What is a hotel PMS (Property Management System)?

In the hotel industry, PMS stands for Property Management System (sometimes also called a reservation system). Although a PMS is mainly used to manage reservations and check-in guests, a modern PMS has many more useful features. You could see the PMS as the technical heart of the hotel where you can manage everything related to your guests and their stay, as well as operational matters such as invoicing, financial administration, housekeeping and (daily) reports.


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How does a hotel PMS work?

You have two types of the PMS: on-premise (the program is installed locally on the computer) and web-based (access on any device via browser). Each PMS looks different and has different functions. Any proper PMS provider will give extensive training of the system (on-site or online) and will always provide training or support where needed. Although each system is different, the following things are present:

  • An overview dashboard (home screen) with daily information such as occupancy, arrivals and the status of the rooms
  • A planning board in which reservations can be created or changed
  • An invoicing tool to process and print invoices for the guest
  • A housekeeping tool to keep track of the room status
  • The possibility to look into guest history, profiles and reports

Reservations made online via online booking channels or the hotel website don't show up automatically in the PMS. If you want all your reservations to appear in the PMS automatically, it is best to link them via a Channel Manager.


Why is a PMS important for hotels?

The modern hospitality industry is tremendously technology-driven, and the Property Management System has played a leading role in this for over 30 years. The essence of the PMS is to automate daily tasks and thereby make your internal processes much faster and more efficient. In today's day and age, where the vast majority of bookings are made online, it is no longer realistic to process all your administration manually.


How much does a PMS cost?

The Property Management System usually is not the cheapest hotel system, but it pays for itself in time and efficiency. Also, many alternative systems are tailored to smaller hotels in terms of functions and prices. These systems are all web-based applications, eliminating expensive IT management and installation costs. Most PMS providers offer a monthly subscription which you can cancel annually. This model avoids high initial costs and makes it easier to switch to another system.


About SmartHOTEL
For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at sales@smarthotel.nl or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.

By SmartHOTEL | June 02, 2014

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