Release Notes

Release Notes – April 2011

You can now split a group into individual reservations

At some stage after making a group reservation, you will probably want to enter the individual guest names in the group, also known as a rooming list. However, before you enter the guest names, you need to split the group reservation into many individual reservations. Of course these individual reservations are still linked together as part of the group reservation. 

  • Here’s how to split a group reservation:Go to the Blocks menu and search for the group that you want to split. Click on EDIT
  • Click on GROUP MASTER
  • Click on SPLIT
  • hetras will ask you how many rooms you wish to split. The default is all rooms in the group. However, it’s possible that you only received a partial rooming list and you wish to split less than the total rooms in the group. In this case, the non-split rooms will remain attached to the group master for splitting later.
  • Finally you will see a screen where you enter the first name, last name and title of the individual guests. You can also change the arrival date, departure date, room type and number of guests in each room. This is important if some guests are arriving and departing on different dates than the group master. The dates before and after the group master dates are known as shoulder dates. When you are finished, click on the SPLIT button again. Make sure you do not leave any last name fields blank or you will not be able to split the group.

Now possible to modify all details of a reservation on one screen

It’s now easy to make any change you want to a reservation – all on the same screen. This includes rate plan, number of guests, room type, market segment, channel code, guarantee type, payment type and, of course arrival and departure dates as well. hetras will automatically check if the rate is still available and will recalculate the rate if necessary

Introducing Traces

Traces are useful reminders for hotel staff to do certain tasks relating to specific guests on certain dates. For example, you might want to advise the housekeeping department to put a treadmill in a guest room on the third day of the guest’s stay. Or you might want to remind the general manager that a certain VIP is eating in the restaurant on Thursday evening. 
Traces themselves are divided up into two categories:

  • Activities are traces where a hotel staff member needs to do something and then mark the activity as complete.
  • Actions are traces that hetras takes care of automatically. An example of an action is when the number of guests in a room changes from 1 to 2 on the fourth day of the stay. In such a case, no human intervention is required. hetras will simply make this change on the fourth day. Activities will be implemented shortly.

As you can see, the traces are generally associated with departments such as front desk, housekeeping, F&B, and sales. So before you can use traces, you need to enter a list of relevant departments. If you are not sure how to do this, please contact your hetras account manager. 
Once the departments are entered, you can then add traces. To do this, search for any reservation or guest in house and click on MODIFY to change the registration data. From there you can click on the button ACTIVITIES. Now you’ll see a list of activities already associated with this guest. If no activities have been entered for this guest, the list will be empty. You can add a new one by clicking on ADD, edit an existing one by clicking on EDIT or mark an activity as complete by clicking on COMPLETE. When you are done, click on CLOSE. 
What makes traces truly useful is the trace report. You’ll find this on the main reservation menu. Most likely you will want to run this report for each department each day.

Track multiple loyalty programs

Now you can enter multiple loyalty card numbers or other membership numbers for each guest. These may include your hotel chain loyalty program, frequent flyer loyalty program, secretaries club program or other programs that you wish to track. 
To get started, you need to define which programs you intend to track. Go to the configuration menu and choose the menu item “codes.” From there select the LoyaltyProgram codes. Now you can add, delete, modify and activate or deactivate the individual loyalty program codes. If you don’t have access to the configuration menu, please ask your system administrator or talk to your hetras account manager. 
Now you’re ready to assign codes to guests. First find a guest profile from the Profiles menu or via a reservation. Click on the second tab called Alternate IDs. You’ll now have the option to choose a program, enter a membership number and – optionally – the “member since” date. 
hetras is aware of the validation requirements for certain programs, such as length of ID number and requirement for unique keys. 
Remember that hetras is by definition a central guest database for a hotel chain. So the guest loyalty number of other membership numbers are automatically visible to all hotels within the chain and the membership number applies to all reservations of the guest, regardless at which hotel the guest has booked.

Advanced room assignment

Not only is it possible to assign rooms before checkin, but hetras can help the front desk staff assign rooms using intelligent search criteria. 

