Have you ever toured a home that’s been renovated and enlarged several times by different people?  Often it seems like there is wasted space and a disjointed look. This can certainly happen in business, too.

With a facility that starts off small and then grows piece by piece over time, things can start feeling unorganized to your guests, which can put your business at risk. After a while, it’s necessary to take a step back and determine if your processes and systems — and even your team — can take your business to the next level.

It makes sense, then, that trying to use a pieced together set of solutions to run your business may be costing you in unnecessary fees, reduced efficiency and even lost revenue. Added to that, asking your team members to manage a cumbersome set of processes puts them at risk for letting your business down through costly transaction mistakes. Here are five reasons that growing FEC and amusement venues lose money – and how to stop it from happening.

1. They pay redundant operational fees.

When using multiple software providers, such as one for point of sale, one for party booking, and one for waivers, your FEC or amusement center is facing redundancies. You commit to several licensing fees and hardware as well as service agreements. An integrated solution can eliminate many of these fees, offering the benefit of more purchasing power when buying all from one provider, and only paying one service agreement.

Added to that, you’ll save time spent managing multiple systems. Consider how much of your time is being spent trying to get technical or hardware support for each system, keeping track of agreement terms, contact information and knowing whom to call for which operational issue — and that is often happening during your busiest times, affecting your guests and your profits.

2. They incur higher training and turnover expenses.

Team member turnover is expensive and inadequate training is a key driver for why employees quit. If they must be trained on multiple systems, there’s always a chance that material is going to fall through the cracks, which leads to mistakes and frustration. Streamlined processes and systems help reduce not only the potential for mistakes, but also the need for cumbersome, time-consuming onboarding. The more systems team members must learn and interact with, the more likely they are to make mistakes, resulting in refunds and rework.

In addition to the impacts to transaction speed and accuracy, remember that people are social, so if one team member notices that you have an inefficient process, it won’t be long before an entire shift starts grumbling about redundancy and time wasters, which negatively affects momentum, culture and guest experience.

3. Inefficient event sales and scheduling cost time, bookings and revenue.

These days many consumers prefer to book events and make purchases online and your FEC or amusement center should be equipped to do so. For birthday parties and events, not having an online solution can cost you the event entirely if the guest decides your facility won’t meet their needs. Without an integrated online booking tool, your operation becomes vulnerable to double booking as well as missed or inaccurate deposit receipts. It can also impact food and beverage orders for parties when they must be entered and ordered in a separate food and beverage system. This could result in a greater potential for human error when guests order and pay.

4. They suffer more frontline data entry mistakes.

Just like with group events, any time you have manual data entry at your frontline, you open your business up to simple mistakes such as transposing numbers, causing you to charge a guest too much or too little. As spending behaviors and payment technologies have evolved over time, so has the need for integrated facility management systems.

One great example is the use of cash registers to manage transactions. The use of credit cards over cash continues to grow. Some facilities have managed this by processing the transaction in the cash register for tracking and then entering any credit card payment information in a separate credit card terminal. This leaves your business vulnerable to mistakes, rework and even theft. For example, if someone processes the credit card transaction without first entering the transaction in the cash register, they could take any overages out of the cash drawer and the payments received will still balance.

5. Weak data analytics mean slower decision-making ability.

Managing costs and driving profitability is a critical piece of your business. If many managers live and die by achieving the right labor to sales percentage, you’re at a disadvantage if you need to pull several reports and manually calculate this information when you need it — especially in real time so that you can adjust to sales in the moment. Other metrics you need easy access to include: gross sales, best sellers, sales by team member, incoming group events and cost/waste, etc.

If you’re paying the price of some of these growing pains, it might be time for you to consider a more integrated solution. Find out if CenterEdge Advantage is right for your FEC or amusement facility.

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