, CRM, EPABX, Room Key etc. without incurring any additional expenditure (apart from the utility itself) In the specific case, for a newly-acquired, independent hotel, the very first upgrade required should be implemented on the Property Management System.

The reasons are following; the Property Management System (PMS) is the most critical tool and core system in intellectual property, manufacturing and hospitality management. An upgrade on the PMS could bring a significant improvement in management efficiency as well as increase in revenue in a short period. In addition, the new system is designed to better control the properties including equipment maintenance, personal property and personnel. With the data based management system, PMS also provides a more efficient way of guest booking, sales, point of sale and security.

After carefully analysis and selection, I have made a list of three system providers among various choices: WinPM, Micros and Auto clerk. In the following article, I will deeply analysis the pros and cons for each vendor. Property Management System Description

A. WinPMWinPM is a Windows-based property management system and utilizes Microsoft’s SQL server, which is widely recognized as a scalable and affordable database option for integrated data management. Additionally, WinPM is deployed using industry standard hardware that is easily supported and cost-effective.

From a single property to multiple properties, WinPM scales to meet your data and operational requirements, and to deliver the robust functionality and performance required to service demanding hotel guests with optimum speed and efficiency. WinPM quickly and seamlessly integrates with other MSI products and interfaces with a wide variety of third party systems to serve the diverse and dynamic needs of your operation. From web bookings to sales and catering to point of sale and business intelligence, MSI does it all. WinPM even makes it easy to add a peripheral device, including automated self-check-in kiosks and wireless remotes.

B. MicrosThe Micros property management software is designed to meet the varied requirements of any size hotel or hotel chain, OPERA PMS provides all the tools a hotel staff needs for doing their day-to-day jobs — handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms and managing room inventory, accommodating in-house guest needs, and handling accounting and billing.

The property management software is configurable to each property’s specific requirements and operates in either single-property or multi-property mode, with all properties in a complex sharing a single database. OPERA Property Management Systems is fully integrated with OPERA Sales and Catering, OPERA Gaming and Comp Accounting, OPERA Vacation Ownership System, OPERA Quality Management System, and the OPERA central systems — ORS, the OPERA Reservation System; and OCIS, the OPERA Customer Information System.

C. Auto ClerkThe AutoClerk Property Management System (PMS) is designed to be the most powerful, intuitive PMS on the market. At the core of every hotel operator’s business is the guest experience. Because it is important for your front desk staff to be confident and organized, we strive to make the front desk processes as simple and easy to use as possible. Our unique one-step screens are simple to learn and powerful to use. Comparison Table

| WinPM| Micros| Auto Clerk|Pros| 1.Condo-Owner Reporting2.Automated Purge Options3.Rate strategies with minimum andmaximum length of stay4. Room Status Discrepancy Reports| 1.Automatically controlling rates2.Demographic records for guests3.Account Receivable integrated4. Back Office Interface5. interfaces to hundreds of third-party hospitality systems| 1.Yield Management Tools2.Room Allotments3.Easy Audit4.Single step check-in5.Single screen reservations6.Group processing7.Guest history| Key feature| Forecasts and Statistics| Scaled-down edition designed for smaller clients| One-step night audit. | Ease of implementation*| 9| 10| 9|

Ease of Scalability*| 8| 10| 8|Vendor’s reputation*| 10| 8| 10|Overall functionality*| 9| 8| 9|* Scale from 1 to 10Detailed Comparison tableVendor| WinPM| Micros| Auto Clerk|Reservations| GroupsOnline Guest and Folio HistoryUnlimited InventoryMulti-Segment ReservationsYield Management ToolsFlexible Share Functionality Reservation Denial TrackingExtensive PBX Operator Search ToolsGuest MessagingPackage SupportSupport for Extended Stay ModelCondo-Owner Reporting| OPERA Reservation features are integrated with other functionality such as profiles, cashiering, and deposits.

