A Channel Manager is a system that helps hotels in updating their real-time inventory distribution and rates across multiple channels hence managing the reservation accordingly.
This means hoteliers that are using Hotel Channel Manager are not required to log in individually to each OTA dashboard, in order to update room availability as well as price rate and let the Channel Manager do its job.
How Does a Channel Manager Work?
A Channel Manager works as a centralized platform, between Property Management System (PMS) and your sales channels (OTAs) where you sell your hotel rooms. You can learn more about the integration between these systems here
To better understand the process, here’s an example of how it works:
- Assuming that you have a small-budget hotel with a maximum capacity of 15 rooms. You sell your rooms on 4 different channels Booking.com, Expedia, Traveloka, and Ctrip.
- Today, you received a booking for a single room through Traveloka. This leaves you with 14 rooms available to sell.
- The moment the booking is received, it is automatically added to your PMS.
- The channel manager learns about this and then automatically updates the latest room availability (14 rooms) across all 4 channels.
- Basically, you have the ability to receive bookings without worrying about overbooking since your inventory is synced between all 4 channels without you lifting a finger.
Benefits of Using Hotel Channel Manager
If you are considering gaining higher visibility for your hotel by listing on multiple distribution channels but dislike the idea of micromanaging to actively avoid overbooking, a Channel Manager is probably for you.
By using a Channel Manager, you will be able to spend your time efficiently and effectively
- Automatically update room inventory and rate
- Eliminate the risk of overbooking
- Overcome underbooking and sell at the maximum inventory
- Maintain rate parity
- Save time and reduce manpower costs
- Keep away the hassle of human errors
Looking at all benefits above, there is no doubt of how important a Channel Manager it is. You could save your energy and time since you are not going to go through the manual entry process anymore. You could probably enjoy your tea break without thinking about the overbooking issues.
Though that overbooking has both pros and cons, we believe as a professional hotelier, you surely want to start to establish a reputable brand that offers the best experience to your guests.
Read also: Hotel Overbooking Strategies
How to Choose the Right Channel Manager
Before making a decision on which channel manager you want to invest in, you first have to know what your requirements are and what your expectations are toward the product.
To get you started, here are a few questions that are the main concern to most.
- Does it have the ability to integrate with your current PMS?
- Does it connect to all sales channels (OTAs) that you distributed your hotel rooms?
- Is the system user-friendly?
- Does it provide any trial account?
- How much is your budget?
Choosing the right Channel Manager can prove to be very challenging and difficult since there are so many options available to choose from. However, we recommend you take your time to do thorough research on each product that catches your interest and apply for free trials where available. Things such as connectivity options, types of channels available, analytics, and friendly customer service are some of the aspects you should consider when making a decision.
List of Hotel Channel Manager Providers
Now that you have more idea of how the Channel Manager works and why you should invest in it for a better future of your hotel business. To ease your research process of which Channel Manager you should use, below I listed the 5 Best Hotel Channel Managers that you may consider,
The below list consists of 5 Channel Managers that are popular and readily available to use from small hotels to group hotels. The free trial link is also provided below so it is easier for you to claim and explore it yourself at your convenience.
StaahTrial Account link: https://go.staah.com/products/channel-manager/max
SiteMinderTrial Account link: https://www.siteminder.com/start-free-trial/
CloudbedsTrial Account link: https://www.cloudbeds.com/channel-manager/
Ezee CentrixTrial Account link: https://www.ezeecentrix.com/free-trial.php
SoftinnTrial Account link: https://page.mysoftinn.com/softinn-signup-form
Managing room distribution without proper planning and tools will be time-consuming, and less efficient, thus will affect the hotel's revenue performance. Finding the right solution for your distribution strategy like Channel Manager will help reduce the hassle of maintaining bookings, maintain rate parity, and maximize your hotel's revenue.
I hope this article helps you in giving more confident to find the best solution for your distribution strategy thus helping you in getting the best Channel Manager for your hotel.