Hotel software is a specially developed application that automates and streamlines all operations in an accommodation property. There are different solutions and different names for such kind of software - property management system (PMS), hotel management system (HMS), hotel business software etc. Depending on the completeness of the system, this IT solution can cover practically each single aspect in the hotel operations - front and back office, online sales, marketing, statistics. It can even include client facing modules to improve guest service.
Hotel software can be offered as an in-house installation, or cloud based solution also known as Software as a Service (SaaS). In the world of modern hospitality technology, such online hotel software solutions are quickly gaining popularity and become the preferred choice of more and more hoteliers.
Hotel software appliance
The hotel PMS is an integrated platform that facilitates the work of many departments in a hotel or other accommodation provider. It won't just replace the pen and paper methods you used to record your bookings. A good hotel software will automate even the communication between these departments so that your whole business can run smoothly.
Though we call it hotel software, Clock PMS is a property management system suitable to manage any hospitality business - B&Bs, Inns, independent and boutique hotels, villas, rental apartments, hostels, bungalows and any other. Thanks to it scalable price and adjustable functionality, this hotel PMS can provide the exact set of features for every accommodation provider, enabling you to tailor your costs precisely to your needs.
Cloud Hotel software
With the event of Cloud computing, most of the hotel software providers started to develop and offer cloud based versions of their systems to meet the requirements of modern hospitality businesses. At Clock Software, we actually developed a completely new solution that takes all good things from our previous Windows based property management system, but applies a fresh and more flexible concept to the whole hotel management. With this, Clock PMS is not just another cloud based hotel software. It wears all benefits of the cloud in terms of less costs, no hardware requirements and lack of maintenance needs, no worries about updates, data loss or system breakdowns. But it also extends the hoteliers' flexibility. As a first, it works on any device with Internet browser and lets staff operate freely from everywhere their service is required. And second, being a modern hotel management system, Clock PMS applies less restrictive procedures to enable employees to finalise tasks quickly, then stresses on control reports to make sure nothing could slip the manager's attention. The hotel software of the future, more or less.
Hotel software and hotel operations
To facilitate the daily operations in the property, the hotel software includes a booking management system that first shows the actual availability, then automates the creation of new bookings, and at the end enables for searching and finding specific reservations to modify them, add guest details, change dates, room type or other requisites, cancel or confirm bookings according to the guarantee policy.
Another part of the hotel software is the front desk software which enables receptionists to track the housekeeping status of each room, to assign room numbers to reservations, to post room or extra service charges, accept payments and issue invoices. To make the tasks easier, the hotel software should include guest and/or company profiles, automated rate and service charge posting procedure, as well as different calculation and reporting functionalities.
To cover the rest of the business operations, the hotel software provides invoicing, reporting, rate management and data export to a back office systems, so that each department can benefit from using a hotel PMS to manage the property.
Hotel software and online sales
Nowadays, a hospitality business can not succeed without selling its product globally, on the wold wide web. There are direct online sales that happen on the hotel own website, and other sales channels that involve third party mediators, the so called Online Travel Agents (OTA). Such are Bookings.com, Expedia etc. To support this important part of the hotel distribution, the hotel software has additional features - a Web Reservation System (WRS) and a channel manager. The WRS, called also web booking engine, or Internet reservation system, connects the website with the hotel PMS, so enabling the website visitors to see rooms, rates and real time availability and instantly make a booking online, directly on the website. These reservations get automatically downloaded to the hotel software and update the availability and all statistics.
The channel manager is a software module that makes it possible to update the rates and availability shown on multiple sales channels or OTAs simultaneously, from one single point. This saves tons of work for the online sales manager of the hotel and minimises the risk of overbookings. Clock PMS even applies the rate and revenue management techniques to all online sales, thus making the hotel software also a yield management tool.
Hotel software and guest service
Finally, the main purpose of a hotel software is to help hotel staff to provide better guest service. This starts with the fast booking process, continues with the ability to handle every request and quickly proceed any demand at the reception and then goes further with the marketing activities after the customer has departed from the property. Another aspect that advanced hotel software providers cover, are the mobile guest services. Clock PMS, for example, comes with a guest Self Service Portal, that enables hotel customers to complete their registration cards in advance to avoid the queue at arrival, to choose their favourite room, to inform the hotel that they are nearby, to check their bill and even pay online, prepare an invoice and check out by themselves. This service is provided right on the guests' mobile phones or other devices, without the need to download a special app, but only accessing their private account with a secure code they receive with the booking confirmation. The portal is connected to the hotel software in real time and all customer actions get instantly reflected in the hotel PMS database or generate a to do task at the system desktop.