Dear Customers,

A key advantage is being a new incumbent and hence we bring fresh perspectives. We are not influenced by outdated industry practices and preferences, but driven to ask the burning questions and passionate about introducing new best practices. Of course, industry standard vendors often boast of their user list as a sign of their success. True, as it may be, but then why are independent consultants and hospitality practices in IBM and Microsoft critical? Points raised are related to integration of software, single source of the truth and embracing best practices such as On Demand technology, Real-time, ERP concepts, Service Orientated Architecture and Decision Support Systems (Business Intelligence, Dashboards and cross functional reports). Apparently, decisions on software selection should have the above on a checklist.

Manufacturing industry use ERP systems to manage their business, which is a single database multi-modular software application from a single vendor. A standard RFP (Request for Proposal) template to select ERP manufacturing software would suffice to see which industry standard software vendor in the hospitality world would even pass the 50% mark. Not so with momentohs® enterprise. We have applied this test and are over 85% compliant.

The current business climate demands even more timely reports, analysis and alerts to enable Managers to make lightening decisions. Having a pulse of the business on a daily, weekly basis when the industry is struggling with low occupancy, drop in yield and controlling costs is the need of the hour. Meeting these challenges can only be so, if the software adheres to above standards. With momentohs® enterprise, the requisites are built in. For example, it is commonly held that 47% of guest complaints are made at the Front Desk, especially during check out. Front desk service agents need to capture and deliver a level of service that ensures customer loyalty. Having access to Guest Experience Monitor (as in momentohs® enterprise), allows the service agent to instantly provide that little extra mile, such as two free meals at their favorite restaurant or 50% discount on Spa during  their next visit. If guest preferences are captured across the hotel’s outlets and recorded in GEM, the Front Office agents can access it and instantly make the necessary pacifying concessions to ensure guest delight and loyalty.

We recommend hoteliers to see how other industries are applying IT to be drivers of their business and their approach to creating value and making IT a key differentiator. Banking, Manufacturing and Telco are three good examples. In comparison, Hospitality is way behind. No wonder, recognized independent consultants and leisure, hospitality and travel consulting practices in IBM and Microsoft are critical of the software and IT systems currently applied in the Hospitality industry. momentohs® enterprise is the result of addressing the gaps and bringing the industry to meet the challenges. It is the most advanced Hospitality Management Software in the market today.

 

Mehboob Hamza

 

 

Dr Steve Lebruto is Associate Dean at the Rosen School of Hospitality Management (part of the University of Central Florida in Orlando). He has recently retired due to health considerations but was happy to contribute an article for our newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Practices for Software Vendors

Fundamental Philosophy

Managers are decision makers and they rely on the quality and timeliness of the information that they have available when making decisions. This makes real-time data of vital importance in a property management system. Software providers in many industries have developed Dashboards to provide managers with business metrics that allow them to take appropriate and timely action to advance their business.

Therefore, we believe that the state of the art property management systems must be operationally based and of benefit to the management team.  These data can be rolled up into higher level executive decisions, but it must start with the operation if a difference is truly to make in delivering a higher level of customer service.

Best Practices

In the hospitality industry the greatest need for this type of information is in the service delivery functions. Operations managers can use real-time data to monitor employee performance and to intercede when necessary to ensure that customer service standards are met. Here are a few examples:

 

 

 

1.  Over Credit Limit List:  This report would enable front office staff and managers to know immediately when a guest exceeded his credit limit.

2.  Staff Punched in List:  This feature assumes that the property's staff uses the Property Management System (PMS) as a time clock or that a time clock id interfaced. This, in itself is a good management control that should be deployed.  Managers would see exactly who is on the clock. Additional functionality would compare the employee's actual arrival and departure to a schedule. Imagine being a housekeeping manager and getting a text message on your cell phone as soon as one of your staff was 5 minutes late for work!

3.  Arrival and Departure Statistics:  A basic report of these data would help with seasonality and fluctuation issues during the day. Average Daily Rate (ADR), Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR), Projected Revenue, and Occupancy Percentage in real-time would all be invaluable for optimizing revenue and labor adjustments.

