There’s no question that a reliable POS (point of sale) system can benefit your business. Finding and implementing the right POS solution will not only allow you a tighter control on costs, but it can increase productivity as well. A smaller restaurant or lounge operation can purchase and install a system relatively easily. For larger, more complex venues, however, sourcing out a reliable, flexible and secure point of sale system presents a different challenge. For the hospitality and gaming industries in particular, complete reliability and security is critical.
A multi entertainment complex, for instance, may encompass a casino, numerous restaurants and lounges, an outdoor patio and merchandise sales. In the past, establishments such as these have required separate systems to handle their diverse technology requirements. Linking these outlets under the umbrella of one POS system, and having it all integrate into a patron management system presented unique challenges. Companies such as these also have a wish list of features, the most important being:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Enterprise version for corporate and multi-location
- Reservation system
- Wireless POS/Wireless mobile computing
Woodbine Entertainment Group, of Toronto, Canada, faced these challenges when sourcing out their hospitality software. Woodbine Entertainment is involved in thoroughbred racing, standard bred racing, casino and food and beverage operations. They needed a POS solution that was not only secure, flexible and reliable, but it needed to also integrate with Woodbine’s player reward application. Another important consideration for Woodbine was the ability for the system to stand alone.
Eddie Stutz, VP of Operations for Woodbine, says that flexibility was first and foremost on his mind. “Reliability is also very important, especially a system that can stand alone. We can’t have our system go down, who wants to find themselves in that situation? So having no down time at all is key.”
Stutz had looked at a number of point of sale systems, before finally deciding to go for Tesoro’s Volanté Systems. “As you know, there are so many of them out there.” says Stutz. “At the end of the day, I knew that Volanté is what I wanted.” The reason why? “We are a very complex company. Woodbine has given Volanté much more exposure than anticipated, due to the fact that it can be used in many venues. It’s an all encompassing system. I’m able to pull up any menu I want from any location, I can pull up a dining room menu, then switch to a lounge menu, for instance.” Other reasons for choosing Volanté included its array of other applications, including purchasing, rewards and retail, as well as the ability to integrate with Woodbine’s player-reward application. Woodbine installed Volanté at all their various venues (club, casual and fine dine, cafeteria and quick service), numbering some 200+ registers in a mixed Linux / Windows enterprise topology. "Nowadays everything is about convergence and getting all systems into one", says Randy Folmes, director of IT. "We want to get to the point where we can say 'how much did we sell today?' and run one report to find out".
Volanté is developed entirely in pure Java. Given its highly object- and network-oriented nature, Volanté is an excellent POS software solution for a complex hospitality environment. Since Java is the premier language of the Internet, Volanté thus is able to seamlessly integrate corporate activity to the powerful features of Internet computing. Also, given that Java is cross platform compatible language, Volanté will run on the operating system of your choice, Linux, Unix or Windows, or Linux and Windows, for instance. Woodbine saw a cost benefit right away. “Volanté has a really good platform, which is also very cost effective. I like the fact that I don’t need to pay Window’s licensing fees, for instance.” says Stutz. He was also impressed by Volanté’s wireless option. “I especially like the wireless hand held unit. Believe it or not, I initially saw the product at a trade show in Vegas. It’s funny that I had to go to Vegas to find a company that’s located just around the corner from me.”
In fact, Volanté has revolutionized the wireless POS industry. Their creative approach to wireless mobile computing makes Volanté the perfect wireless solution for venues such as stadiums, trade shows, casinos, arenas, race tracks and outdoor sales areas where conventional POS terminals aren't practical nor feasible. By using PC notebooks (not much bigger then a handheld) the entire POS software is loaded on the unit and it runs as a terminal with peer to peer, data synching etc. PDA's don’t work in this manner- they require writing to the unit (in other words, new code, separate product) plus they're not robust enough for Food and beverage. Volanté has evolved its software into the peer to peer architecture, and now POS software can be loaded onto a small wireless notebook with amazing results. The technology is revolutionary - nobody else can do what Volanté is doing.
For complex hospitality providers, hoping to enhance their guest’s experience while improving operational efficiency at the same time, the odds are looking good.