Property Management Systems also known as PMS or Hotel Operating System (Hotel OS), under business terms may be used in real estate, manufacturing, logistics, intellectual property, government or hospitality accommodation management. They are computerized systems that facilitate the management of properties, personal property, equipment, including maintenance, legalities and personnel all through a single piece of software. They replaced old-fashioned, paper-based methods that tended to be both cumbersome and inefficient. They are often deployed as client/server configurations. Today, most next generation property management systems favour a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model sustained by web and cloud technologies.
The first property management systems in the hospitality industry appeared on the market in the 1980s. In hotels a property management system, also known as a PMS, is a comprehensive software application used to cover objectives like coordinating the operational functions of front office, sales and planning, reporting etc. The system automates hotel operations like guest bookings, guest details, online reservations, posting of charges, point of sale, telephone, accounts receivable, sales and marketing, events, food and beverage costing, materials management, HR and payroll, maintenance management, quality management and other amenities. Hotel property management systems may have integrated or interface with third-party solutions like central reservation systems and revenue or yield management systems, online booking engine, back office, point of sale, door-locking, housekeeping optimization, pay-TV, energy management, payment card authorization and channel management systems.
With the advancement of cloud computing property management systems for hotels expand their functionality towards new service areas like guest-facing features. These include online check-in, room service, in-room controls, guest-staff communication, virtual concierge and more. These new functionalities are mainly used by guests on their own mobile devices or such provided by the hotel in lobbies and/or rooms.
A good PMS should give accurate and timely information on the basic key performance indicators of a hotel business such as average daily rate, RevPAR or occupancy rate and help the food and beverage management control the stocks in the store room and help deciding what to buy, how much and how often.