4.  Food and Beverage Menu Tracking:  A Point of Sale (POS) system that tracks the number of portions of each selection available each day and deducted from the total as units were sold would help servers to sell strategically under the direction of management. An additional management benefit would be to keep the rest of the property updated of the happenings in the food and beverage outlets. If everyone knew that one outlet was particularly busy they could recommend an alternate instead of driving additional traffic to the busy one. Or, if one outlet was particularly slow an effort could be made to send traffic that way. Again, selling is everyone's responsibility and the optimizing of total property revenue must be the primary directive along with delivery of extraordinary service.

5.  Special Event Tracking:  Either the POS or PMS should be able to track specific sales events that managers want to provide incentives to the employees. At the front desk this might be an upgrade from a standard room to a deluxe room. In the bar this might be the sale of a high value bottle of wine. In either case if managers were immediately aware of the occurrence of success in a selling situation they could reinforce the behavior with a kind word or some other reward.

6.  Human Resource (HR) Management:  On the HR side, an employee birthday list and reminders about service anniversaries will encourage managers to recognize employees on special days. Simple. These little things cost so little and mean so much to the staff.

7.  Back Office Receivables:  In the back office, an aging schedule with top 10 lists of oldest outstanding accounts or 10 top receivables would draw attention to situations needing attention.

8.  Service Delivery Timer:   Many quick service restaurants time service delivery to optimize performance. This could be easily incorporated into a PMS or POS. One specific example is to time the delivery of a housekeeping request like the delivery of extra towels. If the property standard is 15 minutes then a flag could appear after the 15 minutes had expired when the item is not cleared from the system.

 

This, we feel, is a start and the direction that at this point we think should be receiving attention.  We have spoken to a number of hospitality managers about this issue and it seems that different managers will derive the greatest benefit from different information. Quite understandable.

This would suggest that the software provider should design a system with a customizable dashboard that will allow each manager to determine what is most important to them.

Head Office Consolidation with momentohs® sprint or entrée

Small chain hotels require Head Office consolidation of their various properties. A true multi-property system with Central Reservation can be costly for small chain hotels with 8-12 sub 50 or sub 100 room resort properties. What they need is visibility of core information such as occupancy, advance bookings, revenues etc. Often, these small groups spread their top management across the entire chain to save on HR costs and tend to have central Sales & Marketing, They are still able to consolidate at Head Office with momentohs® and do comparative analysis with visibility at each property on a daily basis. Whether it is momentohs® sprint or entrée, it does not matter. The replication of momentohs® is robust and scalable across the Web with each property information available on a daily basis.

Let’s take a small chain with 10 resort properties each having momentohs® sprint FO, BO, POS, F&B, SmartTrack and Spa at the property level. At any point of time, Head Office could view the replicated information such as room bookings, occupancy, POS/SPA revenue and more. Sales team at Head Office could see room availability, bookings received directly at the property. Rate profile can be assigned to each property from the Head office. The Financial Controller could collate revenues and consolidate multi-property accounting. AR and AP can be controlled by the Head office with the help of Central AR invoice and Central purchasing. If some properties are small (sub 30 rooms/chalets), they could use momentohs® entrée FO only and each day the property could submit accounting info where it would be entered at Head Office. It would save the property to employ an accountant.

The diagram below presents a detailed flow and activity at Head Office. momentohs® sprint and entrée is built on Microsoft technology and provides the versatility and reduced cost of ownership while addressing the requirements of small chains enabling them to download and capture data across all their properties at Head Office. This maximises head office management team’s time, optimizes their efficiency and makes available information across the properties without having to invest in expensive Central Reservation software.

 

Syed Irfanuddin Quadri
Business Solution Services
email : siquadri@sscomp.ae
Direct : +971 4 308 3645
Mobile : +971 50 7187292

 

Seven Seas Computers LLC
P.O. Box 8469
Dubai, UAE

www.sscomp.ae
www.momentohs.com
Tel : +971 4 308 3555
Fax : +971 4 336 6727