If it’s not obvious by now, I really think that a good property management system (PMS) can be a game changer for all types of remote project housing, (okay, so maybe I’m a little biased). If for some strange reason you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably read up on plenty of reasons why you should implement a PMS for your on-site accommodations, but I’ve seen a more complex question creeping up lately – when exactly is the right time to onboard a PMS?

As we’ve begun to work with more clients in the government, mining and energy sectors, I’ve started to understand why this question is more complicated than I initially thought. In order to better understand their challenges with this question, I’ve have been taking some time to talk to our clients about their operations, and their hesitation and concern with onboarding a new system. With all that goes in to developing a mining operation or energy project or large industrial construction site, it’s easy to see why many companies are reluctant to bring on a dedicated solution before trying a seemingly simpler approach to property management. After all, if you only have a skeleton crew working during the startup phase of your project, what’s the point in investing in a robust solution now when excel is already installed on the computers?

If you’re questioning the right time to bring on a property management system at your camp, here are my thoughts on the benefits of getting started early.

A flexible pricing model:

If your construction camp is only starting off with 20 rooms meant to house a small crew ahead of full operation, it’s reasonable to not want to pay the same price as you will for your eventual 2000 room camp. I get it – I’m not interested in paying for a year-long hotel stay if I only plan to stay for the week! That said, with a flexible pricing model, you’ll only pay for the rooms you fill. In some cases, the phrase, “you get what you pay for” can be a positive thing!

It’s always better to be ahead of the game: 


Often times, people reach out to us in a bit of a panic. Peak production has started, and people are pouring in without reservation, the rooms aren’t clean, and they have no way of tracking guest reservations or housekeeping room status. While we love to put on our super hero capes and solve our clients pain points, what we love even more is stopping the pain before it starts! Onboarding a property management system before you’re operating at peak occupancy gives you the advantage of having well-established processes before you’re up and running at max capacity, and work out an issues you may be running into before it’s a problem for your guests, your staff, and you.

Learning a new system takes time: 

You know that saying Rome wasn’t built in a day? I think there’s another one… front desk staff can’t learn an entirely new system in a day! Okay… you got me, I just made that up. A real saying though is that knowledge is power, and providing your staff with adequate training and time to learn can make a huge difference for everyone involved. We typically like to spend two weeks training all staff, either on-site or virtually. If training is complete before your operation is in full swing, your team will be a well-oiled machine by the time your large crews begin to check-in.

Tools you can use early on: 


Okay… I know what you’re thinking. If I onboard a PMS early, will I actually use it, or will I forget everything I learned in training by the time I even need to log in? In addition to onboarding the system early, there’s a number of features and reports our clients in early stage operations have found useful. Here’s a few I can think of:

Room and meal forecasting tools:


With forecasting reports, you can plan for the food supplies and rooms you’ll need as your operation scales.

Site access: 

Construction sites without many people are vulnerable to trespassers and this can be even more true be true for mining sites. With a property management system that integrates to a site access system, you can require personnel to scan badges at all entry points to ensure that your site is secure at all times.

Resource management: 

A good PMS can track more than just rooms and people, you can also use it to keep track of all your operation’s resources, from fleet vehicle management to casual meal tracking. With fully visibility into what’s available to you, you’ll get the job done faster.

Investing early doesn’t mean jumping the gun.

At the end of the day, only you can decide when makes the most sense to onboard a PMS, but investing early isn’t necessarily jumping the gun. When you implement a solution made to scale with your operation, you’ll set yourself up for smooth sailing from the start. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Thanks for reading and happy Friday! 

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