Last week, we talked about how redemption software can help you save time. Your time is very important and you would love to be able to spend more time getting customers to come to your facility and less time counting bouncy balls. But today we will talk about the other side of the equation: how redemption software can save you money. Let’s focus on the big 3:
We all know someone that always wants the latest and greatest gadget or the newest, slickest software simply because it exists. I have a friend that bought an iPad when they first came out specifically for reading books. Once he realized the Kindle he already had was better for reading books his iPad was left on a shelf to collect dust.
What's one of the main reasons FECs, amusement parks, skating rinks and other entertainment businesses are interested in using a Point of Sale System? Security. Entertainment businesses frequently rely on part-time teenagers who have a tendency to be less than honest. One of the simplest ways that an employee can make himself a "silent partner" in your business is to make a sale to a customer and then refund that transaction and put the money in their pocket.
In my previous blog, where I highlighted our new ROI Calculator, I identified 4 areas that a complete FEC POS could assist with in increasing your bottom line. Of the 4, I'm going to discuss loss prevention in this blog.
One thing that always drove me crazy was the thought of inventory just disappearing. When I was operating a FEC it was always a huge concern to control the inventory that your employees are handling. This causes a huge internal struggle. One struggle is that I was smart enough to understand the risk of your inventory items being out in the open. So you have to stay on your toes at all times. The other struggle is not trusting your employees. Your employees are your team mates and play such an important role in driving your business in your FEC. The easiest way to control these struggles is putting together employee policies to help control your inventory. The three areas that I want to focus on is your Redemption area, Arcade area and Food & Beverage.
Is your skating rink still operating using a cigar box or a cash register? Have you ever considered adding a point of sale system to your skating rink, but thought that the benefits didn't outweigh the cost? Well, at CenterEdge Software we don't believe that's true. The fact is, the return on investment for a new point of sale and birthday reservation system in a skating rink really makes the decision a no-brainer.
With the NFL draft fast approaching, I started thinking about how teams evaluate the needs they hope to fill from the draft. Do they need an offensive player? a defensive player? someone on special teams? What areas need improvement and what the best way to achieve it. This same evaluation is probably being used in your FEC on a daily basis. Do you look at your POS as a member of your team? With the right POS, you could find an “iron man” system, which would “play” on all sides of your FEC operation.
Topics: FEC, laser tag, point of sale, theatres, trampoline parks, museums, waterparks, zoos & aquariums, parks, managing your business, loss prevention, skating, restuarants & bars, retail, inflatables, camps & daycare
In the early 1990's as a young theme park operator, I was oblivious to the possibility that one of my own would take company property. It was not like these were thug kids with hard lives. They were young adults, just barely younger than me, raised in good households, working on college educations. Yet there I sat, one cruddy night, with 8 of them sitting outside my office as I spoke to them individually on the little scheme they had been running. Their process was simple. After closing, they would take some inventory out of the retail store and place it just outside the front door as the locked and closed down the building. As the others cleaned and prepared the facility for the next day, one of them would drive around and pick up the loot. The only reason I caught them was because one of them had a guilty conscience and disclosed to me who, what, when and how.Although my only managerial experience at the time was overseeing the operation of rides at a theme park, there were many within our organization who had inventory control and cash handling experience. After the initial shock, we all looked dumbfounded and felt stupid that this occurred right under our noses without any inkling on our part that we were losing money. The main questions asked: What could we have done to prevent it? Who can we trust if we can't trust this group? What do we do now and how do we keep it from happening again? And the biggest question of all: What tools do we have to help identify potential problems in the future?
The first line of defense is a good Point of Sale system. Gone are the days that a simple cash register can ensure your security and accountability for monies entering your facility. Now it is imperative to have a sophisticated computer system monitoring your employees’ performance and reporting discrepancies as they occur.
Since you are reading this blog, I assume you already use a strong Point of Sale system (hopefully CenterEdge Advantage), or you are considering getting a system (hopefully CenterEdge Advantage). However have you considered removing or limiting the opportunity to handle money from your employees? By removing the ability to handle money, you are in effect removing their ability to take your money as well.
With a Cashless System, customers are given a card or some form of media in exchange for currency. This exchange can take place at a Point of Sale station, where one employee would still have access to cash, or at a self-service kiosk, where the money leaves the hands of the customer, enters a machine where it is calculated, and then a card is dispensed for the customer’s use. The Cashless Card can then be used to purchase food and beverages, admission tickets, arcade game plays, retail, or anything else your facility sells.
Unlike a typical transaction where an employee can use schemes such as short-changing the customer, memorization of prices, and sharing with friends; a cashless system transaction is an exchange of currency, not assets. Therefore the system not only expects a specific amount of currency, but also requires it in order to finalize the transaction. It is then the card, not cash, which the employees will handle in order to finalize further transactions.
One of the hardest things for an owner or manager to keep track of is their arcade or batting cage tokens. Because of the constant in and out flow of the tokens, standard inventory control measures for preventing employee theft are nearly impossible to implement. The use of Cashless Cards to operate your arcade games and attractions eliminates the oppurtunity for an employee to steal or giveaway play tokens. The Point of Sale system simply won't allow the employee to issue a card with value without also expecting the money at the end of the shift.