7 Tips for finding the Right Software Management System for your Resort

In the world of outfitting, campgrounds, resorts & activity centers (more often a combination of each of these industry types), you have likely been ‘on the hunt’ for software to help you run your business.  You want it all, right? Online Reservations, In House Reservation Management, Employee Management, Sales Reports, Check In Forms, Marketing Tools and Point of Sale. Hey, can’t say that we blame ya’!

 

You’ve started your search at the top with Online Reservation Systems many times, it’s certain.  We all want to compete in the online marketplace these days. If you find a system that intrigues you, your next step is trying to incorporate the rest of your day to day functions into this system or find another one that will integrate with this one and then another one that will fit with that one … you get the picture.

 

Likely you feel flustered at just the thought of developing new strategies to manage the aftermath of implementing an online reservation system.  You may have even stopped at this very point a time or two and thought, “there is always next year”. Read on for a few tips and tricks we’ve learned to help you with the arduous task of ‘Searching for a Complete Software Management System’.  

 

It’s easy to find online reservation systems that handle one key component of your operations.  Have you ever felt like you were left trying to fit a square peg into a round hole to get the other vital components to work within that same system?  This becomes very taxing, the other key components of your business are just as important to you, and we understand that.

 

What Not to Overlook in the Decision Making Process

There are a few other things that coincide with your decision to purchase a Software Management System.  These are equally important to your day to day operation and overall place you in position to provide the best customer experience out there. We’ll save the topic of “The Customer Experience” for another article, let’s get back!


When researching Software Management Systems, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Does the system integrate with my website?
    Many times your online reservation pages are a sub system of your website and have a completely different look and feel, leaving your site visitors feeling confused.

  • Will there be one database for all of my inventory?
    It is very important to not over book or miss someone’s reservation because they made it online.  They deserve the same level of customer service as someone who calls you or is at your place of business.  Most Online Systems equate to double data entry into another system that manages the rest of your reservations.

  • Does the system cover my other Important Management Functions?
    This list is quite long.  It’s a wonder you ever get any rest!

    • Customer Relationship Management

    • Marketing (Emails, Newsletters and Promotions)

    • Point of Sale Purchases

    • Guest Check In Procedures

    • Vehicle Registration

    • Guide Scheduling

    • Back Office Management

      • Time Clock

      • Sales Reports


  • Will there be the proper amount of support and training upon decision to purchase?
    This is one of the major factors in the decision making process.  Learning new systems is hard enough. Teaching a team how to use a new system is even harder.  You should make sure the company you choose pays special attention to the implementation, training and support area of this purchase.

 

Due Diligence in the Research Stages will Pay Dividends

When trying to find a system that takes care of everything for you, there will be moments of frustration.  You’ll wonder why bother and then be right back to researching the very next day. With these steps you’ll find peace of mind in the search for the right system for you and your business.

 

7 Steps to the Decision Making Process

 

  1. Write a List of what your ideal system has to have. For Example:

    1. Reservations (Both Online and Via Storefront)

    2. Retail Integration (The ability to sell products alongside your reservations)

    3. Marketing Systems (Email Confirmations, Email Marketing Campaigns)

    4. Management Features (Time Clock, Sales Reports, Customer Reports)

As long as your bases are covered, any additions will feel like a home run!

  1. It all starts with Google.  

    You should always be privy to what is on the market.  Remember, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it was meant for you.  But this is a good starting place.

  2. Pick your Top 3 Systems and list the Pros and Cons for each one

    Sometimes the only way to see what will work is to first cross through what will not.

 

If Steps 1-3 are not going well for you…

  1. Talk to Other Outfitters.

    AOA is here for you.  As a vital resource bank, just reaching out to another member can prove invaluable.

  2. Check AOA’s Vendor List to see who has been and who will be at the Conference Each Year.

    These will oftentimes be the leaders of the pack.  They know their product works and are at the show to help you from research to decision making.  Click on over to their websites and go back to step 2.

