The hospitality industry generates billions of dollars of revenue annually, with hotels alone accounting for more than half a trillion dollars. A hotel management information system, or MIS, helps ensure that all operations run smoothly to provide guests with the best possible experience.
A management information system is a computerized information processing system designed to support the various activities necessary to run an organization.
Innovations in technology have made it possible to manage all sectors of hotel operations. Cloud-based systems allow owners and management to access data from almost anywhere in the world provided that there's an internet connection.
A hotel management information system streamlines processes and activities. It also makes data more readily available. It allows the data to be analyzed in different ways and is important in decision making for day-to-day operations and future planning. A business information system in hotels ensures that activities run smoothly through shift changes day and night for optimal customer service.
A hotel management information system can do any of the following:
- Transaction processing: Collect, retrieve and modify transactions in the hotel and business-to-business transactions made on behalf of the hotel.
- Point-of-sale system: Used at the front desk and for any product or service sales within the hotel, including the restaurant, bar, spa, coffee shop and gift shop.
- Operational management: For activities including accounting, housekeeping, maintenance, physical security and cybersecurity.
- Property management: Facilitates automated processing of activities such as online bookings, guest registration and sales and marketing.
As an example of what a hotel management information system can do, consider the example of the housekeeping department. In any hotel, good housekeeping services are essential to a positive customer experience. Software can help manage the housekeeping workflow as follows:
- Change room status from occupied to vacant to alert the housekeeping staff
- Order priorities and urgent tasks
- Get details on housekeeping activities by applying filters in the search function, such as room number, floor, room type, cleaning priority, current status and readiness for check-in
- Assign housekeepers and quality control personnel
As another example of a business information system in hotels, think about restaurants, bars and coffee shops all under the same roof in the hotel. Each needs an inventory system and a point-of-sale system.
The restaurant may also need a reservations management system. All of these functions can be handled in a customized software package built for the hotel or hotel chain.
Choosing the right hotel management information system depends on the organization's needs. Meet with an MIS professional who specializes in business information systems in hotels to determine how the software can be customized for your hotel or hotel chain. Top software solutions for the hotel industry include the following:
- eZee Technosys
- My Cloud OMS — Hotel Management Software
- Skyware Hospitality Solution
- Oracle Hospitality
- KW Hotel
- Cenium Hospitality
The information technology side of the hospitality industry has become so important and complex that it is now possible to earn an advanced degree to prepare you for a career in the industry.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is leading the way by offering a dual master's degree (hotel administration and management information systems) with many opportunities in the natural learning environment provided by the city itself — the world's gaming and entertainment capital. Other schools offer interdisciplinary programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels to prepare students for careers in management information systems in the hospitality industry.