By Deb Kohls on September 5, 2014 at 12:28 PM
We have discussed previously why hotels should move to the cloud and today, here’s the testimonial from one of our campground and cabin properties that have successfully transitioned from a pen-and-paper model to Frontdesk Anywhere.
Last year Diane Sisko and her husband assumed management responsibilities of Sisko Pine Point Resort and Campground , a family owned property since 1969 operating May through October. Soon after taking over operational duties, it became obvious to Diane that a more streamlined process of managing reservations was needed. Up to last year, the staff was using reservation notebooks, the kind you can see below for the cabins. “ The numbers on the right are for each cabin. It's a little hard to see the white out, erasings, coffee spills, and little annotations but the reservations are there!” said Diane. “The circles in the "deposit" column are for those people who haven't paid yet. ” she added.
No reservations were taken for their campsites as it was seen as too difficult to manage. The payments were only made either by cash or checks and the only way to confirm and collect for bookings was through a manual process which included phone and US mail reminders. Staff then needed to re-enter reservations from the ‘notebook’ to another paper system at the front office. It was this process which Diane realized needed to be streamlined to assure a greater degree of accuracy and reduced frustration in managing multiple ‘books’. The lack of planning and the revenue loss that ensued for the camping area of the business added to the potential of errors for keeping pen and paper records are the reasons that made Diane Sisko look for a cloud-based property management system. Solution An experienced technology professional, and as a former Division IT Manager at 3M, Diane had some precise ideas about her needs in terms of property management system. First, at the time, she was still working and needed:
- A reliable system that allowed her to manage the resort remotely from Minnesota while maintaining the integrity of the property and its heritage.
- A system that centralized guest communications and guests bookings from the website.
- Complete financial reporting and the ability to process credit cards within the system.
- A system that made it easy to manage reservations and collection of fees
After searching on the internet for several property management systems, she picked Frontdesk Anywhere for her property because:
- The system was easy to use
- Its cloud-based capabilities allowed her to access the system and oversee the property remotely.
- Frontdesk Anywhere displayed the calendar for the full cabins and campsites so that Diane and her staff could manage the bookings of the property easily.
- The system included a commission-free booking engine and payment processing integration which were essential to the modernization of the resort and the way guests could book their stays.
- The system facilitated guest communications by allowing automated receipts, confirmations, and Emails.
- Frontdesk Anywhere account manager was knowledgeable, quick to answer questions and problems, and was courteous and respectful.
Result After signing up with Frontdesk Anywhere, Diane experienced immediate benefits with her staff and the way the resort was managed:
- Training time for new employees was reduced
- Frontdesk Anywhere audit trail kept her staff members accountable.
- Cash flow was improved because guests could be charged from the date they booked online.
- Staff time to process the reservations and the manual follow-up that ensued for unpaid bookings was reduced.
- Frontdesk Anywhere helped redefine the processes to run the resort and has helped increase revenue.
“You can see why I sing the praises of FDA to anyone who will listen.” she concluded.