  3. Pick up the Phone and Call an AOA Vendor.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for Demos and Tutorials of the Systems you are most interested in.  The right provider will be able to make you feel comfortable before the purchase is made. That’s when you know it’s right!  When they ask you how your business runs before showing you how their software works, you know they care.

  4. Hire a Consultant to coach you in the decision making process so that you can make an informed choice.

    We all have our areas of strength.  Yours may or may not be computers and the inner workings of.  By hiring someone who knows technology and understands your business you can alleviate a lot of the stresses of making this great decision.  A consultant will save you time and money, resulting in an effective decision in the end.

 

And now, without further adieu, you have the tools you need to find a “Complete Software Management System” that works ‘For’ You!

Merchant Processing for R2M2 Solutions!

It leaves little to be desired to deal with Credit Card Processing and we understand that.

Blu3 MG has partnered with NAB (North American Bancard) for your payment processing with R2M2 Solutions.
We want you to know why we’ve chosen this partnership to make sure you are fully on board before we go any further.

First and Foremost, there are a lot of moving parts that go along with the complete integration of a software system like the one we’ve built for you.  This is one of the main reasons taking on new software is a decision that requires careful planning.  It is also a reason that we provide assistance with this part.  We’ve already walked the path and we’ve streamlined it pretty well.  We’ve also developed relationships that allow us to be very competitive on your behalf.

We intend to cover the most basic parts here for you, but if we’ve left anything out, please contact us and we’ll answer your questions and update this content for the next Awesome New Client.

Let’s start with Rates

We set up all new accounts with an Interchange Plus, Pricing Structure.
Simply Put, you’ll be processing cards at the wholesale cost of the card, plus 50 basis pts (.50%).

Would you like to know more about your “Effective Rate”? (Your Actual Cost of Running Cards)
Here’s the lowdown; Divide the Total Amount of Fees Deducted from Your Bank Account by the Gross Dollars in Revenue.

(Example: 60 in Fees and 2000 in Sales is equal to 2.4%)
 60 / 2000 = 2.4

If you can do this for us sometime, we’ll know what your effective rate is currently.  This will help us better know how to beat it!
There are times that you may already have really great rates and ours would be the same.  The reason for the switch, then?  We want to leverage for you any future updates to the payment processing world, keeping you PCI Compliant and making sure we can always support the hardware associated with payment processing.

Because this process takes some time and we are excited to get you up and running with R2M2, we will start you out at the above rate.  After we get into the season, we’ll be keeping an eye out for what you are paying.  If it is too high, we’ll lower your rates.  This is in writing, so you know we’ll be looking out for you.  We want your effective rate to stay between 2.5 and 3%.  More explanation on this if you desire.

Authorize.net (Payment Gateway)

In order to take the risk off of you, the Merchant and subsequently taking it off of our shoulders too, we also partner with Authorize.net for a Gateway Solution.  This allows you to be PCI Compliant on the processing end as no credit card information is stored in our software or on your website.  Authorize.net charges fees separate of your Merchant Processing.  We handle this setup for you of course and by the time it touches your hands, you are collecting reservation payments, securely and safely.

What Happens if You Decide to Move On?

You may be wondering what will happen if you decide to stop using our software?
If that ever happens, you can carry on with your merchant processing with us if you desire.  If you would like to cancel that too, no problem at all.  We do not hold you into any contracts with our Merchant Processing Solution.  It is simply month to month, just like our software.

Cancelling Your Existing Account

We do apologize but we cannot provide a lot of support on this topic.
The link here is a Merchant Cancellation Request Form.
You are welcome to use this form and send it in to your existing Merchant Provider.   At times, there are cancellation fees associated with terminating your account.  While we cannot handle all of the processes that go along with this, we can certainly offer council in this area.  Just contact us by email with any questions you have.

Here is a helpful article on this topic.  Cancelling a Merchant Account
Disclaimer:  Blu3 MG is not responsible for the outcome of cancelling your Merchant Services.  We believe in customer service and therefore assist you with the research needed to handle the termination of existing services.

