Channel Management Software is an essential part of the hotel software suite. In an ever changing, dynamic and competitive market, channel management software helps to manage room tariff, availability across OTAs and increase profit margins. Many software providers develop solutions for channel management that may be stand alone systems or a part of larger property management systems.There will never be a ‘one size fits all’ solution for all hotels, hoteliers must understand how their business works before investing in a channel management software.
While selecting an appropriate channel management software, cost should not be the primary factor for consideration, hoteliers must focus on the functions that the software performs and how it helps you to monitor your channels. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the right channel management software.
Feature Rich User Interface
A channel management software should simplify handling large volumes of data. Tasks of a repetitive nature such as yield management, reservation tracking, rate distribution and monitoring should be accessible from a single interface.
Manual Addition Of Channels
Channel management software should enable easy manual additional of unavailable channels. Also it must offer the same functionalists for manual additions.
A channel manager should not merely support various OTAs but enable a hotel to utilise these channels. The channel management software should act as a liaison between the hotel and the OTAG. While there are more than hundred OTAs, customers tend to favour only a few of them. Channel Management Software must take this into account and provide connectivity to these OTAs. This will help improve the hotel’s reach and ultimately increase its revenue.
Cloud Based Channel Management Software
A cloud based system lets you stay in touch with prospective guests at all times. Business performance is improved as your business data is available anytime and can be accessed from anywhere. Also your data remains accessible even in case of server breakdown as automatic backup is periodically scheduled .
Streamlined Sales Operations
An effective channel management software must be integrated with the hotel’s booking engine and reservation system so that room inventory listing can be sent to all OTAs. This process should be automated by the software as manual updation is both costly and time consuming. Also certain software providers offer the choice of choosing OTAs versus other channels, for some hoteliers this may be an important consideration.
Channel Specific Customization
OTAs often differ in their rate policy, some include tax while others treat tax separately. Channel Management Software must process rates in a single format and perform the necessary calculations to arrive at the correct rate.
Hassle free Inventory Management
Inventory allocation is often a difficult task Channel management software should allocate inventory to a single pool rather than individual OTAs. Such a system aids in easier rate management. Promotions can be created with no fuss and sent across to the OTAs.The channel manager must also update inventory automatically and in real time to avoid a scenario where two customers book the same room.
Expanding the reach of their product offering has become an important area of focus for all hotels. Earlier only the larger hotels were able to utilize these distraction channels, but recently even mid and small size hotels are using these channels to gain a competitive advantage. To realize the goals of your distribution strategy, invest in a suitable channel management software.
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