What has been the technological evolution of hotel planning? What are the reasons that led the paper tableau to become a complex and powerful digital planning? What are the advantages and disadvantages that derive from it?
We will talk about the evolution of a planning for hotel, the key tool of any receptionist.
Then we will try to understand and retrace what has been its evolution over the years.
Whether you call it a tableau, a booking calendar or planning, we are still talking about a tabular interface consisting of rows on which the accommodations are shown and columns where dates are indicated as in the calendar.
Planning is the centerpiece from where the receptionist does their job:
- inserts new reservations;
- modify existing reservations;
- write down the guest’s name;
- register check-in;
- inserts any notes;
- mark the reservation as confirmed, optioned, group and so on.
In the beginning was the paper tableau
It all started with a paper tableau, a billboard where the hotelier wrote down everything that was booked in his facility in pen.
Colored post-it notes, reservations drawn and colored in pen, others in pencil and then erased with eraser and much more.
The tableau gave full freedom to take notes and footnote however with the advent of such a multifaceted and digitized hospitality context, paper and pen have (but in some structures are still present, alas) left space for the first rudimentary spreadsheets such as Excel.
The first digitization of planning for hotel: the spreadsheet
After the paper tableau, hoteliers more in step with the times have started to digitize and use spreadsheets like the versatile excel to record reservations and keep track of any operations.
However, the spreadsheet also has several limitations, including:
- impossibility of being accessible via the internet;
- manual and non-automated work to insert reservations from any distribution channel;
- risk of losing data in case of hard disk breakage, virus, etc;
- impossibility of synchronizing prices and availability with sales channels such as agencies or OTA channels;
- zero control in case of overbooking.
And in the end it was the planning!
One of the tools that makes every good PMS cloud available is a digital planning.
The planning of a cloud PMS, as well as being accessible online from any device and from any location, earns the hotelier in several factors.
Reservation data is stored in the cloud and subject to continuous backups. There is no risk of losing reservations and the data is GDPR compliance.
When registering guest data on a planning of a pms cloud, several daily tasks such as ISTAT, lodged tickets and tourist tax are automated.
In the planning it is possible to record notes on guests, extras and other notes that allow you to avoid manual errors and oversights at check-out. In addition, planning, where reservations from other distribution channels such as online agencies or OTA channels are downloaded, protects you from the danger of overbooking.
Sometimes we hear that pen and paper are better tools than management software considered by some hoteliers to be “difficult to learn“.
Our advice is to try a PMS cloud, when you realize the simplicity with which you can control your structure, how many processes are automated and how much time you save, you will never go back!