PMS is one the most famous /well-known software in the lodging industry. If you don’t know about tourism maybe a definition is needed… WAIT! You don’t know about tourism? What the heck are you doing here? 😎 Just joking!!!! If you believe that Tourism is the best sector ever, Touristology is a science and you feel down in your heart that you want to become a Touristologists… for me, it is more than enough. So, welcome a board!!!
PMS stands for Property Management System. It is the equivalent to ERP (enterprise resource planning) in other sectors.
PMS needed to be developed because the standard software (ERP) wasn’t able to cope with the features that lodging services need: Management of an inventory that you don’t send out BUT on the contrary customers come to use. Inventory that the same day is left for one customer, then cleaned and maintained, then occupied by another customer. Inventory of intangible services, which make them unable to deposit and give origin to one of my favorites strategies in Touristology: Yield/Revenue Management! Remember, Touristologists… what you don’t’ sell today is lost forever!
Most of the lodging enterprises have a PMS, from the most famous one OPERA by micros (bought not so long ago for Oracle), to the new ones than appear below the umbrella of cloud computing, making the most of the cloud and web 2.0 business model. Even though, sometimes, they just do the same as usual but with a new name!
Anyway, ready for PMS’ evolution, Touristology’s point of view? To me, there are three drivers changing the PMS scenario, giving opportunities to new entrants and threats to the old players. Definitively, these are interesting times in PMS’ field.
Let’s talk first about the slow transformation from a PMS to a CVMS:
If you want to provide services before, during and after a trip, it’s compulsory to make all departments and members of the chain of value work as a single organization. In order to do that you will need software to help you achieve your mission! Of course, it is important to manage your property, but a company in XXI century, begins and ends with its customers. So, you will need to manage ALL the chain of value… You will need a Chain of Value Management System or CVMS!
It’s worth remembering that we are talking about the chain of value made for and by the customer. It is the customer who decides who is a member and in which way adds value or gain its trust. Don’t make the usual mistake of a copyologist that defines the chain of value based on their preferences, contacts or interest. We don’t send goods through OUR chain of value. We attract, motivate, and seduce customers through it. For that reason, we have to use the chain of value made for and by the customer!!!
Let’s see a drawing of this PMS’ evolution. Blue boxes are features already implemented in modern PMS. Red ones are proposals from Touristology’s point of view!
OK, blue ones. Beginning from the left:
Services suppliers: Software able to sell other services apart from the usual in the lodging industry: Rent a car, Tourist guide… you name it (or even better… YOUR customers name it!) Here you can see an example relating Hyatt and Uber.
BUT Jordi! This is a mobile app NOT a PMS! Right, Touristologists! A mobile app using your PMS, So, Where is the difference? Why are you creating boundaries? Why do you like so much define silos after silos?
Travel agencies in the country of origin: From my PMS, we can add a module and manage reservations in the GDS, OTA, etc… Which is known as Channel Manager? Here we analyzed the software solution of an interesting company.
OLR (On-Line Reputation Management) and SnS management. Here we talked a little bit about web scraping and the semantic web. We also view here a little bit about SnS Management with SalesForce Marketing Cloud
But Jordi! This is a CRM NOT a PMS!… Well… I can repeat again… not boundaries, not silos… But the important thing is… Are you willing to listen?
Time to see the red ones:
Incoming Travel agencies: If you want to create, communicate and commercialize packages, then it is compulsory to become a Travel Agency. Why on earth would I do that, Jordi?
Well….To gain the trust of the customer? To add value and obtain more customers NOT low price orientated? They seem good and powerful reasons to me!
SnS Management is good BUT, as I always say, Paraphrasing Alan Kay: People (Travel companies) who are really serious about social media should make their own communities. This is not a solution for all the segments. You have to select the ones NOT based on Dr. Frankensteins Segmentation. Here you can review some interesting examples, that will allow you to get a powerful nucleus of people that like, want to be professionals and already are professionals of something (musicians, code developers, architects, hoteliers, runners…). Over this nucleus you can build up layers of profit: E-commerce selling was it is important to them. Marketing Research, meetings…
I repeat, these are interesting times in PMS’s field. Interesting times to be a Touristologist AND fascinating times to be a Touristologists builder!!!
Jordi, don’t you talk about three drivers changing the PMS scenario?
YES! This is number one. Number two (cloud computing) and number three (application of web 2.0 business model into the servuction process) deserve their own post.