Running a hotel isn’t easy. You have guests to look after, rooms and grounds to maintain, marketing to do, budgets to manage, staff to pay… the list goes on. This is made harder because — unless you’re a large hotel chain — you’re probably keeping track of all of this using pen and paper, and an Excel spreadsheet or two. If you’re doing well you have a piece of software you purchased that looks after one part of your operation.
This often creates more work.
What independent hotels need are the tools of the big hotel chains. Something that helps them understand their guests better, accept bookings from all over the web, and a birdseye view of their whole operation.
We understand managers of independent hotels are always looking at their budgets to ensure that there is more black than red. It’s a constant battle, trying to figure out where to invest money to get a better return. Many will be asking themselves whether they really need a hotel management system (HMS) to run their hotels.
Note: There are a number of names for Hotel Management Systems (HMS) — you might also hear them referred to as Property Management Systems (PMS). We call them Hotel Management Systems (HMS) because we believe there is more to a hotel than just the property!
What features do I really need?
Ultimately, an HMS system should help you manage your hotel with greater efficiency, ease, as well as boosting your profits. It’s important to consider an HMS system that has features that will contribute to these goals.
You should consider a complete HMS system that has all the features that you need. At the same time, you must avoid complicated systems with obscure features that are hard to use and that will distract you from your overarching goal, or that will make using the system so tedious that you simply won’t use it at all.
Consider the following features that are essential for all hotels:
Front Desk Management
Efficient front desk management is at the forefront of any hotel’s operations. Your HMS system should help you to have all your reservations perfectly organised and at your fingertips.
This will not only allow you to provide your guests with a seamless check-in and check-out experience but will also simplify your processes and give you time to focus on other aspects of your hotel.
Your HMS system should, therefore, allow you to perform the following tasks to make your front desk more agile:
- View all your reservations, check-in and check-out dates and available rooms on a full-screen calendar.
- Get daily reports for arriving and departing guests
- Easily edit the rates and characteristics of your rooms.
- Include additional services and products, such as an extra bed or even a tour package, to new and existing reservations.
- Create invoices and receipts that are customisable so that they can appear under a guest’s name, a company’s name, or can distribute specific expenses between the two.
- Perform check-ins and check-outs.
- Add specific tasks, such as airport pick-ups, to a reservation.
Bookings and Distribution
We all know managing bookings over the phone and from booking websites is time-consuming and can get confusing.
Without an adequate channel manager, you have to waste time updating every single booking site that your hotel is listed on. What’s worse, not doing this quickly enough or making a simple mistake can result in double-bookings or even over-booking, angry customers and that dreaded bad rating on TripAdvisor.
The good news is that you can now rely on your HMS system to perform all of these tasks:
- Manage bookings from across leading channels: Hotels.com, Expedia, AirBnB, booking.com and many more, all through one unified calendar.
- Synchronize all your channels: bookings made through online channels get automatically created in your HMS system and synchronized with your other booking sites.
- Get commission-free bookings from your Facebook page and your website.
- Attract guests by connecting to all of the leading booking sites
We know how important it is for Independent hotel owners to be able to keep a close eye on the day-to-day operation of their hotels. But loitering all day in your hotel lobby to observe your guests’ experiences probably not an option!
Many hotel owners have other businesses or manage their hotels remotely.
An HMS system should, therefore, allow you to manage your hotel wherever you are in the world. What this means is your HMS system should be hosted in a cloud, and be accessible from both computers and mobile devices.
Manage your finances
As a hotel manager, you might find yourself manually entering your financial information into an accounting program after a busy day and writing invoices by hand when guests are checking out.
A complete HMS system should let you generate and manage all your payments and to automatically create invoices for all bookings and sales.
In addition, your HMS system should allow you to know your hotel’s finances inside-out. Do you know exactly how much profit you are making from each room or Continental breakfast that you offer? Wouldn’t it be useful to know how many eggs or shampoo bottles you need to buy during the high season? Having this information will allow you to plan ahead, identify where to cut costs, and run a more efficient hotel.
Reports to track your progress and scale-up
Having all the information available is crucial to making sound business decisions that will allow your business to grow.
Consider an HMS that will show you all your hotel’s information ranging from sales, cash flow and expense reports to insights into your guests’ preferences and your most profitable booking channels.
That way you’ll know where you can allocate your money to scale-up.
System cost — keep an eye out for hidden costs
Considering the features that it comes with is only the first step to evaluating an HMS system. Just as important for independent hotels, given their limited budget, is their cost. There are a variety of ways hotel management systems charge, and it can often get confusing. When evaluating the cost keep an eye out for:
- Commissions: Some systems charge a commission for every booking entered into the system, these can quickly add up.
- Hidden fees: Many systems have a very low advertised price, but then charge additional fees for many essential features, these can quickly add up.
Of course, we can’t resist mentioning Tashi — We think it’s great!
Tashi.com is our solution for independent hotels. We’ve specially designed it based on the feedback of speaking to dozens of independent operators, we’ve focussed on making the system powerful enough to run even large hotels, whilst keeping the interface so simple anyone can use it.
Below is a quick overview of our solution — if it sounds like something that can help your hotel, just visit www.tashi.travel to start a free trial today.
Front Desk — Everything you need at a glance
Tashi provides you with an easy-to-use front-desk hub where you can manage all of your front desk activities effortlessly. Instantly search for
At a glance you can:
- See who is Checking in and out for the day (including payment status)
- See your room availability for the next 7 days
- Manage all bookings, sales, invoices from one place
- All the tasks that need to be completed today, and who needs to complete them.
Bookings and Distribution
With Tashi, bookings made through leading sites will automatically appear in your system. Whenever you receive a reservation, Tashi updates the availability on all online sites to minimize the risk of double bookings. What is even better, you’ll be able to add a booking engine to your website that is also synchronized with Tashi. This way you can get commission free-bookings, forget about reservation e-mails and say goodbye to old-style booking forms on your site!
Data you can use
Tashi keeps all your finance at your fingertips, and importantly gives you easy to understand financial insights so you can quickly see how your
- Invoices at the click of a button.
- Inventory automatically adjusts as you sell and buy new stock.
- Categorize your sales and expenses to make tax time that bit easier.
- Financial reports that quickly show you your hotel’s financial health.
- Export your data for use in other applications
Free trial and a simple pricing you can understand
We’ve got a simple flat monthly fee based off the number of rooms you have starting at just $50 a month.
You can rest assured we have no hidden surprises, and there is no commission for using our booking form on your website.
We are currently offering a 2 month trial including online distribution. To find out more click here