If you’re reading this blog post, it’s probably because you’re building your case for switching your legacy systems to a more modern, cloud-based sales and catering system. For those who don’t know what a legacy system is, Freeport Metrics described it best: “any technology that can no longer be supported and updated automatically is essentially a legacy system. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be that old — even a one-year-old IT system can be considered one if it fits the description.”
So, many hoteliers find themselves asking why are they still using legacy systems when they know they’re not moving forward with technology. The answer is simple. It’s hard (and most of the time expensive) to make a huge shift in technology. When you think of all the steps involved in transitioning, in addition to the possibility of it disrupting your daily business, the task can be daunting.
But fear not, we’re here to help you identify the steps needed to ensure a seamless transition from your legacy system to a modern, cloud-based system.
1. Have discussions about switching to modern software and if it makes sense for your hotel
First and foremost, before you get too heavy in the upgrading process, it’s smart to identify if switching to modern sales and catering software is the right move for your hotel. To make the transition as seamless as possible, you’ll want to ensure you understand your current software completely. Sitting down with the team who use it daily to understand what tools they use most often, what they don’t use, and what they wish the software did better is a really good place to start.
Once you understand what your sales team needs, then you can begin the vetting process. It’ll be important to find a system that can do the things your sales team needs, and most importantly integrate with the additional software that your hotel uses for group bookings. Obviously, it’s important to remind your team that there will be some big changes, even if the new system does what they’re looking for, the process of doing it will most likely be a bit different (and in most cases a more streamlined process, but change can be scary for a lot of sales managers).
2. Budget your time and money
The next step in the process is knowing what you can commit to, with both time and money. In the hospitality industry, we’re used to working a mile a minute and wearing multiple hats. When it comes to a big software switch such as this, there can’t be any excuses when it comes to time; it will make your transition longer and more difficult if your team is not 100% prepared to make the switch.
With that being said, some of the most successful teams have said that keeping their team in the loop during the entire vetting process gives their team a bit of inclusion in the decision-making process, and in return makes them more dedicated to its success.
In addition to budgeting and committing your time, it goes without saying to ensure your new sales and catering software, such as Tripleseat, is within your budget. The good news is that Tripleseat is one of the most cost-effective sales and catering software out there, and in addition, they offer unlimited user roles so you don’t need to stress about licenses for your sales team. Request pricing information today to see how Tripleseat pairs up with your current sales and catering software.
3. Have an organized plan — with a leader — and stick to it
Once you’ve chosen your new cloud-based sales and catering management platform, it’s time to plan for your migration timeline. After you sign on, an onboarding calendar with tasks is typically created by your onboarding specialist and account manager. It’s always a good idea to dedicate one person from your team to lead your migration. Just keep in mind that migration can be a time-consuming process, so create a plan and make sure you stick to it — no matter what! In addition, it’s always a good idea to back up all your information daily during the migration process, from your old system and new so you have the most up-to-date data at all times. The person you choose to lead this migration should have a good understanding of all the current systems you have in place.
Most likely you won’t be only updating your sales and catering system; you’ll need to integrate with your PMS system, billing system, floor plans, digital signage systems, and many more. Some hoteliers don’t work with many, so this process may be quick and easy, but other larger hotels with larger event spaces may have more integration partners. It’s important to do your research on this process in advance and have your dedicated migration manager lead the way in ensuring all of this goes smoothly.
4. Dedicate time (and time again) to training
As mentioned earlier, another part of ensuring your upgrade from your legacy systems is ensuring your entire team is on board with the switch, prepared, and educated. Allowing some of your senior team to be part of the onboarding process and helping with the training of the remaining team will also give them some autonomy and ease the training process.
When choosing your new cloud-based sales and catering software, knowing what resources they provide for support will be crucial to your ongoing success. Having online training like Tripleseat University, and an active support chat, a dedicated account manager, and more resources give you multiple options for requesting or seeking help and assistance.
5. Overlap your systems while you iron out the kinks
After you’ve gone through your onboarding process, finalized your integrations with your other software, and are well into training your team, it’s smart to keep your old legacy software live while you’re implementing your new cloud-based software. This will certainly be where you’re faced with some pushback from your team; the redundancy when you’re busy may cause frustration. Be sure to save your information often, and ensure you’re cross-referencing all of your bookings in your new software to ensure that everything is feeding through to where it needs to be.
Once you’ve ironed out the kinks and officially discontinued your legacy software, roll your sleeves up because you’re about to book a lot more sales. Having a cloud-based sales and catering software that allows you to book group sales from anywhere in a matter of seconds will be a game-changer for your team. In addition, having an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) that tracks your leads and outreach will certainly help with streamlining your current sales process.
If you’re curious about travel trends for the remainder of 2021, check out our recent hotel consumer survey. We found some interesting trends among travelers in the United States. Want to know more about Tripleseat Software for Hotels? Request a demo today to hear how Tripleseat is the leading cloud-based sales and catering platform for hotels worldwide.
If you’re interested in learning more about hospitality trends, you should check out Tripleseat’s blog; subscribe to our podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, which releases new episodes weekly, or join our Facebook group, Event Manager Community, to connect with peers and discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the travel and hospitality industry.