This should take care of most of your questions, but as mentioned, we want you to know all the ins and outs of this step.  Contact us if you have any other questions!

Updating Your Software

Update Your System!

We’ve made this about as easy as Pie…

Each time we push an update you will be alerted ahead of time.  No worry if you are not quite ready, you have the option to postpone the update until you are ready.

It is best to alert us when you are ready to update your system, just in case there is an issue.  We always test ahead of time and are pretty confident you will be able to handle this with ease.

First, make sure you have closed the program on all stations.

Update your Server Station first, followed by Workstations.

That’s about it.
You will receive a notification that the update is complete and from there you will be ready to go.  You can read your change log anytime! and can also find a full explanation, right here from our website.

2018 Updates to R2M2

Hey, the winters go fast!
We know that you are already planning and preparing for your Season and we are right here with you.  Take a look at the updates to the System that will start your season off right.  Anytime you want to know the direction we are headed, keep an eye out for our Development Articles (Coming Soon)!

Remember, you choose when to run your updates.  Click Here to Read our Update Instructions!

Updates by Version
Version 1.77

Enterprise

  • Blu CRM Addon Integration
  • Inventory CSV Import*Also includes updates listed under Basic

Premium

  • Map & Kiosk are Included*Also includes updates listed under Basic

Professional

  • Map or Kiosk, your choice!
    *Also includes updates listed under Basic

Basic

  • End of shift sales update
  • Void with refund waive cancellation fee
  • Search rentals by date range without a search word
  • Sales Reports Update
  • Decimal in coupon percentage correction
  • Tech support added to about form
  • Show negative or zero inventory alert option when adding products to cart

At the time of publication of this article, we are still creating the content to explain these updates in full.  If you have questions about any of these updates, just send us an email.

All of our Featured Add Ons are designed to give You & Your Customers, the best User Experience Possible.

Interactive Map allows for an ‘at a glance’ view of what’s available by date range.

You will receive a custom designed map of your resort with all of your inventory linked to the map. The map is synchronized in the software & your website, so it’s easy for your staff and customers to use.

Reservations Kiosk is an off site reservation management tool that allows your outside staff to communicate the stages of a reservation such as, Departed or Returned. You can customize the Statuses according to your business. This feature would also work for Housekeeping too such as, checked in, checked out, dirty or clean.

Blu CRM is the Optimal Add On for Customer Communications. This add on can be integrated with any product level.

  • Opt In Form Allows your customers to subscribe to your Newsletters
  • Abandoned Cart will send your online shoppers an email when they do not complete their cart.
  • Newsletter Management!, Right from your website.

Blu CRM is a standalone product for any WordPress User using Woo Commerce but we’ve also developed our CRM to integrate with your Software, keeping all of your customer records in one place.  Yep, you’ve guessed correct… you can import and export customers as well if you currently use any other system as a CRM.

We have integrated Support for your ease.

Now you can contact us from either Software or Your Website.  Wherever or whatever the concern.  Just contact us and we’ll be ready to assist.

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Book Your Installation Appointment

We do our best to schedule appointments that work for you. 
Take a look at our availability and when you find a time that works for you, schedule away! 

During this meeting we will:

  1. Install your Software & Create your Network Connection to your Database.
  2. Set Up Your Company for first use.
  3. Review the Project Plan and schedule any follow up appointments to complete your training.

The appointment will be a combination of telephone and remote access to your systems.  There are a few things for you to do … check them out in the “things for you to do” section above. 

To be ready for this appointment you will need the following:
  1. The Google Chrom Browser installed on all of your machines.
  2. Access to a Google (gmail) account. Please be signed in and ready before we begin the call.
  3. Install Chrome Remote Desktop. (See Instructions Below)
Installing Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop
  1. Visit: Chrome’s Webstore
  2. Search for Chrome Remote Desktop
  3. Launch Application
  4. Follow Instructions for Full Installation

Thank You for Signing up for R2M2 Solutions

Congratulations! You have Made a Great Decision...

