Hotel PMS: the expectations of our customers

December 16, 2021

HRS Hospitality & Retail Systems always offers its customers not just the best solution, but the one that best meets their requirements and expectations. We interviewed our partners to find out about their vision for the ideal Hotel Management System (PMS), what has changed, and which features are the most important today.

 

What does a hotel expect from a PMS?

 

“Simplicity, ease of use (both in operation and training), and reliability. We expect the system interface to be user-friendly, which makes it easier to train employees. If we are talking about large hotels then it is no secret that many employees move jobs, if the new employees are familiar with a completely different system, it is important that they can adapt easily. If we are talking about PMS’s in general, each one is good in its way but in some, the functions that you need are obscured. With a good PMS, everything is clear.”

Anton Losenkov, IT Director at Metropol

 

“For a hotel, the PMS is a very important tool - it is akin to a flight control centre. When choosing a management system, we primarily focus on such indicators as the absence of failure, competent configurations, and the ability to quickly assess the situation.

We look at the system's security, reliability, and efficiency, whether we can carry out our operations in the management system, and how we can integrate them with all the departments so that all these processes are accessible and understandable to all employees.

The hotel has many departments with different functions and the user differences between them are huge.  For example, housekeeping financial controllers or the sales department, all have different tasks but just one goal. Therefore, when choosing a PMS, the efficiency of communication and the use of the system on different levels is vitally important to us.”

Rafael Arutiunian, Commercial Director, Akyan Group Management Company

 

“We just recently switched over to Suite8. This was a big win for me because it was difficult to convince the owner to spend a significant amount of money, especially when the efficiency was not obvious to him from the start.

Of course, a lot depends on the type of hotel. If we are talking about large resorts with several hotels, or hotel chains, especially those with a large flow of corporate and MICE guests and travel agents who get into hotels via different bookings from different segments, then the PMS must be very powerful. Firstly, to easily control all guests' movements around the hotels, and secondly to make it easier for the sales department to work with corporate guests; you cannot make a "chessboard" here, you need to have a more technical approach. This August we had 50% of our corporate guests, which is a volume that cannot be handled manually.

Suite8 has tools that are not included in every system, these greatly ease the check-in procedure, moving guests from room to room, and the assignment of rooms. All this functionality is important and helps to make things easier, resulting in fewer mistakes or misunderstandings, and creating a far better guest experience. Using our old system, we could be still checking in guests in at 12 o'clock at night, with Suite8 that has been halved.  We can now check in 5 different buildings in three hours. I am fabulously satisfied”.

Vladimir Masyutin, Owner and Manager, Russian Seasons Management company

 

Have any new requirements emerged recently?

 

“Technology is now vital to the industry; therefore, it is important for the PMS to have the ability to update and constantly integrate with external systems. Ten years ago, it was hard to imagine that any hotel would have a tool such as channel manager, now even small hotels have it. We can see that there is synchronization between the systems, and there are many of them. All hotels want to be able to manage from one place with a user-friendly interface that does not take a lot of time to train staff how to use.

It is just a matter of time before we move to cloud solutions, everything is moving that way, and this is where the issue of security comes in. So far in our company, we have not moved to the cloud, instead we store the data on our own servers.  This is because we can guarantee 100% security for our guests' data, and it is important for us to be able to react quickly in case of failure.

That is the main thing - flexibility and new solutions, which in the future will create more possibilities when working with the PMS”.

Rafael Arutiunian, Commercial Director, Akyan Group Management Company

 

“Both yes and no. It is important that the system can handle all tasks promptly.  The IT industry is constantly changing; therefore, the system needs to be easy to integrate with something new. This is something that cannot be calculated here and now.

It is important for a PMS to have at least the basic functionality of an API, the interface connections that everyone knows about. Any new system which enters the market may have something unique of its own and as a rule, those who develop such systems lay down binding interfaces. It may be difficult to write an interface for Oracle products, but, in principle, these solutions should include a fairly large basic package.”

Anton Losenkov, IT Director of Metropol

 

Share your checklist for choosing a PMS

 

“What kind of checklist can there be if we only have a few PMS’s in Russia? If other suppliers got their product working, they may be HRS competitors, but they would only be competing on price. I gave a well-known company in Russia the chance (three months) to set up reporting. They tried, but in the end it did not work out.

There is no checklist and there are no leaders, that's all. I have gone through all the systems both PMS and POS that are on the market, and I understand very well that OPERA and Suite8 are basic.”

Vladimir Masyutin, Owner and Manager, Russian Seasons Management company

 

“We now plan to launch Roza Rosso but we are faced with the fact that we have no choice. There is no checklist because for us it is obvious that we want OPERA as our PMS, which everyone knows has all sorts of reports and figures that are familiar to Metropolis staff. New people who come here understand OPERA and will immediately know what to do and where to look for the necessary data.

We know of other major hotels that wanted to abandon OPERA, but in the end, after a short time, they came back to this system. Yes, in the case of smaller hotels it is understandable that maintenance and equipment are not cheap, and that HRS offers alternative solutions such as Suite8, but there are also several smaller hotels that are looking at other systems. However, I'm talking about the big hotels which, by and large, do not have a choice.

One of the important points, apart from a user-friendly interface, is the reliability of the system and the work of the support team. I always talk about the HRS helpdesk, it is not perfect, but when compared to other companies it is much better.”

Anton Losenkov, IT Director of Metropol

 

“For a commercial director, the functionality of reports is important, I am referring to financial and commercial reports, as well as a sales report. We also need to clearly track trends and spot any negative or positive changes that could influence any subsequent policies. Also important is the logic in the system itself, the logic of our hotel operations, the ability to carry out complex transactions: not only to punch a check but in all the operations we encounter daily when dealing with guests.

I have already mentioned how seriously we take the security of our guests' data, so it is important to us that our provider guarantees this security. I would also refer to the checklist as being able to integrate quickly and inexpensively when we have market analytics with the booking module, channel manager, and other systems. Such a checklist, in addition to all the basic things that IT gives: control, management of all the processes in the hotel.

As a management company, it is important to have our PMS set up in all the hotels that we manage, because the standards of procedures apply in all our hotels, and consequently we need to be able to set up the PMS in the same way. At the end of the day, both the commercial success and the hotel's errors depend on the management system.”

Rafael Arutiunian, Commercial Director, Akyan Group Management Company

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