Product History

A brief history of Minibarmaster's development from the embryonic prototypes in 2003, to the Premium product of today offering wireless functionality and full Opera PMS interfacing.

Overview

Minibarmaster is an Australian designed and manufactured product developed by Electronics By Design in Sydney. It is our own product developed in-house, thus allowing us total control of the product's features and functions. We can make enhancements as required by clients, and are able to develop the product to meet changing market trends.

Minibarmaster products are developed by a small tight knit development team of three people. The same people also provide client support for the product. This ensures issues are resolved quickly because clients speak directly to the developers.

One of the most significant characteristics of Minibarmaster is the product's stability in the market place. It has been in existence since 2004 and has developed an enviable reputation as a very cost effective and easy to use minibar solution. The exposure of the product to the market place over such a long period of time, proves it's reliability.......unlike other "vapourware" system that have come and gone.

Our policy is to continually strive to develop the product using customer feedback to add new features. This enhances it's functionality and ease of use without compomising reliability.

Development History

Minibarmaster was originally conceived in 2003 in response to a client who raised efficiency issues with us about their minibar operations. The client wanted a better way to manage minibar than the existing pen and paper manual system.

We reviewed their operations and identified gains could be realised if the system became more automated. Being an electronics R&D product development house, we were in a perfect position to develop a solution. We reviewed their operations and identified gains could be realised if the system became more automated. Being an electronics R&D product development house, we were in a perfect position to develop a solution.

Initial Non-Wireless Version

The first incarnation of the system released early in 2004 used Palm handheld PDAs for staff to record sales as they checked the rooms. The handhelds were black and white. Later on we moved to colour handhelds.

When they complete their room checking, they walk to the back office and download the charges to a PC allowing them to print reports to restock rooms and manually post charges to the PMS. Trials of this product were conducted in 2004 and product release and sales eventuated in October that year.

Interfacing

In 2005 we developed an interface to allow charges to be electronically posted directly to guest accounts in Fidelio or Opera. This was the first handheld minibar product in Australia using handheld PDAs to include such functionality. The interface also has additional features which allow it to post denials and losses to the write off account. No other product to this day does this.

The same interface is used today and has been rolled out to many properties across different hotel groups.

Minibarmaster Wireless (now known as Minibarmaster Premium)

Customers were requesting we develop a wireless solution allowing charges to be posted directly to guest accounts in Opera whilst on the floors. We responded by developing Minibarmaster Wireless (now known as Minibarmaster Premium). This product includes full interfacing into Opera and posts wirelessly from the floors using GPRS functionality through the mobile phone system. One of the benefits of GPRS is a hotel does not require it's own wireless infrastructure for Minibarmaster to operate thus incurring no expense for the hotel to implement a wireless infrastructure. To this day, this product remains our most popular solution.

Minibarmaster Essential

The most recent release in the Minibarmaster product line is Minibarmaster Essential. This system is similar to the Premium version, but does not include an interface. It does include the same wireless capabilities, functions and operation allowing postings to reach front office cashiers immediately the room is checked, so guests can be charged on checkout before they depart.

The Essential system was developed in response to a market requirement for a lower cost product. It is sold based on a monthly rental package and is ideally suited to smaller properties or properties with low minibar revenue.

Migration To Android

In 2011 we migrated the handheld software to the Android OS which is the fastest growing and most popular OS worldwide. This resulted in significant improvements in functionality, speed and ease of use. Lots of improvements were implemented to make the operation of the handheld more user friendly and increase robustness. This ensures Minibarmaster will move forward for many years with a wide availability of handhelds that can run our software.

 

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