It's only recently that all-in-one software solutions for hotels have started to get increasingly popular in the hospitality industry. In fact, it's easy to understand why! The bundling of the three most used hotel applications, i.e.,
Property Management System,
Channel Manager, and
Website Booking Engine, in one application makes it a lot easier to manage a hotel.
In the last decade, we've noticed several major emerging trends in hotel technology. One of the most prominent of these has been 'bundling'. It involves providing more products to customers (hotels) in addition to the core offering.
All-in-one solutions are most popular with smaller and medium hotels, while chain hotels and resorts typically use more complex technology platforms. With advancements, feature-packed technology suites are now being used by even bigger properties.
When it comes to a hospitality platform, it's essential to find the right fit. With a suitable one stop solution or integrated product suite, you're able to save a good amount of time and money, thereby focusing on providing an improved experience to guests.
In this article, we will look into all-in-one solutions and how they could suit your hotel business just right!
Table of contents for this article:
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What is an all-in-one software?
The software namely contains three useful programs in one, bundled together:
Basically, an All-in-1 hotel management system refers to a PMS with all the added extras thrown into the mix to form a comprehensive solution. It comprises everything you need to manage the hotel, serviced apartment, bed & breakfast, or another type of accommodation.
Apart from the 3 core functionalities, there can be additional benefits:
- You can get add-ons / modules from the vendor. These can often be enabled on-demand for a nominal extra cost. Here is a
list of the most popular functionalities of PMS systems.
- You can get access to third-party integrations, from third-party vendors, through the API - if the vendor offers one. An API is an interface that enable applications to talk to each others.
Some of these modules or third-party integrations can include
Point Of Sale Systems (POS),
Self Check-in Kiosks,
Payment Platforms, etc. By definition, an all-in-one software is Cloud native, which means it doesn't require on-premises installation.
your hotel ecosystem shouldn't be on-premises, but 100% online.
Pros and cons of all-in-one software
Here, we've listed all
the advantages (and disadvantages) of using an all-in-one software to manage your hotel.
The most important benefit of using a hotel management system is automation.
With a good tool, you're able to automate most of the operations, thereby setting yourself free from the trouble of updating everything manually. Moreover, if you use an all-in-one program, you don't need to jump from one tool to another to access data or track performance. Finally, such a software makes it easier to train the staff members, who don't need to go through multiple user manuals or guides to get an understanding of the technologies being used.
Simply put, the consensus is that for most hotels, especially the small and medium-sized properties, the pros outweigh the cons. Managing multiple systems is a hassle, even for smaller hotels, and an all-in-one software solves the problem effectively.
How to choose an all-in-one software to manage your hotel?
If you own or manage a small hotel, you might think that you're getting a good deal with all the features packaged together. In reality, you might need something more customized. It's possible that you're paying for extra features that you'll never actually use. It can complicate yours and your staff's life with additional workload.
Let's start with the basics! A good hotel management software should:
- Cover at least 75% of your needs
- Be adaptable to your business as it grows
- Be user-friendly, and easy to use and learn
Cost & Affordability
Small hotel owners and managers need to be careful about spending their budget adequately. Therefore, it's important to assess all the costs involved.
- Cost of Licensing
Most software are based on a monthly subscription or commission-based model. For budgeting purposes, a monthly subscription proves to be better. It allows you to immediately reinvest the revenue into the property - a much better choice than paying a large sum upfront.
- Cost of Training & Setup
It's necessary to find out the cost involved in the initial setup and training. You also need to consider all potential additional fees, such as payment processing fees or advanced modules fees. Some vendors even charge you per additional user on the account (thought this is quite old now, and most vendors skip this fees).
When you invest in an all-in-1 PMS tool, you're making an investment in the long-term success of your property.
At the same time, you're leveraging three different tools to manage online reservations. Without a good PMS, Channel Manager, and Booking Engine, you'll end up spending more on various operations and tasks, while losing opportunities to get more guests.
Support & Availability
As we suggested earlier, it's critical to consider a vendor providing good customer support.
Just in case anything goes wrong, you'll need to rely on the service provider for a prompt resolution. Once you get it installed, the all-in-one software will be the core of your business operations.
Always choose a vendor who's easy to reach, understands your problems, and speaks in your language.
Top features of all-in-one PMS solutions
Apart from the cost and support, you need to consider other important features, which ensure your business operations can be managed smoothly while improving the overall guest experience. Here are a few important ones:
- Simplified front desk management
The software should provide you with all the tools necessary to run a hotel. The front desk suite should be equipped with every piece of information required to manage your business operations. Once you start using it, you should be able to save time!
- Support for mobile devices / Cloud-based
In today's age, it's important to get an all-in-one system with easy access, from wherever you are. Therefore, the platform should be Cloud-based, which will allow you to access the system from a smartphone or some other device.
- Sales Channels Management
Your comprehensive PMS tool should allow you to manage multiple booking sites from a single dashboard. While the software should update rates and availability in real-time, it's also good to look for a configurable interface.
- Guest Communication Management
The software should be able to communicate with guests. This means it should allow you to send pre and post arrival emails. Moreover, it will be better if you can customise email templates as per your target audiences.
Like any software, hotel management software comes with a wide range of features and functionalities. As such, you need to be well-informed before choosing an All in One front desk suite for your property. Once it's all said and done, choosing a good solution is the safest bet to improve guest experience and impact sales.
It's important to consider that the benefits you receive from using a particular system correlate with proper understanding and usage of the software. While choosing a complete hotel suite, you need to make sure the vendor's revenue model aligns with the one you use. Most importantly, the customer support should be top-notch.
While choosing a vendor, go through their online reviews to gather information.
If you need help, we'll be happy to consult with you on the subject - expert advice never hurts! After all, the software you use will be directly related to the revenue you make.