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property management system (PMS)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A property management system (PMS) is a software application for the operations of hospitality accommodations and commercial residential rental properties. PMS is also used in manufacturing industries, local government and manufacturing. A property management system is sometimes referred to as a hotel operating system or hotel OS.

PMS provides a centralized computer system to organize, schedule and perform the day-to-day functions and transactions involved in accommodations businesses. Computer record keeping and PMS have increased the efficiency of hospitality industries significantly simply by making it possible to update and consult centralized records from multiple computers and devices. PMS solutions have been customized for the needs of the hospitality industry to further increase ease of operations.

Functions managed by a PMS include automation of many common tasks, including:

  • Bookings
  • Check-in and check-out
  • Telephone systems integration
  • Point of sale (POS) integration              
  • Event planning
  • Food and beverage costing
  • Hotel inventory supply management
  • Reporting of key performance indicators (KPI)
  • Security and room locks

Local governments sometimes use PMS to manage numerous properties under their care, where centralized and electronic record keeping greatly increases efficiency. Facilities might include schools, sports and recreational facilities, community gardens and parks. In manufacturing, PMS is often used to keep track of materials and supplies, as well as employee-owned property and equipment.

This was last updated in October 2018

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 It's worth noting that cloud-based PMS' are increasing in popularity (especially within the hospitality market) While the definition of PMS is, business are shifting towards a cloud system which isn't limited to the software installed on the machine.
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A property management system (PMS) is a software suite that property owners use to manage their business by coordinating reservations, availability, payments, and reporting in one central place.  The PMS allows property owners to check-in and check-out guests, see room availability, make adjustments to existing reservations, and schedule housekeeping or maintenance events.  With a central system, hoteliers can better manage and monitor the key metrics needed to run their business (e.g. average daily rate, occupancy, and RevPAR).


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