The-Host Hospitality Management System assists in steadily raising the value of your property by promoting higher returns and occupancies. It allows you to offer a consistently high level of administration and service to your guests. It encourages continuity in your front office by minimising on human error and the effect of staff changes. It prides itself on its stability, therefore ensuring that your guests receive higher and consistent levels of service with minimal losses from human inaccuracy and from technology woes

It is a very economical option for all types of resorts - be it a Timeshare, a B&B, a privately owned Hotel or a chain of properties. We urge you to join our growing list of satisfied clients and secure your path to efficiency, economy, service and a solid future in technology.

With so many suppliers - all claiming their product is the best, one needs to beware of being overwhelmed and rushed by pushy sales reps. We'll help you to make an informed decision by pointing out the important issues that you must consider to ensure the product you select gives you the most value.  Please take a few minutes to read this entire page, it is a comprehensive document intended for those on a quest to make a sound decision

More Benefits- For African and South African hospitality Establishments.

In South Africa it is a particularly beneficial package as the entire suite was designed and developed in the region. Therefore it is very focused on the way things are done here. Many of the staff working in our front-offices are not graduates from Hotel School so they do not know the terminology or have the skills required to operate imported international software - our package simplifies that without reducing the power of the software. Imported software requires a much more expensive caliber of staff - making recruiting difficult and adding to your wage and training bill. Our software keeps those costs down, as the skills required to operate the package are minimal. Something to bear in mind is that if you purchase imported software then your annual salary and training bill is automatically going to be higher. And once you have trained your staff on those packages, they are likely to leave you and take jobs at corporate hotels. Those hotels are stuck with the imported software, so they will happily lure your staff away as they see it as a cheap way to acquire trained staff. You will have to pay to hire more staff and to train them. It 's a never ending costly annual process!

Another advantage of our product for southern African users is that there are no hidden costs and our annual license fee is built into the very reasonable monthly support fee. This fee is itself the lowest in the industry. The cost of ownership and maintaining our product in a tiny fraction of comparable products. The annual license fee of imported products is often many times higher than the total cost of an installation from us. And keep in mind that their outrageous annual license fee is payable every single year, so you pay and pay and pay again.


We answer all the questions below - very favorably indeed.
Our prices are generally less than 25% of similar imported systems.
Feature for feature, we compare with the very best.
We can taylor a package and payment structure to fit your requirments.
Your staff need not be hotel school graduates, therefore your salary bill will not increase.
We do not force you into any contracts.
There are no hidden or indirect costs, and no recurring annual lump sum.
Some opposition products cost between 10 and 30 percent of a hotels annual running costs and place a real burden on profitability.
Our product costs our clients less than half of one percent of their annual running costs.
The product is robust and stable. There is very little downtime to disrupt your business.
Our product has evolved through years of continuous development since 1991.
Our product was developed in response to the requirements of all our users.
Client input and feedback has ensured that the product is focused, powerful and user-friendly.
It's powerful, yet the user interface is uncomplicated and operators learn to use it very quickly. They do not need to be hotel school graduates.
We have built in flexibility to cope with a wide variety of properties of all sizes and styles.
Because no two establishments are identical we don't generalize everything into one rigid solution only focused on particular accommodation style.
We easily cope with anything from up-market city hotels to game lodges and country holiday resorts.
Why would you pay much more for alternative products - only to get less?
Our product offers a proven solution at a very reasonable price!
Why not save on capital outlay and on recurring costs and pass the saving on to your guests?
Contact us and we will help you with an effective and affordable solution.
See our pricing strategy here.


Ask yourself and the product vendor these questions:


Is the product local or imported?

This is an important question - as it will greatly effect the cost of ownership, the cost of support and especially the annual running costs. Imported products (the good ones) have high price tags - full stop!

On the other hand not all local products are priced reasonably either, some local products are often horribly overrated and barely qualify to be considered worthy of a second look, yet they have a high price tag nonetheless. Many local products call themselves fully fledged "Front Office" packages, "Property Management Systems" and "Hotel Management Systems" etc, but they are in fact nothing more than a diary or reservation calendar, if that! Choose carefully.

