So, you just upgraded to the latest and greatest Kennel Management Software OR you are hanging onto there your tried and true Kennel Management Software that’s been around for 20+ years. New and fancy vs. old and reliable – either way, they do everything you need them to do, right? Well, not so fast. Kennel Management Software is most certainly a necessity if you are running a pet boarding facility of any size. They book reservations, store pet information, facilitate check in/outs, create invoices and in general make life easier.
But, like any resource management software, they are required to perform a very wide spectrum of tasks for you to successfully run your operation. However, as each task becomes more specialized, it’s best to temper your expectations regarding the depth of capability. Let’s take financials, for example. Your Kennel Management Software most likely produces some level of financial reporting, but to expect it to produce the same level of financial capability you would experience from QuickBooks is probably unrealistic. So, what do you do? You augment your Kennel Management Software with a subscription of QuickBooks or outsource to an accountant.
The same goes with Customer Communication Management – your Kennel Management Software probably performs basic automated correspondence with clients. For some, that’s enough and all you need. For others, who like to build engaging campaigns and leverage the power of staying in front of clients, they probably seek out more sophisticated options such as MailChimp or ExactTarget.
The reasons for augmenting your current Kennel Management Software with other software platforms vary widely. QuickBooks serves as a huge time saver. Email marketing software, on the other hand, can be used as a revenue generator. Tableau provides business intelligence and analytics.
“Reservations are the lifeblood of your operation.”
This leads me to one of the most important aspects of your business…Reservations. Reservations are the lifeblood of your operation. You book them all day every day and without them, well, you’d be out of business. You sell reservations and deliver a quality service, but how much effort and planning do you put into the former?
Many view reservations as data entry and recording. Requests come in and staff records the data into your Kennel Management Software – while along the way they make the attempt to up-sell the customer at the time of booking. Though reservations seem cut and dry – dates, customer, pets, services – they are far from ordinary. In fact, no two reservations are the same – every single reservation is totally unique and there are hundreds of unique variables that make up a single reservation!
“Every single reservation is totally unique and there are hundreds of unique variables that make up a single reservation!”
Reservation quality most definitely affects revenue of a business. Most pet boarding facilities book reservations based on one single qualifier or variable – which is typically VACANCY. But remember, there are HUNDREDS of variables that make up a reservation – if only one vacancy variable is being considered, are the best reservations really being booked? The answer is probably No. When reservations are booked in the order in which they are requested based on one single qualifying variable, businesses are re-actively managing reservations and simply recording data.
For example, if a rash of 2-night reservations come in three months in advance for 4th of July weekend and a business does not have the discipline to turn away this business, they will most likely end up turning away week-long reservations leading up to the busy holiday.
Perhaps, a better alternative would be to turn away the 2-night reservations (even though the vacancy variable says to take them), so they have the capacity to fulfill the higher quality reservations when they come. This type of proactive approach takes planning, forecasting and a solid Yield Management strategy.
Next up…What is a quality reservation??