Events: Meeting Rooms, Catering and Event Folios
We have very seriously been working on a package of new features. It provides solutions to main issues and tasks related to the organisation of events at hotels and the communication with clients for that matter.
With this update, we have released the first batch of features to be tested: Meeting Rooms, Meeting Room Calendar, Catering and Event folios. In addition, we have been working on event offers and their sending via email, as well as various printouts, e.g. Function Sheet.
Here are more details of the features in this update:
Meeting Room Bookings and Meeting Room Calendar
- Use the calendar to easily see the availability of any meeting room. For your convenience, the system lets you view up to 31 days at a time and find the most suitable available time for your client.
- You can add a description to any of your meeting rooms to be visible directly in the calendar. The description is to be in the rich text format. Enter all the information of the meeting room – possible seating arrangements, equipment and any other details leading to more sales. To set up your meeting rooms, go to: 'Other' - 'Settings' - 'Meeting Room'.
- In the Calendar you can see which of the bookings areconfirmed, pending or expired. Easily cancel a pending booking with expired confirmation period. This way you can make the meeting room available for a new booking.
- You can create new bookings directly from the Calendar after choosing the respective time.
- Add as many meeting room bookings to a new or existing event as you need and easily organize even big and complex events.
- You can add the related services to any booking, e.g. a flip chart, projector, microphone, etc. The booking can also contain an event description in a rich text format to emphasize the important moments of the event agenda. The system supports a separate event description for the purposes of the staff and the internal organisation.
- To organise the tasks related to a booking, you can add To-Dos to any individual booking.
Staff Description for each meeting room
- To any event, you can add multiple catering times and locations.
- Apart from the catering times and locations, you can also charge the related menus. There are two charge options – to have charges for each catering menu item or one charge for the whole menu, and the menu items to be added as a detailed catering description. If the catering requires the booking of a meeting room or venue, you can do so through the meeting room booking feature.
- To ease the catering organization, use To-Dos for each catering time and location.
Folio, Invoice and Deposit
Event Folio (proforma invoice) or Invoice
- Use event folios to organise the whole process of accepting deposits, issuing proforma and final invoices and tracking accounts receivable.
- You can operate with event folios the same way you do with booking and company folios, so you don't need to learn anything new.
- All event charges: coming from Meeting Room Bookings (rent, equipment and services), Catering (food, beverages and services), and the Event itself (other services, discounts, etc.) are conveniently gathered in a folio and grouped by their source. As a result, you can see all charges from all bookings and catering locations and times.
The Event screen has been entirely reorganized and now its sections are arranged in a clearer way.
- The Block screen has been moved to a new screen. To access it, click the 'Edit button next to the Blocks section.
- The Blocks now contains brief information on the blocked rooms.
- A new list of the event bookings has been added. Select "Show Bookings" in the "Bookings" section to see them.
- Now you can create bookings related to the event from its screen. Select "New Booking" in the "Bookings" section and then – the block, if any.
We have added a new layout to the product page of the WRS. The new layout is clearer and focused on the room images.
Combine the new layout with the existing design settings ('Theme', 'Left/Right column proportion', 'Custom CSS') to create the best appearance for you WRS.
The layout of the product page can be changed from 'Other' - 'Settings' - 'Web Reservation System' - 'Layout' in the 'Product Page Layout' section. The new layout is 'Edges'.
Layout: Edges, Theme: Simplex, Left/Right column proportion: 5/7
Layout: Edges, Theme: Darkly, Left/Right column proportion: 5/7
- A Guarantee policy button has been added to the Rate and Availability screen. This way you can easily check the conditions for any of the products.
- A description option has been added toHotels, Rates, Room Types and Guarantee Policies. Use it to enter descriptions helping your employees with detailed information on your products. Each hotel, room type, rate or guarantee policy can have a description. This way the employees at the central office don't need to remember the specifics of each product, but can easily check the details they need. These descriptions are directly added from the Central Reservation System:
- Open the Rate and Availability screen. Select a hotel or destination and start the search.
- Click the description icon and enter the description for each hotel, room type, rate and guarantee policy. Save. The icon changes when there is a description entered.
Example hotel description in the CRS
Continuing striving to make Clock PMS the most secure property management system on the market, here are the new improvements in this direction.
Automatic User Locking
The new feature protects your accounts better against hacking attempts aimed at finding your password through guessing or the so-called brute force attacks.
After 6 unsuccessful login attempts, the user account is automatically locked for a period of 30 minutes. A notification email is also sent with the following subject: "[CLOCK PMS SECURITY] Too many login errors detected. The user is locked".
If you happen to lock your account, you can contact your system administrator to unlock it or you can wait for the user account to unlock automatically. The feature is also applicable to the API access.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
This practice considerably improves your account security. The MFA principle is the following: to access your account, you'll need to combine what you know (username and password) and what you possess (smartphone and one-time password generated on it).
How it works:
- After activating this option for your account, apart from the password, you'll need to enter one more code (6 digits) to access your account.
- You can get this code from a special app installed on your smartphone (Google Authenticator).
- What you receive is a one-time code, i.e. each time it is different making its guessing impossible.