Imports also have the varying rand exchange rate to contend with, this can make it difficult to plan your expenditure. Also, the decision makers and core technology providers are not available to you locally, they are far removed from your pressures and concerns out here in Africa. They are certainly not available to you without significant costs.



Will you be tied into unbreakable contracts?

This is such an important question - will you be tied into a long-term contract that you cannot get out of? Why would a vendor insist on a contract - do they anticipate that you will discover their product actually does not deliver what they promised and not what you wanted? If a vendor believes in their product they should never need a contract to bind you into keeping it.

Hoteliers be very careful of any of your staff pushing you into purchasing a particular product that "they know and that is the best" etc. It is easy for your staff member to spend your money and to get you bound up with a contract. They have no risk and in many instances get a private incentive from the vendor. What is more they can simply walk away anytime - leaving you with a binding contract and their expensive recommended product .



Does the product offer sufficient value to justify the price?

The worthwhile imported products are way more expensive yet they do not necessarily offer better features or value. They are for city hotels in New York or Berlin or maybe one or two in Sandton. Low-priced imported packages are mostly unsuited to our local needs. And then again, some local products are also priced very high, yet they are clearly not worth bothering with, even if the marketing effort is very slick and the proudly South African theme is milked. See through the sales pitch, and remember: a high price tag is not a guarantee of more value.


Is the product really suitable for your type of Hotel or Resort?

Imported products are designed to run in Hotels in Europe, Australasia and USA and do not really fit well anywhere else. On the other hand, some local products were initially written for a very specific type of property like a Bed 'n Breakfast or for Wildlife Parks and later "adjusted" for other types, consequently they just don't work well anywhere. Either way, you may be trapped to fit your business to the product - not the other way around.



Can the product be modified for your needs?

Imported products are not easily modified and you may be stuck with features you don't want, and end up never getting the features you actually need.  The software should work for you, not you work for the software. Make sure you get what your business needs, and not what the supplier wants to dump on you.



Are the installation and training costs reasonable?

Some products tend to be outrageously overpriced in this area, including some of the local products (even those which aren't very good).  These costs add to the bottom line, and can easily escalate if the implementation period needs to extend. Shop around and compare prices - apples for apples.



What are the skill requirements?

Some products typically need hotel school graduates. Your salary bill is going to be way higher if you select such a product. Not only does it cost you more, but you will often struggle to even recruit suitably skilled people, especially if you are in a remote area. Another problem you will face is that once you have trained your existing staff (at your considerable cost) on famous name imported products, they will probably expect a pay rise. Either that or they will leave to go and work in one of the big chain hotels because they now have the skills to work there. Don't be fooled by the counter argument that there is already a big pool of skills available on the imported product! Think about it, you know what the particular difficulties are of hiring skilled people in your geographic region.



Is technical support priced reasonably?

Some products come with staggeringly high monthly support price tags. Shop around and you will be surprised, even shocked. Were talking several thousand per month! That's just the fixed monthly pricing, what about major random incidents that are billed ad hoc? Ask your potential supplier what a callout would cost. This can be many thousands of rands per day. Be aware of these prices before you purchase a product or you could be in for a nasty surprise.



Is the product stable?

If not it will cost you dearly. Solutions that are regularly faulty disrupt your business. Downtime draws you away from your core focus and results in losses and guests dissatisfaction. The impact cannot accurately be measured but is certainly expensive, therefore you must avoid it by selecting a stable product. We've noticed that some systems (even the most famous imported ones) have a high price tag and a high monthly support fee, but they also have a very high incidence of failure. Check with existing customers that they do not experience regular disruptions. We know of resorts in remote areas that simply stop billing and making reservations for entire weekends or days on end because of software failure, and this despite (or because of) the fact that they use imported software. Remember, paying more is no guarantee of more stability.



Is a low initial price not just a loss-leader?