This property management software module offers a complete set of features for making and updating individual, group, and business block reservations, including deposit handling, cancellations, confirmations, wait listing, room blocking, and sharing| Groups Check InOnline Guest and Folio HistoryUnlimited InventoryMulti-Segment ReservationsYield Management ToolsReservation Denial TrackingSupport for Extended Stay ModelCondo-Owner ReportingRoom AllotmentsAvailability SnapshotCustom PackagesE-mail Option|

Accounting| Credit/Debit AgingCity Ledger Dispute TrackingAutomated Purge OptionsQuick Search by AccountsAccount Drill Down FeaturesCompliance with HFTP’s 10thEdition Accounting Standards Journal File Exports to Third-PartyBack Office Software Forecasts and Statistics| Posting guest and passer-by charges (including taxes and other generates), making posting adjustments, managing advance deposits, settlements, checkout and folio printing are a few of the many activities handled by OPERA Cashiering. Cashiering accommodates multiple payment methods per reservation including cash, check, credit cards, and direct bill. In multi-property environments, guest charges can be cross-posted from any property in the hotel complex.|

Credit/Debit AgingCity Ledger Dispute TrackingCompliance with HFTP’s 10thEdition Accounting StandardsChannel Auditing| Front Desk| One Screen Check-in/Check-outDrag and Drop CorrectionsTransfer and Charge Routing withGuest SearchMultiple Folios for Each GuestGuest History Log| One-Step Check-in/Check-outDrag and Drop Correctionsinter-department advisories, or traces| One Screen Check-in/Check-outDrag and Drop CorrectionsMultiple Folios for Each GuestGuest History Log|

Housekeeping| Drag and Drop Room-to-MaidAssignmentsHousekeeping and Maintenance StaffTrackingRoom Status Discrepancy ReportsMulti-Language SupportPatterned Schedules to ComplementGreen Policies| The Queue Rooms feature of the property management software coordinates Front Office and Housekeeping efforts when guests are waiting for rooms which are not immediately available for assignment | Drag and Drop Room-to-MaidAssignmentsHousekeeping and Maintenance StaffTrackingupdate a single room at a time or work with groups of rooms.|

Sales and Marketing| Rate Strategies with Minimum andMaximum Length of StayPackage SupportStatisticsReporting and Export CapabilityGuest Profiles and History| OPERA Property Management System supports multi-currency and multi-language features to meet the requirements of global operations. Rates and revenues can be dynamically converted from the local currency to any other currency. The appropriate language for guest correspondence can be automatically determined by the guest’s profile language; country-specific address formats are supported. |

Rate Strategies with Minimum andMaximum Length of StayReporting and Export CapabilityGuest Profiles and History| Key feature description| WinPM automatically forecast the future rates based on current availability and other hotels’ situations. | Micros PM offers a scaled-down edition of our property management systems for smaller properties or properties offering limited services. OPERA property management software product.| Nightly audit report is saved on disk, and is available in a variety of formats.Options are available to turn off audit printing to save paper and time.Automaticallyposts room and tax|

Analysis of CostSee the attached Excel Sheet

RecommendationFrom the feature analysis, the three vendor all have different competitive advantages. It is very difficult to select the best one. In this specific case, for a newly-acquired, independent hotel, it has to fulfill the scale requirement, which is relatively small scale. Among the three vendors, Micro is an expert at small scale systems. Micro provides a scaled-down edition of our property management systems for smaller properties or properties offering limited services.

According to the balance sheet, Micro provides both the highest ROI AND IRR, which indicates the project is the most profitable one. Based on the above analysis I will recommend ROC to implement the property management system from Micro Co,.

Plan of Implementation

A. InitiationIdentify the problemsPrepare project charter and scope statement

B. PlanningDevelop Work break down StructureNarrow the fieldList potential solutionsBudgeting

C. ExecutingFormulate Business requirementsDevelop Property management systemInstall Property management systemProvide Good Training

D. Monitoring and controllingImplement additional modificationsRequest users’ feedbackTest Before launch