  • Below the reservation list
  • Next to the room number field on On the reservation details screen

Once you have clicked on the ASSIGN button, you will get a dialog window with further options to narrow the search: View, Location and Amenities. If you don’t enter any specific View, for example, hetras will search for available rooms regardless of view. 
You can, however, search for multiple views by checking multiple boxes within the view dropdown. This will search for available rooms with a city view OR an ocean view. 
Amenities works differently. If you search for multiple amenities, it will only find rooms with all the amenities that you select. In other words, if you search for rooms with a minibar and a hair dryer, it will look for rooms that have both of these amenities. 
To assign a room, select one in the list and click on ASSIGN once more. 
It’s also possible to search for rooms independently of any reservation. Select the Search Rooms menu item in the Front Desk menu. Here you can search using the same criteria as above, but you will not be able to assign the room to a specific guest via this screen. 

Easily attach profiles to reservations

In hetras, a guest profile is a set of static information about a guest, such as address, email addresses, phone numbers, VIP level and comments. Every guest in hetras has a guest profile. 
If the guest makes multiple reservations, all of these reservations are attached to the same guest profile. This means, if you want to change the phone number of the guest, you only need to do it in one place – on the profile. 
If you are working on a reservation and you want to see the primary address and email address of the guest, simply click on the blue triangle next to the guest name and you will immediately see this information. If you want to change any of this information, just click on the guest name. You will be taken to the guest profile screen where you can make any changes. 
However, what if you attached the wrong guest profile to this reservation? Let’s suppose the reservation is for Christina Miller but you chose the profile of Christian Miller by mistake. That’s no problem. Simply click on the REPLACE button next to the guest name. Now you can enter the first few characters of the last name of the correct guest and select the name from a list of profiles. If you can’t find the correct profile in the list, it’s probably because the profile hasn’t been created yet. In that case, click on NEW to create a new guest profile. 

hetras interface to SAP now online

Front office accounting data, including revenue per transaction code, payments received, deposits received, accounts receivable data and others can be transferred on a daily basis to SAP back office accounting. The format of the data to be transferred can be configured on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in using this feature, please contact your account manager.

Advanced Blocks

hetras officially releases advanced block functionality. A block is a group of rooms and rates that can be used in various ways. 
A typical example is when you want to block rooms for a group for which you don’t know exactly how many rooms will be required. Consider a wedding party that needs about 30 rooms and they negotiate a special price or they accept one of the hotel’s pre-defined rates or packages. Now the wedding planner doesn’t yet know if all thirty rooms will be required. However, it is understood that the individual wedding guests will contact the hotel and book rooms by mentioning the block code. This is known as “picking up” rooms in the block. It is also agreed with the wedding planner that any rooms not picked up three weeks in advance of the first arrival date will be released back to general inventory or “cut off.” 
As a hotel sales manager, you enter this block under the “Block Management” menu item in the Reservation menu. 
The block code is a short name you give the block. This code is required for searching and will also show up in various reports. An example might be “SmithJonesWedding”. The block code can not have any spaces. 
The block name is a long name which describes the block in more detail, such as “Jane Smith / Peter Jones Wedding”. 
You can also designate the group status as definite or tentative. This determines whether or not the rooms are taken out of inventory. Generally when you are in still in the negotiation phase with the wedding party and nothing has been confirmed, then the status is tentative (option) and the rooms are not taken out of inventory. Once the block has been confirmed, you would change the status to definitive and the rooms will be removed from inventory. 
Cut-off date, as described above, is the date on which any non-picked-up rooms will be released to general inventory. If a wedding guest tries to book after that, they will be informed that there are no rooms left in the wedding block. Depending on hotel policy, the guests may be entitled to book a room at a published rate subject to availability and still join the wedding party. 
Blocks are typically used for travel agent or tour operator allotments as well. In other words, consider a tour operator that books 10 rooms every Monday-Thursday night for the entire summer. This can be entered as a block, but the cut-off date won’t be a single date in advance of the summer, but a certain number of days in advance of each individual arrival date, e.g. 21 days. This is known as cut off days rather than cut off date
Other fields are self-explanatory, such as arrivaldeparture and rate plan
Once you have entered in the appropriate data in the header, you can then choose theroom types and the number of rooms to block for each room type. 

Check-in Kiosk works for multiple rooms on one confirmation number

Let’s say the company hetras books five rooms under one name and one confirmation number: 12345. Employees of hetras arrive in the hotel and wish to check in at the kiosk using the confirmation number. Previously the kiosk wouldn’t be able to complete the check in because it didn’t know which of the five guests to check in. Now the kiosk is smart enough to know that it doesn’t matter. As all the names are the same, it will just take the first one and check it in. 
The kiosk will ask the guest to type in their real name so that the hotel has a record of who is staying overnight. 

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