Dear Customers,

It has been a good summer and a pleasantly busy one for us. In the last two months, we have won several new accounts. Is there an economic crisis? Maybe so, and in many ways we see hoteliers asking the tough questions. They are thinking about new ways of attracting customers and local tourism has become a point of focus. New hotels are questioning their construction and IT budgets, especially their PMS. Current industry standard software vendors are not necessarily their only choice anymore. A simple exercise to evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership is to divide the no of rooms by the total cost and see how many room nights it takes to cover the investment. There will be a few surprises here! Take caution of sales gimmicks…promoting the cheaper version, which can be tempting but not quite meeting the requirements and upgrade costs later on might defeat the purpose. What is the point in reducing costs across the board using 'value-engineering' but not questioning their PMS standard? Apparently, this should be a high priority.

Questions one needs to ask industry standard software vendors. What is the cost of ownership (software license, hardware, systems software, post implementation support)? Are there any hidden costs such as upgrades, interfaces, specialist skills etc? Does it meet current business software best in class standards? Does it meet current and future market dynamics? What is the innovation index in the last three years? Is there any visible value migration? What are the core attraction factors? Is 'old is gold' valid anymore? How secure and robust is the software? Is it truly integrated or smug in making bold statements without foundation? Is 'going with the flow' the only solution? These and many more questions should be asked to seek the 'edge' in these trying times and achieve competitive advantage. As General George Patton said, "If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." This mindset appears to be a widespread rigidity in the industry when it comes to PMS selection. Even Keith Gruen, ex cofounder of Fidelio mentioned about this and said, "Never mind that almost none of these people are with the same company they were ten years ago. Some left hotel companies to work for vendors. Others left vendors to work for hotel companies. This industry is like a family and that's part of what made it a fun industry to be involved in. On the other hand, maybe this is one of the reasons that this industry hasn't progressed much in ten years." Interestingly IBM says, "The industry is struggling with a single source of the truth and single image strategies for inventory, guest information and marketing/operational content." They are all pointing out to legacy stalwarts who have failed to provide the truly integrated solution to bring the industry into the 21st century.

Moving from end of life industry standard software to the newer versions from the same company requires a cold hard evaluation, questioning the technology, design and functional features, license and operational costs (at times so high, that the entire cost of the software is paid for every four years), and ROI.

Pondering on an old Chinese proverb, "It takes a first step, to reach a 1,000 miles", is apt in these troubled times. Taking a departure from the old is a bold step, albeit the most important decision today, although hotelier's tend to worry about other aspects such as bookings, RevPar, occupancy etc. If there ever was a time to unlearn and embrace new learning, ask the tough questions, re-evaluate with fresh perspectives by applying new rules, this is as good a time to do so.

According to Smith Travel Research (STR), occupancy rates for luxury hotels worldwide have dropped to 57 percent this year through July. That's down from 71 percent occupancy just one year earlier.

Additionally, according to the group, the average daily room rate will drop by 9.7 percent, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) will be down 17.1 percent this year. As for 2010, STR projects further occupancy declines of 0.6 percent, and additional RevPAR declines of 4.0 percent. Neither metric is exactly encouraging. With H1N1 showing no signs of abating, air travel is bound to face challenges and this may put additional pressure on the hospitality industry.

Mehboob Hamza
(mehboob@sscomp.ae)

 

 

Seven Seas is in the Food & Hotel Thailand 2009

We are participating in the Food & Hotel Thailand 2009, 2-5 September from 10.30 am till 6.30 pm held at the Royal Paragon Halls in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Visit us at Stand No. R25. We will have the full range of momentohs software on display. Last year, there were over 752 participants from 45 different countries and the show attracted 22,595 visitors. As part of the Allworld Apple series of food & hotel events, Food & Hotel Thailand holds the unique status of being "Asia's 5 Star Hospitality Event." See you there!

momentohs new look

Our website www.momentohs.com has a totally new look, in line with our steady and strong expansion in the past few months. It is designed for hoteliers to understand how momentohs helps them in their day to day activities in each and every department, i.e. Front Office, Finance, F&B etc. It also clearly shows how hotel owners can generate maximize their profit when their hotel is powered by momentohs, be it from the ROI or TCO point of view. Click on each position and see for yourself on how momentohs provides the value propositions to make your life easy, improve efficiency and excel your performance beyond expectations.

 

The World's Weirdest Hotel

At Berlin's Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin, Germany, each of the 30 rooms is weird in its own way.

The first room of City Lodge, shown above, is made to look like a brightly painted medieval town, with an ultra-mini golf course surrounding the castle bed. The colorful room is part of the artist's private area and it is available for photo / video sessions. Wardrobes and compartments are cleverly hidden among the bright and colourful paintings of the wall.

Not unique enough? How about seeing things upside down? Room 23 is certainly in a topsy-turvy,
with furniture hanging from the ceiling. From beds to table and chairs, almost everything is on the ceiling! Luckily you don't have to sleep on the ceiling too, although we're not too sure how that can be done. Instead, visitors sleep and sit in comfortable boxes beneath the floorboards. Uncannily surreal! And also the only four bed bedroom in the hotel.

The list doesn't stop there. Another room has coffins for beds, with the lids closeable for those who want a 'total darkness' feel and another room has lion cages on stilts (the website claims that kids "love to sleep" in them). Then there's the Freedom Room, which resembles a prison, complete with a toilet next to the bed.

The hotel's artist-owner, who is also a keen music lover, is certainly into innovation and has a taste for unique experience. Room rates start from euro69.

 

Employees Productivity

Employees' productivity has always been an ongoing problem in hospitality, specifically in the Finance and Accounting division. They have been drowning with the dull, routine clerking work which is time consuming and pointless rather than the more important and crucial analytical work.

They amount of work for an Account Payable person is enormous, not to mention the hectic responsibility to analyze the numerous figure, let alone the struggle to complete the items received by the hotel in to the Account Payable Subsidiary and General Ledger.

This would not be the case if the hotel management system is turbocharged by momentohs. Clerking jobs, which eat into precious time and creates boredom in ones work scope will no longer be a burden. With momentohs in place, once the Items Received has been checked and posted, the system will smartly do a direct posting to the respective Account Payable Subsidiary and as well as to the General Ledger. This of course eliminate the need to do it manually each time Items Received is checked.

 

 

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