Hello!

Now that it’s Official, we’d like to welcome you to the R2M2 Family.

 

We’re excited to have you on board.

 

There’s quite a bit more work to do before your business is fully up and running with R2M2 but we want you to know we are here with you every step of the way! 

 

Keep your eyes out for emails to come.  We’ve streamlined this process for you the best that we can.  Here’s a list of the Emails that are coming your way:

  1. Domain Transfer Request
  2. Payment Processing 
    1. Payment of Setup Fees
    2. Setting Up your Merchant Account

 

Cheers 🙂

Charla, Angie & Curtis

R2M2 Solutions by

Blu3 Mangagement Group

 

 

We’re Heading to Reno

Blu3 MG is headed to Reno in December for the Annual America Outdoors Association Conference.  

We will showcase R2M2 Solutions, our Online & In House Reservation Management System.  

 

Some may ask, why R2M2 — let’s break it down!

 

R2 = Reservation & Retail;

We started with the Basics.  Since it’s launch, R2M2 has provided the ability to combine Reservations (Online & In House) with Retail (Point of Sale) Transactions.  This was the initial goal and the ‘need’ we felt the market held.  Development began in July of 2016 and Blu3 MG’s system saw its first debut in December, the same year.  We did it — Our Customers & Their Customers could complete reservations and manage those reservations from start to finish with Customizable Forms and the best part of it all — if you needed to sell a Candy Bar ( or other item ) to the same customer, you could.  All in One!

 

M2 = Management & Marketing;

Our goal for our Reservation Management System did not stop on the surface.  The Blu3 MG Team desires for this system to also provide Management & Marketing Functions, right from within the software.  Our dreams have become your reality as this system encompasses features such as a Built In Time Clock, Email Templates, Vehicle Registration, A Kiosk for Off Site Management and so much more.  The final mention, how about when it comes time for reporting?  Well, we have that broken down quite nicely.  R2M2’s built in sales reports allow for complete visibility as to what is happening daily, weekly or monthly at your business.  

 

Another year’s journey in developing our system insures that it is now ‘more’ than anyone could ask for.  If you are headed to Reno this December, stop and visit us at our Booth, #209 at the AOA Conference Trade Show. We designed this system, just for you!

 

To learn more about the Trade Show, visit them online at www.americaoutdoors.org

What Makes Us Different?

Industry competitors boast about not charging commissions or setup fees.  Why are we different?  We combine a lot of the different components of your management processes and existing expenses.  We become a cooperative of sort in the area of your web technology (Website Design Combined with Online Reservation), payment processing integration and more to insure that you do not have to reach out to different entities to integrate these ever important segments of your business.  Our company formed as a Management Group and we specialize in Software Development, Website Design, Online Marketing & Management Consulting.  With our synergy, our clients operate better, seeing results not only in increased sales but in increased operating efficiency.

Your setup fees are in place because we provide assistance in setting up your account.  We know that part of the hesitation in implementing technology is the learning curve itself.  We’ve already done our homework, so you don’t have to.  We will set up your inventory for you so that your next step is taking reservations.  We will also train at least one member of your team on how to use the system.  This shortens the learning time exponentially.  This time savings is equivalent to Labor Savings for your business.

We have two main products:  R2M2 Solutions and Vacation Central

Each of these products have a lite and a full version to allow you to choose the best fit for your business.

Vacation Central is in essence a Cooperative Effort to bring a better online presence to Small Businesses in the Bed & Breakfast, Lodging & Rental Industry.

Vacation Central is a lite Reservation Management System that is ideal for getting your business online, affordably.  

For larger outfitters, we have built R2M2 Solutions, with it’s very own Lite Version, you can still choose.

We provide support for all of our systems.  We do not feel a customer should ever have a question unanswered regarding how our system works and how it can work for your business.  We provide strategy assistance on how to implement our systems with your current operating procedures.  We will work with you until a solution is provided.