The automation of the sales and the distribution has a growing importance in the increasingly complex world of sales in the hotel industry. Hereby, the term of a 2-way interface is being increasingly more often mentioned.
The 2-way interfaces take care of the messages regarding availability and pricing, as well as picking up reservations automatically.
They are usable and useful in different areas:
- Between the hotel system, such as Protel, Suite 8, Opera to a CRS (central / computer reservation system), or a channel management system.
- Between the CRS or channel management system and the distribution platforms, such as HRS, Booking.com, Expedia, as well as the GDS (global distribution platforms).
The advantage of the 2-way interfaces is obvious:
- Maintaining of availability, prices and booking, payment, or cancellation conditions must only be entered once. It is optimally used only in the front office (hotel) system.
- Incoming bookings will be transferred to the hotel system automatically again. It eliminates the time-consuming activity to enter any booking by hand into the hotel system. (Warning, nevertheless each booking must be checked. Among other things, it is often a challenge to double check the guest list on such projects).
- The distribution control is less labor intensive, and significantly reduces distribution errors. Closed systems, although rooms are available, are outdated.
- Any possible price parity (or a deliberate price difference) is much easier to manage. Especially, the reservation team who even with the complex pricing strategy of various room types and rates has the prices always in the hotel system, which the guests can also see on HRS or on Booking.com.
The steps for the implementation are:
- Organization of the front office systems. You need a clear price structure, optimally, with solid increases and reductions between categories, seasons, and tariffs. The master data, such as price codes, market codes, source codes, and customer files should be maintained and up to date.
- Selection of matching systems. If you do not have a channel manager installed, you should perhaps select one, to which your front office already has several utilized interfaces.
- Coordination of the room types and price types between hotel system, channel manager, and distribution platforms.
- Commissioning of the interfaces from software partners, hotel system and channel manager, possibly a GDS – service provider
- After the implementation, a lot of time for testing and quality assurance.
In the implementation of channel managers and two-way interfaces, support is given by our cooperation partner marketing4results.