Particularly amongst imported products there is a pricing strategy to entice buyers with 'specially' discounted or 'free' entry prices. Don't be suckered - you know that there is nothing for nothing and you will still end up paying a very high price. Once you start down the route with the imported package you will be stuck with it and pay a high premium forevermore. Those imported packages come with all the trappings of expensive hardware, expensive training and high ongoing monthly and annual licensing and running costs. It's nothing to them to 'give' you the package at the outset, because they know once they have you, they'll be charging you for the annual software license at full price year after year. They know that once you have invested in the training and the hardware and you're bound into their contracts, you aren't going to change to an alternative product in a hurry, you'll be stuck with them forevermore. Before signing up - do the numbers carefully before you make a costly decision.



Is the product modular?

You should be able to select from a variety of modules. You may want to start with just the basics and expand as needed. Make sure this is possible. Also, beware of what a vendor calls a module. For example some local products like to include a so-called POS package and pass it off as a fully fledged POS 'comparable with the very best'. In most cases we have found that what they are calling POS is a poor and feeble thing - not capable of standing up to the load of a busy bar and restaurant. These are not modules and will only frustrate and disappoint you and cause you to lose money. You need a modular product, but they must be genuine comprehensive modules.



How does it integrate?

Be careful of being locked into a single brand or single supplier. For instance if you purchase the Front Office from one supplier, you may have no choice but to continue thereafter to purchase all other modules from only them when you want to expand. Like their POS and Stock control systems. You could be trapped into buying only their very expensive kit. This is particularly true of one of the leading imported brands. Even if you don't intend buying all the options initially, get quotes for everything anyway and find out how flexible they are and what alternative 3rd party products you can choose from, if any, and check those out thoroughly also. That way you will know in advance what further expenditure you may face.



Are there any other Licenses required?

Be careful that you do not get saddled with other expensive software licenses like Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Server, Oracle, Informix etc. Many of the big name hospitality products cannot be installed without these. It all adds to the TCO (total cost of ownership) and to the annual running costs as well. You must take all the costs involved, direct and indirect into consideration to determine the true full price of each solution.



What performance and security can you expect?

Be sure that the database that will be used is scalable, fast and secure. Take note that desktop databases like dBase, paradox and ms-access are not reliable in a 24x7 business environment. On the other hand MS-SQL is expensive and so is Oracle, these will also raise the price of the hardware because they require a more expensive computer to run on. So don't be pushed or duped into accepting any of these without questioning the supplier about the pricing and the extra costs and comparing specifications.



Is it a proven system?

Be careful of new and re-branded products, they often popup on the market with great aplomb, but just as soon disappear. Try not to be a guinea pig as this often ends in frustration and leads to further costs when you throw it out and replace it with a proven system. Make sure the product has a substantial user base in your area and is used in similarly styled businesses as your own, and that it has been around for a while. You must insist on the client list and call as many of the contacts as possible.



What is the future?

Make sure that there is a known and affordable future mapped out for the product. In the last two decades many products have come and most have also gone. Many big companies and even more small companies have come onto the radar promising the world, only to fade quickly away to obscurity leaving clients floundering. All you can do in this regard is do your homework thoroughly on the supplier and their products and make sure you contact as many existing clients as possible for references.



Can you really afford it?

The initial price is one thing and obviously needs careful consideration, but clearly there are also hidden and ongoing costs that could be overlooked and could make it very hard to keep your operation profitable. Don't be trapped into signing up for a product simply because you've used it before when you worked for a big chain hotel or your neighboring hotel uses it or you think that you are not 'there' unless you have that 'particular' brand. Don't slave away at your business only to end up paying the profits toward sponsoring your technology supplier.



Suit your business style?

Make sure that there are many clients with very similar types of businesses pertaining to location, style, grading, pricing and room counts etc. If you are a game lodge then there is no value in asking a big city hotel owner or manager about a certain product, and vice verse. So compare apples with apples, talk to operators of business that are at least similar to your own. Try to get the contact person to talk openly, ask tricky questions, like : "Be honest, is the product really a sound choice? Are you really happy with it? How many times a month does it break down?" You may have to dig a bit, but try to get to the truth. And remember also that some Hoteliers are secretly ashamed to admit that they made a big mistake in purchasing a certain expensive brand and they are thus trapped by pride into promoting it, even against their will. Get as many references as you can from as many hoteliers and users as possible. Good luck.


Conclusion: with TheHost you get the most cost-effective and proven local design, and your investment stays onshore.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 August 2012 10:59
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