As a small to medium enterprise, changing our PMS provider was extremely time consuming, challenging and potentially risky decision. Over 12 months of research went into understanding the kind of product we were looking for in terms of our current requirements, where we felt we needed to improve and also what features and functionality we would require going forward with continued growth. After a year of demo’s, sales pitches and quotes, I came across NewBook. NewBook immediately ticked almost all the boxes and I was incredibly impressed with the nuances of the system which allow it to adapt extremely well to requirements of running a Serviced Apartment Provider. At this time, there was one drawback however which was that NewBook did not offer: an integrated, mobile responsive, aesthetically pleasing and user experience driven online booking tool. I was told when I queried this that it was ‘under development’ and would be available in a couple of months. As I was deep into my search for a new PMS, I was immediately skeptical about this as almost every other provider had some aspect of their product which was ‘under development’ and would be available shortly – to absolutely no avail.
It was therefore with great delight that just 2 months later, NewBook had successfully developed and launched an online booking engine with all the requirements I was looking for. A deal was done there and then as I knew the excellence of the fundamental product. This was impressive for 2 reasons; firstly, it was extremely refreshing to see a PMS provider say that they were in the process of developing something extra and then actually deliver on it, secondly the end product was far beyond what I was expecting and substantially better than other industry products.
Once a contract was signed, we found ourselves with a much more advanced and robust PMS system than the market was offering at an impressive price which represented, and continues to represent, extraordinary value for money.
Implementing a new system which has an effect on every single operation and employee within the business can be daunting and requires the entire team to buy into the change. From demonstrations with alternative systems, the difference in the standard of the user interface, personable nature of the training sessions/trainers and confidence in the transition that Citystay gained from NewBook was excellent. The full team was perfectly equipped and approached the transition with anticipation rather than trepidation.
Since Citystay has been operating the NewBook system, we have drastically reduced the amount of resource (both human and financial) spent on daily tasks. The in-built channel manager has completely removed the need to manually enter data from one distribution channel to another. The ‘task lists’ have enabled the housekeeping operation to be organised and delivered more succinctly and the detailed level of reporting has given far better insight into the business than previously experienced.
One particular area which Citystay pay close attention to is our guests’ experience. The advent of detailed and customisable automated contact available through NewBook has enabled us to seamlessly further enhance what was an already award winning guest experience. From pre-arrival instructions, to useful content whilst staying, right through to the collation of post stay feedback this has been a resounding success.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the NewBook PMS is its ability to meet the needs of both the private and corporate customers. The booking engine allows guests/bookers/agents to login into their Citystay account, view and amend bookings, settle invoices, upgrade their reservations, add additional services and much more. This has been exceptionally useful for our worldwide corporate customers for whom corporate responsibility has become paramount.
Alongside this area of the booking engine, our actual number of direct, online bookings has increased beyond what we ever expected, which results in a vastly reduced commission bill at the end of the month. Despite this, the integrated channel manager has allowed us to centrally maximise our occupancy and RevPAR with major online travel agencies hassle-free.
The support which we receive from NewBook is also exemplary. As is to be expected there were times, shortly after transition, where we required immediate support. This was always readily available and we were never made to feel bothersome for contacting the support team, which was definitely the feeling that other systems and their teams gave off.
Being a customer of NewBook does not feel as though it has a time frame attached to it. The constant involvement of ourselves and our suggestions as a customer makes you feel as though you are part of the evolution of the NewBook product. This fills me with confidence that the NewBook product will be able to adapt to and consistently surpass our requirements going into the future.
To summarise, there have been impressive financial savings, human resource savings and an increased level of guest experience delivered to our guests as a result of switching to the NewBook system and I would thoroughly recommend it to any company in a similar position as Citystay.”
Declan Fitzhenry, Operations Manager