Hotel owners have long appreciated the versatility of roomMaster, the popular property management software solution from NFS Technology Group.
Now it’s even more versatile. Because version 15 of roomMaster has arrived on the scene – and it’s set to change the way hoteliers think about room booking software. Did we say room booking? Well, yes naturally, that’s what the software is best known for. But version 15 takes matters much further.
The software is now a more rounded and integrated solution for the hotel market, covering not just basic room booking needs, but online booking, channel management and GDS, food and beverage, gift card management, spas and events – all from a single point solution that eliminates the need for multiple systems.
Here’s Sanjay Saptarshi, NFS’ Head of Hospitality, talking about why existing roomMaster customers should upgrade to version 15.
“The latest version of roomMaster has so many new features, it’s difficult to know where to start. But if I were to pick just two it would be enhancements to the way gift cards and group bookings are handled.“
“Supposing a guest buys a gift card for a friend or relative. When that person arrives at the hotel to use the card, he or she might decide to use it for a meal in the hotel restaurant. Equally, they might want to use it for a spa treatment, or to spend in the hotel shop or against accommodation. Traditionally, this has been difficult for a hotel to handle.“
“And if a hotel is part of a chain, a gift card bought at one hotel can be used at another.“
“Let us also look at the way version 15 handles group bookings, Say, for example, a coachload of 50 people arrives at a hotel for a function such as a wedding or a conference.“
“Everyone in the group has a different need – rooms, meals, etc. When it comes to individual billing, it can get very complicated. But version 15 streamlines the process, with more than a dozen new functions, including easier online booking setup, group concessions and importing rooming lists from Excel.”
Gift card and group bookings are only two of many enhancements to version 15 of roomMaster. Other general enhancements include:-
- Easier to use sign-in sheets.
- Table reservations for POS
- Easier tracking of cancellations.
- New rate options.
- Better night audit.
- Dashboard replacement for snapshot and occupancy comparison.
- Advance deposit details shown on folio.
- Accounts chart drill-down by day.
- Addition of attachments to HTML letters.
- Follow-up flags enhancements
- Support for QuickBooks classifications.
There are report enhancements too, including:-
- Better housekeeping.
- Enhanced manager’s daily/yearly reports.
- Support for new Clarion Report Writer.
- Reprinting of history folios.
- Enhanced VAT options.
- User Fields Reports.
And those are just the big changes. Version 15 has another dozen or more minor enhancements, plus new possibilities for the mobile generation…
Making a hotel reservation on a smart phone comes naturally to today’s iPhone and Blackberry generation, and now with version 8 of roomMaster.Net, a mobile version of the booking engine is displayed when viewed on a smart phone or tablet.
Here are some other enhancements:-
- The statistics section of roomMaster setup now shows desktop versus mobile online booking statistics.
- A description wizard button is available to create an easy-to-update template for the extended room description.
- The Shopping Cart quantity selection now includes more options including number of nights, adults and children.
- For automatic web updates, roomMaster.net is now updated to the most recent version on a nightly basis.
- Dynamic cascading style sheets supported
- Support for Gift Cards.
Time was when hotels offered only bedrooms and perhaps a restaurant. Today’s hotels offer so much ore besides: meeting and conference facilities, food and beverages, a spa… and more. To keep it all together they need a software solution that’s easy to use and integrates all the functions. No wonder roomMaster is already installed in more than 5,500 hotels in 50 countries world-wide. Here are just two of them.
The Lensbury at London’s Teddington Lock is a four-star hotel set in 25 acres of landscaped grounds on the banks of the River Thames, where it offers luxury accommodation, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a state of the art health club, award-winning spa and a hi-tech conference centre.
For Ivor Turner, the hotel’s Leadership Team General Manager, the big advantage of roomMaster is the way it is easily integrated with a suite of other software solutions to handle hotel accommodation with club membership and conference centre bookings. That and roomMaster′s yield management tool that has seen revenue from accommodation booking increase by an incredible ten-fold.
Like so many others, The Lensbury has discovered that using roomMaster with the yield management tool is good for their business, for revenue and profitability. From around £80,000 before the NFS solutions were installed in 2011, revenue has shot up to a forecast of £900,000 in 2012.
“Year-to-date we are well on target to meet that objective,” says Ivor. “We only opened up to third party agents like laterooms.com in February, and we soon discovered that using distribution channels in this way brings in many more reservations, even in these difficult times.“
“Yield management has been around for many years in places like the airline industry, although it’s still in its infancy in the accommodation business. But I predict strong growth in the next few years, now that we have opened the doors. It’s good to know that we have the right tools in place to handle it.“
For The Lensbury, roomMaster lies at the heart of their system. Installed in December 2011, it handles the property management side of the business, looking after accommodation bookings, accounting, yielding and more.
“It’s biggest advantage – and one that it has over our previous software – is the way it integrates with other solutions,” says Ivor. “With our previous system, we could have upgraded, but we still wouldn’t have had full integration with our accounting system.“
The way roomMaster integrates with other software was, in fact, a major attraction for The Lensbury, who also use NFS’ IBS club management solution to run their health club and Rendezvous Events booking software to handle their conference centre.
West Lodge Park
West Lodge Park is a family-run country hotel set in 35 acres of parkland in Hertfordshire, just 12 miles from Central London. Its 59 rooms are individually decorated with all modern conveniences, including wireless internet.
When Front of House Manager Dave McIntyre came to the hotel a few years ago, he discovered a DOS-based system, running without any support.
“I had led the installation process of roomMaster at a previous hotel, so I was well aware of what it could do,” says Dave. “That’s why I decided it was the obvious choice for West Lodge Park.“
Staff at the hotel soon discovered roomMaster′s ease of use and were delighted with the speed with which they could access information fast and efficiently.
“On a day-to-day basis it is reliable and has become essential in helping us function on our extremely busy front desk,” says Dave. “It has a great many features, but at its heart, it provides us with all the usual check-in/check-out functions, along with details of our guests’ folios. Without these basics we simply would not be able to operate.“
West Lodge Park also runs a thriving events side which caters for weddings, meetings, celebrations, Christmas festivities and much more. Such was the success of roomMaster that when the hotel decided to update their events booking system, the software choice was easy. They returned to NFS and installed the technology company’s Rendezvous Events solution.
Christine Major, Business Development Manager, Morgans Hotel, Swansea: “The ease with which roomMaster allows us to seamlessly export email addresses from reservations into our other systems is a great advantage. And that’s without the convenience of roomMaster’s housekeeping facilities – everything from telling housekeeping when rooms are vacant and ready for cleaning, to being able to log lost property found in rooms.”
Maggie McQuillan, Office Administrator, Glenmorangie Country House: “We provide meeting rooms, wi-fi connections, full catering and can arrange activities from golf to fly fishing. With so much to organise, we find it especially useful that roomMaster makes it so easy to book in everyone from a corporate event at the same time.”
Martin Simpson, Joint Co-Director, Micasa Aparthotel, Aberdeen: “roomMaster is quick, efficient and accurate, with many applications and reports that help us run our business. It works very well in-house and for online bookings, saving time and hassle.”
Peter Farquhar,General Manager, Forbury Hotel, Reading: “I’ve managed a number of hotels over the past eight years, and have installed roomMaster in all of them. It serves its purpose completely, and yet is flexible enough to adapt to different and individual properties. It has always suited my needs perfectly.”
- How are you using roomMaster?
- How can your experiences help other users?
- How can the experience of others help you?
- What would you like to know more about?
- Do you have any useful hints and tips on the use of roomMaster?
Let us have your feedback, and we’ll feature your stories and comments in future issues of this newsletter.