The Channel manager in Clock PMS Suite connects you to more than 500 online booking channels to bring in more guests from all over the world.

How the channel manager works

On the activation of the channel manager or the adding of a new channel, a full update for each date within a period of one year ahead is made affecting each product from the related channels. A product is the combination of a room type and rate from a channel. This initial update takes time depending on the number of products to be updated.

Everyday at midnight, a full update is made for a date in one year's time.

      Example:
  • The connection is activated on 28 June 2018 and the update made is for the dates until 27 June 2019 inclusive.
  • At midnight, an update will be sent for 28 June 2019 and so on.

In case of changes to the availability and/or the price of any room type within a period of one year ahead, an update sent only for the dates when there are such changes. This way if there are changes for only a few dates, we ensure that a smaller volume of data is sent with the update allowing quicker processing by channels.

Update status

During the sending of an update to a channel(s), products are sent one after another in the following manner:

  • A product is sent to a channel.
  • The channel manager waits for a reply from the channel.
  • Upon receiving the channel reply, the next product is sent, and so on.

If a certain channel delays its reply regarding the updated products, this may delay the product updates to the other channels.

For each product, there are two possible channel replies:

  • Success
  • Error

If an error is received, the channel manager waits for the conclusion of the undergoing update (because there may be other products to be updated) and then it sends a new update for the products for which an error status is received. Please note that all changes having occurred after the start of this update are taken into consideration for the next update. Usually the error is due to a temporary channel issue and the sending of a new update resolves the situation.

Updates are sent until a success status is received for each product which guarantees that each channel has received the most important information from Clock PMS Suite.

Significant number of error statuses for a product

When a significant number of error statuses is received for a given product for a short period of time, this product's update interval is increased and eventually this product updates are stopped.

The logic behind this course of action is that the accumulation of a great number of error statuses may make the respective updates very large in volume and lead to delays in the work of the channel manager. Here is why if you receive a repeating error status and you are not sure how to proceed, we recommend contacting our Support Team.

Overbooking

Common reasons for overbooking

1. Sale of a small number of rooms (e.g. the last room of a type for a specific date) in several channels simultaneously:

  • Offline bookings (walk-ins, over the phone, via chat or email)
  • WRS
  • Channels

Upon the creation of a booking for this room type for a certain date, the availability in Clock PMS Suite is automatically updated. The new availability is immediately valid for:

  • Offline bookings (walk-ins, over the phone, via chat or email)
  • WRS

An update is sent to the channels reflecting the new availability. Before confirming this update on their part, these channels still have one room available for the respective date, which they may sell. If the room in question is sold before the update processing by the channels, overbooking will occur.

2. A delay in the reply of one or more channels

A possible reason for an update delay on the part of the channels may be the great number of products to be updated. In this case, we recommend working with the smallest possible number of products for each channel.

Overbooking Prevention Suggestions

Stopping the sale of the last rooms of a type

Even when working with a small number of products, each update to the channels takes time and it is possible for the last room of a type to be sold for a certain date while the update is being processed by the channels.

A possible solution to this case is the stopping of the sales of the last one or two rooms in several or all channels in the channel manager.


  • Pros: the risk of selling the last rooms of a type in several channels simultaneously is diminished.
  • Cons: you may miss the chance of selling the last rooms of a type in some or all channels.

Increase in the price of the last rooms of a type

Another solution is the sale of the last one or two rooms of a type at a higher price.

Some channels have a contract clause specifying they require the lowest possible price, so this solution will not be applicable with these channels.



  • Pros: higher-priced rooms overbooking will have a neutral effect on the hotel.
  • Cons: you might not be able to sell the last room(s) of a type due to the higher price.

Setting a maximum number of rooms to a channel with one update

By setting a maximum number of rooms of a type to a channel, you can limit the possible number of rooms which can be sold simultaneously by a channel. Also, you can set a different number for each room type to a channel.


      Example:
  • There are 10 DBL rooms available for September 10.
  • The maximum number set is 3.
  • 3 rooms will be sent to a channel.
  • There are bookings for 2 rooms for September 10. The remaining rooms are 8. 3 rooms will be sent, because there are more than 3 available rooms.
  • 6 more rooms are booked, 2 rooms remain. The channel manager will send 2 rooms because the number of available rooms is less than the maximum number set.
  • Pros: control over the maximum number of simultaneously sold rooms.
  • Cons: the room sales under group bookings cannot exceed the maximum number set. But if you do not have many group bookings coming from the channel(s), this limitation will not pose a problem.


We recommend consulting our Support Team before choosing which of the above strategies is best for your property.