Martin Cowen, an author for Tnooz, wrote that “group sales and catering is being transformed by technology and by the role it plays in the everyday personal and professional lives of the planners, attendees, corporate buyers, IT partners and the front-desk staff.” This transformation is being experienced firsthand at The Academy Hotel.
Located in scenic Colorado Springs, the family owned and operated The Academy Hotel uses an automated system from Skyware Property Management System (PMS). “Group room booking is one of the most important functions of the Academy Hotel because it can significantly contribute to the overall occupancy rate and provide the hotel with additional revenue opportunity,” said Shawna Rose, Director of Operations & Marketing. “We wouldn’t be able to issue the number of proposals we issue without the automated capability."
Numerous property management systems do not include access to a sales and catering module on the same interface as the rest of the system. Lacking access to sales and catering functions can lead to failure in capitalizing on possible up-selling and cross-sales. “Just because a guest is part of a group stay, that doesn’t mean hotels can’t offer unique room upgrades, meal options, spa treatments, even activities with third party partners based on an individual profile at a personal cost,” says Cowen. Having access to a full solution PMS system is critical for capitalizing on group sales.
Fortunately, Skyware's Sales and Catering system is integrated directly into the Property Management System. Many of the activities are automated. For example, if group rooms are not confirmed by a certain date, all unused rooms can be automatically be put back into the hotel’s inventory to be resold to individual guests. Another function that can is automated is the billing function. A hotel guest that also has a banquet function can have a separate or combined bill because the billing system used for both items is the same billing systems. Individual hotel sales representatives performance can be measured and reported upon for paying commissions.
When a customer calls to talk to a sales representative at The Academy Hotel, the representative can discuss the rates and the terms and conditions for the groups and quickly determine hotel availability by viewing the Group Rate Control (GRC) view in the Skyware system. After negotiating terms and conditions, dates, and services requested, a detailed Banquet Equipment Order (BEO) proposal contract can be printed out or emailed from the Skyware system. The BEO contains all of the details discussed during the sales call and includes unique Hotel requirements like when deposits for the services are due and when group rooms must be confirmed.Overall, The Academy Hotel has experienced increased productivity, increased quality, and increased system efficiency by integrating Skyware's full solution PMS system into the hotel. Using the full solution system eliminated the need for a separate sales and catering system; therefore, reducing costs for The Academy Hotel. Implementing a full solution system is critical for efficiently capitalizing on the potential sales group bookings have to offer.