Selecting a Property Management System, Assigning a Project Manager and the Team

You are at the stage of selecting a property management system for your business. We will begin with the understanding that the determination has been made either through a feasibility study or management determination that a new or replacement system is required for your business.

Selecting and purchasing a property management system for your property is not an easy decision; it is a decision that takes a great deal of research and is very time consuming. Once you have defined your property type, it’s time to compile a list of your needs and wants as well as the functionality that is required to best serve your customers and your business.

At the beginning of the process, it is important to designate a project manager that will be accountable and see the project through from purchase of the property management system through to the final implementation of the system at your property.

The evaluation and purchase of the system may be led by a consultant, the business owner, or a manager within the organization at the hotel level or at the head office level. This manager may have a role in the accounting, sales, or rooms division and as the project manager, may deem some items essential that a manager of another department may not.

Now is also the time to start thinking about your business team and the members that should be involved in evaluating the property management system that will be selected for your property. Including your team in the evaluation process can help bring different perspectives and needs from a variety of departments and from the staff that will be using the system.

Involving your team also helps to insure buy in which in turn will make the implementation process easier. A team may also make the evaluation process shorter or perhaps longer, either way you will obtain more information to assist in the selection process and make an informed purchasing decision.

Make sure everyone starts on the same page by briefing the team on the priority list that was initially created by the project manager from the needs assessment. Although the list will change as the evaluation process progresses there will be “must have” items on the list that will need to stay.

During the process it is likely that you will find that no property management system is capable of doing everything you want it to and exactly how you want to do it. You may need to compromise as the system you choose may be really efficient at handling the high priority needs of your business but maybe not quite perfect at handling other needs of your business. You may find that some operational changes in your business process may be required in order to work optimally with the property management system that is selected for your property. Remember, the goal is to find the best all round system for your business.

* Assign the Project Manager.

* Choose the evaluation team.

* Review current priority list and brief the team on the project.

* Begin evaluation lists, separate needs from wants.

* Stay focused on the goal of choosing the best all round system for the business.

Good luck with the evaluation process!

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