Magazine Article | July 1, 2017

ISV Finds Niche Vertical Growth

By The Business Solutions Network

An unexpected call from an amusement park led to an exciting and profitable new market for this food service ISV.

Your next big opportunity could be one phone call away. For ISV Revention, a great opportunity came about when the company was approached by Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a world-famous seaside park full of rides, food, shopping, and other amusements. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk management was having problems with its existing POS system for the food service portion of its business. The existing solution was old, outdated, prone to crashing, couldn’t accommodate growth, and couldn’t handle the sales volume of the popular park. Apart from stability, its requirements for a new system was that it needed kitchen management capabilities, the database needed to be accessible for export into other park systems, and the software needed to integrate with the CORE Cashless gift/entitlement cards sold to patrons for ride tickets, food vouchers, etc.

After some initial calls to discuss the project, key stakeholders at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk traveled to Revention’s offices to meet with the company. According to Laura Gaudin, director of product management for Revention, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was impressed with the ISV’s customer support (24/7/365) and Revention’s willingness to make customizations to fit the exact needs of the amusement park. Ultimately, Revention won the business and began working on the customizations.

One customization was with the kitchen display portion of the Revention software. “Due to the extremely fastpaced, high-volume nature of the food service areas within the park, some adjustments had to be made to organize orders by station ID, as opposed to being tied to a particular server,” explains Gaudin. “Additionally, our team made adjustments to be able to interface with the core amusement park database.”

After the customizations were complete and menus were built, Revention sent a team to the park to perform the installation. Over the course of approximately one week, the ISV pulled out the old system, installed the new, took photos of each installed station (which can be later used to help the support team “see” the area and station being supported), and performed training.

For hardware, Revention’s philosophy is to use purpose-built equipment that will last customers a long time. Years ago, the company found that the all-in-one terminals it was using just wouldn’t last. In fact, they often failed shortly after falling out of warranty. To avoid such situations and give customers a better solution, the ISV got into the manufacturing business, building its own terminals to its exact specifications. “Our Revention 3310 terminal has a meantime to failure rate of more than 7 years according to an independent third-party firm,” explains Gaudin. “The unit utilizes solid-state drive for storage and sports a mag-stripe reader to accept the entitlement cards.”

Payments are accepted via a Verifone PIN pad and processed through Vantiv Integrated Payments. For receipts, the ISV uses Epson printers. “Whereas we saw the need to build a better all-in-one computer, there was nothing we could do to build a better, more reliable printer than what we get with Epson,” says Gaudin. For the park, Revention installed Epson TM-T88V printers at the POS stations and Epson TM-U220 impact printers in the kitchen areas. For software, Revention uses its own software, which provides functionality to accommodate order taking, acceptance of payments, and handle time and attendance for staff. All told, there are 39 stations throughout the park.

In the end, the amusement park received a POS system that is much more user friendly than what it had been using. “With seasonal employment and high turnover, being able to reduce training time was a big benefit to them,” explains Gaudin. In addition, the new system doesn’t have the downtime issues of the old one. “With no crashes and a fast checkout process, the solution can handle the high volume of visitors that the park receives.” Finally, the open architecture of the database allows the park operators to leverage the sales data for other purposes.

The total cost of the solution was approximately $165,000. In the time since the initial installation, Revention has performed some additional coding enhancements for the park. Additionally, there are plans to perform an EMV upgrade and install a new POS system for the bowling center that’s a part of the Boardwalk. Beyond this additional business, the largest benefit to Revention is the opening of this exciting vertical. “Seeing how well we fit into this vertical has given us the confidence to pursue other parks. So far, we’ve seen great promise and expect some big wins in 2017,” Gaudin concludes.