Next Generation Hospitality IT: Upgrading and Restructuring Enterprise Systems
Aberdeen Group defines a property management system as software that automates the operations of a hotel / motel / resort, restaurant, casino, or cruise line. This automation includes the integration of front-office applications and back-office applications to allow for complete management of the entire property or restaurant location. The key operational areas impacted by the property management system include inventory management, workforce management, revenue management, CRM, customer loyalty, and business intelligence. In order to operate at full operational functionality, these core elements need to be integrated into a central system, providing enterprise-wide visibility.
According to Aberdeen data, the top two business pressures facing hospitality executives today are the need to ensure continued growth and expansion, and the need to improve the product and service value proposition to counter competitive loyalty programs (Figure 1). In today’s economy, with historically weaker domestic and international travel and hospitality demand trends, hospitality organizations are doing whatever they can to hold on and ride out the storm. By working smarter, organizations can continue to grow by taking a more refined and holistic view of optimizing property management systems or restaurant systems. Reducing manual tasks that can be automated through the property management system is one way in which organizations have been able to grow during these tough times.
As the data shows, Best-in-Class organizations are 30% more likely than all other organizations to feel the pressure to improve their product and service value proposition. In uncertain economic times, the value proposition of an organization to its customer base is of utmost importance. Best-in-Class organizations have recognized this fact, and are making strides to stay ahead of the competition by making these improvements a core business focus. Utilizing the property management system to generate improved operational efficiencies such as revenue or margin per customer and overall guest experience will have a direct correlation to the product and service value proposition for hospitality organizations.
Figure 2 above also shows that Best-in-Class organizations are 1.5-times more likely than all other organizations to improve inventory planning and allocation. By improving inventory planning and allocation, organizations are able to better service the customer while lowering their costs. For a hotel or resort, this can include room availability and inventory levels of items at a gift shop, restaurant, and business center. Looking at the example of room availability, hotels must allow for last minute bookings, as these are the rooms that will bring in the highest margin. Those rooms that are booked months in advance, especially through third-party agencies, are the least expensive for the customer. However, as the supply goes down and last minute demand goes up, the prices become more beneficial for the hotel. Proper inventory planning allows for higher margins without risking high vacancy rates.
Collaboration and workflow visibility also allows multiple departments to work as a whole and improve the process workflow of the organization.
Best-in-Class organizations are nearly 1.5-times more likely than Average or Laggard organizations to develop cross-departmental inventory visibility. For a hotel, this aids in the effective revenue planning specifically for the booking occupancy and revenue generation process. As there is more visibility into room availability, it allows for more aggressive and targeted marketing promotions. For a restaurant, this makes replenishment scheduling more efficient. With more visibility into inventory levels, managers are able to better determine the level of on-hand inventory needed, which will aid in preventing under-stock or – the more dreaded – over-stock situations.
- Utilize business intelligence dashboards for real-time performance reporting.
- Upgrade materials management tools and applications to improve inventory quality control.
- Improve collaboration of data and process sharing with trading partners and suppliers to ensure streamlined inventory replenishment.
- Integrate a CRM system into the property management system to incorporate customer insights into the business.
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Authors: Chris Cunnane, Senior Research Associate, email@example.comSahir Anand, Research Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Associate - Retail, CPG, and Hospitality