The digital era has been taking by storm all industries and small hotel operators started to rely on spreadsheets to manage their data. They embraced Microsoft Excel as their best friend and since then, they won’t let it go. Excel has been a universally functional tool for many businesses, especially in the hotel and accounting industry.
To this day many hotel operators are still using spreadsheets and find them valuable.
I know that spreadsheets have proved to be a very useful tool, but its time has passed away. Now it’s the time to use some serious software.
You might wonder why you should change from spreadsheets to a true hotel management software. There are many reasons why you need to change from spreadsheets if you want to improve the booking process and revenue at your small hotel.
In this article, you will find 7 reasons why you must do this change now!
1. No formatting rules
Excel gives you options when it comes to how to format cells, rows, columns and even how numbers and data are presented in the sheet. I know it seems like a great feature for you, but that number of options means there’s no clear rule for what’s “right” or “wrong” for specific applications.
There are some templates available but there are no standard formatting that all your employees can follow. The formatting that makes sense to you may not make sense to others, leading to confusion and incompatibility in communicating the data to another party.
2. One person at a time
This is a strong weakness of spreadsheets. Only one person can work on a spreadsheet at a given time. Even in Google excel spreadsheet, a cloud-based option, generally, only one person can make active edits, while the others work with a view-only copy. This makes it difficult for your team to stay in active, ongoing communication or collaborate on a single finished product. In our modern world, with remote workers and more sophisticated technology, you need more solutions for easy collaborative management.
3. Too much risk for errors
Excel Spreadsheets are full of formulas and you need weeks to learn all of them and besides that you must pay for training your staff. You know that one wrong input into a spreadsheet can ruin all data that you have inserted about your guest’s reservations. The fact is that this kind of errors are happening more often, and most of the times can cause significant problems.
We would suggest using a hotel management software, and all your data will always be accurate and up to date. You don’t need to use formulas and other tricky things. Just insert the data you need and the software will do it for you. Stop wasting your time and your staff time with training and learning. Use a software built specifically for your needs and you can become more productive.
4. Risk of data loss
I don’t even want to think about creating a new spreadsheet in which you have inserted a lot of data and then it’s an electricity break for some seconds. Can you imagine the loss? But this is a simple scenario, floods or fires are a constant, unexpected risk. If your spreadsheets are stored on the local computer, all your data can be compromised in the event of something unforeseen.
Let’s say that you have your data backed up to a hard drive, what happens if you lose the hard drive or the data becomes corrupted?
The answer is simple. The best way to store your data is to have it on a cloud-based because it’s not a physical location and it cannot be corrupted, damaged or stolen. All your data can be accessed every time from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and online hotel management tool that does this.
5. No centralized data
Because Microsoft Excel it is not a cloud-based software and cannot be remotely accessed, therefore only one person can access the spreadsheet. If another employee of your hotel needs to access it, you’ll have to attach the file to an email.
As an alternative to this problem, a great solution is a cloud-based system which allows you and your staff to access all your data in one place, and you can free yourself from your desk.
It is a digital world where wrong parties can access spreadsheets when they are not stored on a secure, cloud-based server.
This puts your small hotel data at risk and it also can compromise the security of your guests who have booked with you.
With a secure cloud-based reservation system for your small hotel, you’ll be able to assign different levels of access to your staff, so they only see the information they need to.
How many times did you want to do a report with clients or profits but you found it too complicated doing it in Spreadsheets? The reality is that using spreadsheets for reports it’s really time-consuming and you are wasting your time and energy as a small hotel owner.
A modern hotel management tool system will have built-in essential reports, like:
- Transactions Report
- Income Report
- Clients Report
What to Use?
Do you think we gave you enough reasons to stop using spreadsheets? What can you use instead of spreadsheets? An answer is a specialized software.
If you find this article useful feel free to share it with someone who would benefit from it. If you want to learn more about this subject let us know in the comments section bellow.
Daniel is Inbound Marketer at HoteloPro, online hotel management system trusted by small hotels and B&Bs from over 15 countries.