Ok so we have been in the campground software business for 23 years. We include a sitemap of your pariin every system we sell to shorten the learning curve. We only do campgrounds/rv parks and recently expanded into marinas. (If you can believe it marinas are behind the RV park industry on the consumer reservation front.)
We have pretty well seen it all when it comes to how parks operate and the excuses not use rv park software. We continue to learn and improve however some of the stuff we have seen over the years defy description. An incident this week kind of prompted me to write this blog.
The question is why have a software property management system
- It is what the public wants. They want to be able to make a reservation. Both parents are working, and everyone is time starved. No one wants to drive 4 hours, deal with the stress of the drive and family and not have a reservation. Basic wants and needs for your customers.
- Online Reservations- See #1. As stated people are time starved and want to make reservations online when they are at home between 7:30 pm amd 3:30 am. I am pretty sure your reservation desk is not open at that time.
- Cut down on theft. It happens. Especialy with absentee owners. People check their friends into the park for free, or for cash, pocket the money and nothing is ever uncovered. They do not enter the transaction into the cash register. Simple. In a system such as ours you cannot delete a transaction. You can edit it, which is tracked. Our system creates a full audit trail for all transactions.
- If you have a store you need a POS system. Why? See rule number 3. Keeps track of your physical inventory. Cuts down on “shrinkage”. Forces you to manage better some of the most valuable real estate in your park, your retail shelf space.
- Cut down on expenses. No more snail mailing out confirmations, statements or invoices. Can all be done using email through the system.
So I promised 5 but here is a bonus reason.
- Lastly (and I could go on and on) it makes your park more valuable. For the smaller parks, the elephant in the room, is this business is partially a cash business. They do not want to put any cash transactions into the system for obvious tax reasons. My question to them is, “who do you think you are fooling?” Let me ask you this, when you go to sell the park, what kind of park do you think a potential buyer would interested in; A well run park with 5 years of rock solid data to back up their numbers and thousands of names in their customer list or a park that has incomplete data, customer base on recipe cards, and a revenue report that is accompanied by a nod and a wink. Which would you rather buy? Think about your exit strategy. Even if your kids are thinking about buying a campground , they might need a bank loan to get it. Which type of business would the bank be more interested investing in? I think is goes without saying without proper accounting your chances of selling and the funds you receive are bother going to decrease.
Over the years we have seen it all. Even now I am still amazed now and then. We even still get people who ask if the system can run “two sets of books”. Ahh-no.
Maybe I have been in this business too long. I joke with some of our customers that I am Waldorf, one of the old guys in the balcony of the Muppet Show.
So that is it for now. Thanks again for your time in reading this and I look forward to your comments.