Switching PMS Systems - Successfully
If you are reading this article, chances are you are thinking about switching Property Management System or PMS system. Here at elinaPMS we have two types of clients; those who are new to the industry and those that have already tried one or two PMS systems and have a bit of baggage in terms of data. We see it as clients are either new or switching. Both need help, but the support that is needed is different.
Don’t worry if you are in the second category - you are not alone. We have clients approaching us wanting to switch PMS system for a number of reasons, and they usually have some concerns about the actual switch itself.
This is where we can help!
At ElinaPMS our core business is developing booking engines for serviced apartments, aparthotels and vacation rentals. Our system is good and so is our support team. We are used to guiding clients through the transition from one system to another, and have come across all pitfalls and problems. So don’t worry, we know just how to fix them!
We know our clients main concerns when switching PMS system are as follows:
“Will my current problems be addressed?”
“What happens to my existing data, such as my customer profiles and my current bookings?”
“How long will the process take?”
“What time of year is best?”
“Do I own my data now?” and “Will I own my own data with you?”
“Is my data secure now?” and “Will my data be secure with you?”
“What if I want to move somewhere else further down the line?”
So let’s address each of those questions:
Will my current problems be addressed?
We find most clients come to us to save time, not money. They want to minimise the time that they (or other staff members) are spending on tasks, such as:
- Contacting guests
- Managing occupancy
- Updating rates / availability, running special offers
The idea is not to cut down on administrative staff, but to free them up to undertake other key tasks, such as updating your website, blogging, or undertaking more social media (All things which we, at Elina PMS, can help with if you want!)
Measuring cost of manual versus automated tasks
Track your time, assign a value per hour and see how much you will save through automation.
If you are thinking about switching PMS system, we advise you to monitor how much time you are spending on these tasks over a period of weeks, so that we can have a meaningful discussion about how ElinaPMS can help. You can also use this as a benchmark further down the line.
What are your biggest pain points?
Using the time evaluation, you can see what areas of your trading are taking the most time and therefore costing the business the most. These are the features your new system should cover, or address, in addition to any other wishes you have. You can then pick your top three biggest needs in switching systems.
What happens to my existing data, such as my customer profiles and my current bookings?
We can transfer all your data for you, including customer profiles and all your current (and past) bookings. Our developers are used to dealing with data in all manner of formats and can tailor-make APIs to import it so that is appears in a meaningful manner.
How long will the process take?
This depends on the clients understanding of the process, and what is needed for things to run smoothly. The more organised you can be, the easier the process becomes. We can help you with this too!
What time of year is best?
As we deal with clients from around the globe, there is no ‘peak season’ for us, and we are happy to help you switch PMS system at any time of year. However, we find that most clients prefer to take on this task just after their peak season.
Do I own my data now? and Will I own my own data with you?
If you don’t already know the answer to this, it is worth finding out. Our advice is to always own your own data. If you choose to work with us, then we store your data for you but we don’t own it. Should you wish to change provider, you are free to export your data anytime.
We also recommend you export or ask for a sample of your data, then you can check its layout. Can it be supplied in .csv format, and what fields are populated?
Is my data secure now? and Will my data be secure with you?
Your data is all held on your own individual server, providing more security than those PMS systems which only exist in the cloud. You can still access your data wherever and whenever you like, safe in the knowledge that you aren’t sharing a server with other clients.
Elina PMS is looking after your data, not making money from it.
What if I want to move somewhere else further down the line?
As mentioned above, it is because you own your data, you are free to move whenever you want.
So how do we switch PMS system?
If you are thinking “that’s great!” but what do I do next?
Talk to us . . .
Give us a call, we’ll be happy to demonstrate Elina PMS to you, as well as running through the whole process of switching. There are also some things you can do to make the process run smoothly further down the line:
- Assign a project manager to oversee the whole process
- Schedule management and training time for set up and on-going training further down the line
- Communicate to staff why you are switching? They need to be on board so have a meeting with them and explain the benefits of switching!
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