Mobility and the Future of the Front Desk
By Jos Schaap Founder and CEO, StayNTouch | June 12, 2016
Technology is having a huge impact on how guest preferences are formed, expressed, and received by hotels. The impact of mobility is profound, along with the centrality of guest choice. While technology has evolved, innovation at the front desk has not kept pace. This study examines the forces leading the industry to this point – and proposes some solutions.
Should your hotel's guest check in be more like the guest experience at an Apple Store? What would this look like, and would it be a good thing – for you, your ability to manage your property, and above all, for your guests? The concept is not as far fetched as it seems.
In this article, I will discuss why and how PMS systems, including the check-in process, have evolved in recent years; where they are today; and some changes that might make life better for hoteliers, and guests, in the future.
A Concise History of the PMS
At first, automation in the hotel industry consisted of tools to produce budgets, manage reports and analyze accounts. Little by little, technology crept into hotels' transactions with vendors, and ultimately with guests – as reservations systems and other technology-driven innovations came online. The advent of technology was a real time-saver, as paper became less important – and connectivity, more so.
Soon thereafter, the Property Management System (PMS) was developed as software to automate the operations of a hotel. It quickly became the hub of a property's operations - processing reservations, check-ins and check-outs. It keeps track of how many rooms you have left to sell and at what rate.