Step 2: Setting Up Distribution

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Connecting your distribution channels is one of the most vital steps in the setup process. Distribution allows your property to be seen by the thousands of potential customers that visit the various OTAs you have accounts with.

Using Cloudbed's channel manager software, myallocator, you'll be able to easily synchronize your inventory with these third-party sources.

Warning: All of your rates and room types must be setup in myfrontdesk before progressing to this stage.

  • As a reminder, this step will setup your active distribution channel connections and activate them in myfrontdesk.
    • If you are not setup with a particular channel yet, you will need to create and setup an account with them first. Check out our article here for some tips about doing this.
  • If you do not have a myallocator account already, do not request for your channel to use myallocator until you are at this stage and ready to go live.
  • Need help connecting your channel? Check out the distribution channel section of our knowledge base.

Before starting, confirm that the availability and rate information on your calendar is 100% accurate.

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Go to your distribution page:

You can do this by navigating to settings > distribution or by clicking to .

If you already have a myallocator account:

Make absolutely sure that your settings on myfrontdesk match those in myallocator. This includes the number of accommodations.

Note: Any bookings previously received by myallocator can be automatically imported into myfrontdesk by our support team once you have completed filling out the mandatory sections.

  • If you choose to import from myallocator, make sure you have not already manually added these bookings to myfrontdesk. Doing this will create duplicate copies of the reservation that will cause your availability to believe it has overbookings.
  • Your myallocator credit card password needs to be up to date to before requesting for reservations to be imported. If the password is not the current one, credit card payment details will not be transferred in compliance with financial security standards.

If you would like to have future credit card payment details for your reservations forwarded from Booking.com and Expedia, make sure you have a credit credit password set.

If you changing PMS providers and also already have a myallocator account: 

  • Remember: All direct reservations made in your previous PMS provider's system (eg: booking engine, walk-ins, email) will need to be transferred over manually. Some PMS do offer exporting your past reservations as either a CSV or Excel file for reference.
  • Disconnect myallocator from inside of your previous PMS system. Not doing so can cause both myfrontdesk and your previous PMS to simultaneously be updating availability and rates. This can result in overbookings or even cause reservations to be forwarded to the wrong system.

Once these steps are complete, continue on and follow the steps below.

Click on "Link to existing myallocator account" and enter your account details.

 

If you do not already have a myallocator account:

Make sure all of your room types, rates, availability, and other information has been fully entered into myfrontdesk. Myfrontdesk will create a myallocator account for you based off the information you have customized your account with. This is your last chance to double-check any settings before creating a myallocator account.

Note: With any distribution channels you plan to connect, do not activate them with myallocator until you are ready to go live.

Click on "create myallocator account".

Myfrontdesk will now generate a myallocator account based off of the core settings you have entered into the system

 
 

Choose Your Distribution Settings

For most properties, we recommend choosing "Last Room Available"

However, if you would like to keep some rooms in reserve for either a staff dorm or to exclusively sell with mybookings, select "Property Allotment", you will then need to configure your channel allotment.

 
 
 
Next, select how many years you want to send availability for. Most channels accept inventory up to two years in the future. When you are finished, be sure to click "Save".

Setup your channels:

Now that your myfrontdesk distribution settings are enabled, it's time begin connecting your channels!

Note: Some channels have specific requirements to activate them with a channel manager. We have some great articles that will guide you through the process of activating Booking.com and also Expedia.

To begin setting up your channels, click on the "Channels" tab.

Select a Channel

The process to activate a channel varies, but for most you will need to enter credentials. We'll go through the LateRooms activation process here, which is standard. Some channels, like Booking.com and Expedia, require you to contact them first, and others have an approval process.

Start by clicking the "Not Setup, click to Setup" button, which will open the channel credential box. Enter the Group Reference number and password, then click Next.

 

Map Your Rooms

This is one of the most vital steps to ensure a positive experience with channel distribution. Be sure to pay close attention to the following information.

Please note:

  • All rooms on the OTA must be mapped to a corresponding room type in myfrontdesk or disabled/unlisted. Distribution channel room types that are left unmapped to a myfrontdesk room type will never receive availability updates which can lead to overbookings.
  • We strongly recommend only mapping one Room Type in your channel to a single matching Room Type in myfrontdesk.
  • We do not recommend attempting to map multiple individual myfrontdesk rooms to a single Room Type in your channel. This is incompatible with most OTAs and has a high-rate of creating overbookings. To learn more, please read our Distribution Channel Mapping Guidelines.

Your myfrontdesk rooms will appear next to a drop-down list of the rooms configured on that channel, select the appropriate OTA room type to match with those you've created in myfrontdesk.

 

Add Your Channel-Specific Rate Difference

If you want your default rate on this channel to be different than what shows up on your calendar, then input the additional amount here. You can use a set amount or a percentage. Click Next to continue.

 

Confirmation and additional steps

Once you see the confirmation screen and "Setup Complete," you're done mapping the channel in myfrontdesk! Some channels require additional steps to complete setup.

For example, LateRooms requires that you enter a specific email address into your LateRooms extranet as the destination for booking confirmation emails. Without this final step, LateRooms reservations will not make their way into the system.

 

If You Are Ready To Go Live:

Navigate to the Myallocator Activation activation tab and click on the button to toggle it from disabled to enabled.

Note:

Enabling myallocator will fully activate your myfrontdesk account and send you live.

If you would like a member of our support team to quickly look over any settings, you may want to contact them before activating your account.

 
 

A Few Things To Keep In Mind:

  • If you previously had a myallocator account, make sure to only modify settings from inside of myfrontdesk's distribution section. Logging into myallocator.com and changing settings from inside of the other system can lead to availability and rates discrepancies. 
  • Keep the extranet login credentials for your various distribution channels up to date in the channels section of myfrontdesk. Changing these without updating them in myfrontdesk can result in connection errors. Some channels availability might not sync automatically or bookings will not get imported.
  • Myfrontdesk does not change the currency inside of a channel's extranet. Make absolutely sure that the currency settings in your channel site's extranet matches what you have set in myfrontdesk under the "Currency" tab of the distribution section

Channels mapped and ready? Be sure to double-check your settings before fully activating myallocator.

Now that your distribution is connected, it's time to move onto the final step, Going Live!

 
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