Whether it’s a small, independent inn with just a few rooms or an international hotel chain, without the right solution, managing access can be a major challenge. What makes an access control system come together seamlessly is versatile keycard-based access management software that’s ready to be integrated with both current and up and coming technology.
Keycards Are Still the Go-To
Though some hotels still use conventional metal locks and keys, plastic keycards with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags have become the standard in the hospitality industry, thanks to their flexibility and convenience. With just a few clicks to program each card, guests can open doors and, in some facilities, pay for additional services, creating a smooth experience from check-in to checkout.
Digital Keys Are on the Rise
Also known as mobile keys, digital keys are emerging as an increasingly popular access control option. These keys are downloaded onto a smartphone through the hotel’s app. When combined with online check-in and checkout, they make a stop at the front desk theoretically obsolete; it’s an advantage for travelers who are already frequent smartphone users.
According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 2018 Hotel Trends Survey, the number of hotels in the United States that use mobile devices as room keys has shot up from 1 percent in 2012 to 6 percent in 2016 to 17 percent in 2018. Hilton has already implemented the technology in most of their worldwide properties and Marriott International intends to expand their Mobile Key program in 2020. That major hotel chains are rolling out the technology makes digital keys a hot industry topic, and an option more hoteliers are looking into.
The Benefits of Access Management Software
An efficient access management software solution adds value to hotels by creating multiple advantages for both guests and staff.
- Boosted efficiency: Staff productivity and efficiency increase since less time is spent on tasks like check-in and checkout.
- Increased mobility: Managers can operate the lockers remotely, allowing the staff to perform tasks like guest room changes without having to return to the front desk.
- Enhanced guest services: Increased efficiency and mobility free up more time for hotel managers and staff to focus on their guests’ needs.
- Convenience: Just one tool manages operations like guest registration, staff access management, property management, amenities, elevators, specialty keys, lock auditing, and reporting.
- Customizable user roles and profiles: The software can be tailored to fit company needs, such as giving staff access to certain areas of the facility at certain times, generating common and restricted points of access, and setting up staff shift scheduling.
- Multi-site management: Multiple properties across different locations can be managed together.
When evaluating access management software, there are several components that can increase the investment value.
- Simplicity: A user-friendly solution means less time and money spent training staff on how to use the software.
- Flexibility: Access management software that integrates with a variety of other third-party tools that may already be in place, like Property Management Systems (PMS), guest kiosks, parking, and energy management systems, reduces complexity and simplifies hotel staff’s work. Adaptable architecture like HTML5 gives the software the ability to function on mobile devices and traditional workstations without usability loss.
- Bluetooth: Software that’s Bluetooth-ready allows hoteliers to painlessly move into the growing trend of digital keys.