- The combination of a password and one-time code makes the access impossible without the presence of both of them, i.e. even if your smartphone gets into someone else's hands, it doesn't provide access to your account, because the password is missing. And in the other case, if someone learns your access password, it won't be enough, because only your smartphone can generate the required additional one-time code.
To activate the MFA access for your user:
- Log in to the system.
- Select 'Other' - 'Settings' - 'Users'
- Choose 'Activate MFA' from the upper part of the screen.
- Follow the instructions
To remove the MFA access:
- The MFA access of a user can be removed, if you have the 'User Management' right granted.
- Access the list of users and select 'Remove MFA' from the drop-down menu next to the respective user.
The Google Authenticator app is widely used for these purposes, even with the major online services: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Saleforse, etc. Please pay attention to the fact that the use of Google Authenticator is in NO WAY connected to your google account. Google Authenticator is a universal mobile app for generating one-time passwords.
Revenue system and Reports
- New report - Guest Ledger. The new report provides a historical overview of the accumulated charges and payments to guest folios. For a given period, you can see which folios were unbalanced, what the final balance between the accumulated charges and payments was at the end of the selected period. Also you can check the folio status at the end of this period – open or closed. The 'Guest Ledger' data is directly comparable to the turnovers in the Trial Balance Report, as well as to the'Charge Summary Report', 'Charge Summary D-M-Y Report', 'Charges Segmentation Report', 'Payments Report' and 'Charge, Tax and Payment Records'.
- Trial Balance. The report can now be generated with all tax modes.
- Tax Modes rounding the total and Gross/Tax/Net fields. All charge fields (Gross, Tax and Net) contain a value regardless of the the used tax mode. Before this change, the Gross and Tax fields didn't contain any value with the 'Tax Not included in prices, rounding - total', and the Net field didn't contain any value with the other tax mode - 'Tax included in prices, rounding on Total'.
- Tax Modes rounding the total and Rounding Differences. The specifics of these two tax modes with total rounding is that the final tax amount is calculated on the basis of the folio amounts (folio total) and respectively it can be changed until the folio is closed. Now the charges also have all the values individually calculated for each for them. As a result of the different rounding modes, a difference might occur between the sum of the taxes calculated for each charge and the total folio tax amount calculated for the whole tax. With the new change, this difference is now taken into account by the financial system and the Clock PMS reports. It is added to the charge reports through the 'Tax Rounding Difference' revenue group. It is calculated on the folio closing date.
- The stopped rates are considered archived. Until now it was possible to add a STOP restriction to the rate to stop the rate as a whole. However, it still appeared in lists, search results, etc., though it couldn't be used. After the change made by us, these rates are considered archived and don't appear in the lists. The stopped rates can be seen, if you select the "Show the stopped ones too" when running a rate search. Instead of stopping all the dates of a rate, we strongly recommend archiving rates when they are temporarily stopped or no long used. To do so, select 'Add STOP' from the drop-down menu next to each rate when searching for rates. This way your WRS will be more responsive and the searches - faster.
- When you change the starting date of a period on the "Set Multiple days" screen, the end date of the period will automatically change too.
- When transferring charges from a booking linked to a company, this company is now suggested as a quick transfer option .
- "Remove Room" and "Change Room Type"– two new features to be used with the booking lists. These features can be applied to a single booking or multiple ones.
- "Remove Room" removes the allocated room, as well as the movements between rooms, if any. If the booking's "Disable Room Change" check-box is selected, you won't be able to use the Remove Room option. Untick the check-box to remove the allocated room.
- "Change Room Type" changes the room type for the selected booking. If the type of the room allocated for a booking differs from the newly set one, the allocated room will be automatically removed.
- Self Service Portal – the options for checking, paying and downloading folios and invoices are now accessible for cancelled bookings. This way you can process cancellation fees too.
- A new option for segmenting charges by Guarantee status has been added to the Charge Segmentation Report and the Bednights Report
- ADR (Average Daily Rate) no longer takes into account the created blocks, because room charges are very rarely posted for these blocks. The ADR formula now takes into account the bookings only.
- Self Service Portal – new settings for switching on/off the 'Request change of Period' and 'Request change of Room type' options
- The credit card brand is automatically determined when it is missing in the credit card details of the bookings imported from channel managers.
- New "Booking: Create Shared Room" right. Through this new right you can set which users to be able to create bookings sharing a room for one and the same period.
- Booking meals are now sorted by their meal order.
- Now rate tags in derived and occupancy adaptable rates can be deleted.
- The bug with the deep links to the WRS occurring when they contain both room type and room number filters has been fixed. The link generator has been fixed and it no longer allows the creation of such links.
- The bug with the quantities set in charge templates not appearing as the quantity of the posted charge has been fixed.
- The Room Calendar bug in some cells leading to the miscalculation of the available dates till the next booking .
- Booking import from a channel manager - sometimes day prices weren't arranged properly, though the total amount was correct.
- The new POST method has been added to the existing endpoint for rooms. Through this method, you or an external system can update the room status and change it to cleaned or dirty. The housekeeping warnings can also be updated through this method.