A Channel Manager is a system that helps hotels update their real-time inventory distribution and rates across multiple channels and manage the reservation accordingly.
This means hoteliers that are using Channel Manager will not need to log in individually to each OTA dashboard, in order to update room availability as well as price rate.
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:
- Assume 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.
- You receive 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 four channels without you lifting a finger.
Read also: Hotel PMS and Channel Manager
Why Hotels Need a 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 of 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
List of Hotel Channel Manager
If you are a hotelier in Malaysia looking for a Channel Manager, do check out this small list we have compiled: Top 5 Popular Channel Manager in Malaysia.
The list consists of 5 Channel Managers that are popular and readily available to use in Malaysia. It is intended to be used as a rough guide for you to pick out the one you like. Feel free to explore and learn more about them. Some of the Channel Managers listed in the article provide a free trial account. Claim it now!
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.
Managing room distribution without proper planning and tools will be time-consuming, less efficient, and 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.