POS systems are a central component of your operations. Your software touches every part of your facility, from guests to the accountant, so you need a solution that can meet all of your needs – including needs you don’t even have yet.
At the same time, you don’t always know exactly what you need until you realize your system of choice lacks a particular function or causes more problems than it solves.
This might seem like a double-edged sword. With so many POS systems, use cases and unknowns in your industry, how can you possibly make the right choice?
The answer is by listening to your peers. What worked and what didn’t for their particular business? You don’t have to fall victim to “if I knew then what I know now” syndrome. You can learn right now, from fellow FEC owners, about what the right choice actually looks like.
With that in mind, here are the top five concerns we’ve heard from other operators about what they wish they thought of before they selected their previous POS software.
#1. “I didn’t know I would be adding attractions and would need a more robust system.”
Many operators dream big and plan a park or FEC with the latest attractions in mind but neglect to consider what their business might look like in two to five years’ time.
Will you want to start with smaller concessions today but potentially offer a full-service menu in the future? Will you want to add a virtual reality arena or a larger game room with redemption?
If you expand product offerings or attractions, back-end support needs to expand with it.
The amusement industry is always evolving, and the competition for guest attention and loyalty never stops. To capture the hearts and wallets of your audience, you must evolve with their preferences. A robust POS system can help you do this.
It’s a good idea to review facility management solutions with both the present and the future in mind. While a smaller solution might meet your current needs, it will limit you when your business starts growing.
#2. “I wish I’d thought of cash control and security measures for staff.”
Solid cash control is essential, and you need a system that enables you to not only track individual team member labor and transactions in every department in your business but also helps you protect your business from external and internal theft.
You might be thinking, “Theft could never happen at my facility!” But the sad truth is that it happens, and often, which is exactly why many operators are stuck wishing they had considered cash control and security measures when they were selecting a POS software.
So, don’t ignore the potential for theft – prepare for it.
The good news: You can protect yourself from theft and other unintentional losses with a solid POS system that not only has security measures built in but has tools that create a culture of honesty and vigilance for team members. Now, you can sleep at night without having to worry about theft – and knowing that, if it were to occur, you have a great POS software to back you up.
#3. “I didn’t consider the hassle of pulling reports from multiple systems.”
Imagine you have one system for food and beverage, a different one for online bookings, another to run your game room and so on. Have you considered how much time you’ll spend each day, week or month trying to get a picture of what’s going on inside your park?
This is a reality for many FEC owners who, instead of picking one comprehensive facility management system, cobbled together different systems as they needed them.
It didn’t take long for them to realize their mistake.
When you use several different systems to handle all of the revenue and transactional data gathered throughout the course of a normal day, you put your business at risk for errors and wasted time coordinating reports and data from all the different systems involved.
Pulling a report should be simple. But when you have multiple, siloed solutions, you must figure out the reporting functionality for each. This means accessing them individually, entering your report parameters and exporting each one into a program. And that’s before you can even compare it with data from a different system.
#4. “I thought customer service would be better and more available.”
Opening a new facility or expanding your current offering is an exciting time. But the excitement can be hampered by second-guessing your software decisions – or realizing that you’ve chosen the wrong one. That’s why, when you’re looking for a POS, prioritize customer service. If you take the time to find the right partners (that is, more than just a software package), you will be more confident and satisfied with your decision.
It’s true. POS software can offer more than just the software itself. Just as your facility runs on good customer service, so should your POS system. Many facility owners aren’t aware of this – or they simply don’t anticipate needing additional support beyond setup, especially if their system of choice touted itself as “easy to use.”
Just because a system is easy to use for day-to-day operations doesn’t mean you won’t need training or troubleshooting down the line.
At some point in time you’ll need help with any system you purchase. Be sure to consider service level agreements, what constitutes a high priority ticket item, response times, office hours as well as long-term relationship offerings when choosing.
#5. “I didn’t know how important the group events booking functionality would be.”
You may not realize how complex and nuanced booking birthday parties and other group events can become until you’re in the trenches yourself.
But take our word for it.
If you own (or you’re planning on owning) a busy facility that keeps guests entertained for hours, expect events to be a major part of your business – it’s a compliment! But if you’re not prepared to handle the influx of guests, organize attraction schedules, manage wait times and other complex situations, then the overall experience and resulting guest attendance will fall flat.
Look for party booking software that makes planning a big day easy for you (and your guests) and keeps everything in order with full POS integration.
When selecting a POS software, always consider the functions you need that go beyond the physical counter. A POS system should do more than just process transactions. In fact, the right solution can enhance your facility in ways you never expected, across more than just one area of your business.
To discover five more concerns from real FEC operators – and find out key tips to help you make a better decision – download the full guide. And if you’re interested in a solution that’s already one step ahead of the aforementioned mistakes, request a demo of CenterEdge Software.
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