The Mercer Collection says it’s reaping the benefits after implementing roomMaster hotel management software and Availpro Booking Engine,

The Mercer Collection, a highly-successful boutique hotel group, has recently grown quickly to seven hotels – and Reservations Manager Ellie Hogston knew it was time for a better booking system than her trusty filing trays.

The huge popularity of The Mercer Collection had led to speedy development, but Ellie knew her system – just seven trays with folders and a paper diary – were no longer sufficient.

So she asked NFS Technology Group to deploy a state-of-the-art online booking system to save the group time – and keep their guests totally happy.

“I knew that something had to change – the system just consisted of me and my filing trays!” she said.

“There was real potential for human error when people were taking bookings, which – because we are a high-quality brand – we could not have occurring.”

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Solution chosen by 6,000 hotels

NFS created an easy-to-use solution for The Mercer Collection in the shape of the roomMaster hotel management suite, working with Availpro Smart Booking Engine.

NFS CEO Luis De Souza said: “roomMaster is the trusted solution for more than 6,000 hotels worldwide, so know it would provide the perfect system for The Mercer Collection.

“It handles all hotel management from guest check in to housekeeping to drinks to checkout and billing, and also supports smooth operations with extensive management reporting and marketing features.”

Availpro – roomMaster’s partner – provides e-booking software including tools for on-line distribution, maximising commission-free bookings and helping managers in making decisions on price optimisation and e-reputation.

“Now we have a professional and comprehensive booking engine on our website ensuring maximum conversion from our own site,” said Ellie.

NFS implemented roomMaster in 2014 – Availpro has been in place since 2012 – and the group says it makes a huge difference to operations.

“It’s so much easier to take a booking now that I can see everything in one place and don’t have to go through the folders trying to find the right place to put a guest,” said Ellie.

“It gives a better impression to guests, because they aren’t looking at a piece of paper as you check them in.

“By putting in a surname, you access all the details of returning guests – it’s great for our regulars.”

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Power of getting personal

This friendly level of customer service is crucial for boutique hotels such as The Mercer Collection, which have a reputation for creating an individual experience for their guests.

But larger hotel chains are making use of the kind of detail that roomMaster provides.

A recent report: “The power of personalisation: Hotels’ roadmap to 2020” by professional services network Grant Thornton says hotels win greater loyalty by satisfying guests’ requirements.

“From online check-in, to the app that allows on line room service ordering, personalisation helps hotels stand out from the crowd,” it says.

“Personalise or perish should be the mantra at the heart of hotel companies’ efforts to build their brands.”

Online bookings without commission

Ellie and her staff appreciate roomMaster’s easy online accessibility, which means they can log in to the system from wherever they are.

“We love the convenience, and we know we’re saving a huge amount of time,” she said.

“Once a booking is made through Availpro Smart Booking Engine, it goes straight away into the system without us having to manually enter them. The amount of time we save is massive.

“Previously, we had to create an email confirmation and send it out – now we just push a button.”

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Scaling up for growth

Elle found implementing the two solutions simple, and says Availpro and roomMaster are well-integrated and easy to use.

“We’ve found it easy to scale up,” she said. “We added our new hotel The Clarence to the system last year, and all we had to do is contact roomMaster and they added it on.”

Swapping from a paper diary to a state-of-the-art technology system might have been scary, but Ellie says the company has found NFS’ 24/7 technical helpdesk highly supportive.

“We can’t fault the out-of-hours support,” she said. “We can’t fault the roomMaster at all – we’re completely reliant on it now, and very happy.”

The Mercer Collection (www.themercercollection.co.uk)

  • For more information about roomMaster, EPOS and other hotel management software solutions, visit nfs-hospitality.com or call +44 (0)1992 514 555.
  • For more information about Availpro, visit availpro.com or call +44 (0) 207 554 8807

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