2017 EXPO | August 27-30

Management Through Technology Seminar

Technology 9128How—and why—to implement new technology into your club operations, and what pitfalls to avoid!
Is your GM doing work the old-fashioned way? There’s a reason it’s called the technological revolution! This EXPO workshop, “Management Through Technology,” provided a look at new technologies, both in software and hardware, that may allow your GM to work faster and easier and help him to reduce expenses and increase revenues. In addition to the seminar’s guest speaker, David Boehm of Club Consultant Pro 2.0 and Don Kleinhans of 2001 Odyssey in Tampa and LV Networks, the seminar also included short presentation from several EXPO exhibitors who are offering some the industry’s top high-tech management products.
Here, we’re printed a selection of comments from Boehm and Kleinhans.

Technology 9200Don Kleinhans

Technology, if used properly, is one of the best tools out there for proper management of your club. Are you frustrated with what you’ve implemented? Have you implemented anything at all?
The key to technology is, a lot of guys go out and buy this new technology—POS system, surveillance, chargeback system, etc. The equipment gets ordered, gets to the club, but no one wants to implement it into the club’s operations. It’s only as good as the time, effort and knowledge to implement it.
Also, you must properly maintain this technology. You have cameras in your whole club, but it turns out your cameras got hit by lightning three weeks ago and you now don’t have evidence on file when there is a fight in your parking lot. The point is, keep the technology basic, don’t get overwhelmed; it can be the best thing you do for your club. There is stuff out there that can make your life a dream, compared to what you’re used to.
For example, we have a great POS system. So I come back from a three-week trip, the day manager looks at me and says, Voss water heard we were selling Fiji water now, gave us six cases. We put it right in inventory and sold them last weekend.
I say great, print me out a report of how many we sold. The manager gives me a dead stare; “I didn’t know how to add another tab to the POS, so I put it under Red Bull.” So that’s great; not only are our Red Bull numbers skewed, but we don’t know how many Voss waters we sold. All because no one learned how to use this great POS system we have.
Keep in mind that price ranges on these products—POS systems, ID verification, video surveillance—are all over the board. So be sure to compare companies, do the leg work.
When it comest to age verification specifically, we’ve always worried about minors getting through the front door. But new concerns are now overriding that from a federal standpoint. Minors with fake IDs are becoming entertainers in your club. It’s sad, and it’s happening all over the country.
Have you done a Google walk-through? For $200, call your local Google guys, they’ll do a phenomenal walk through with their virtual equipment, and you can add that to your website. They give it to you. It puts you light years of the guy who has his static website.
As many of you may know, we own and operate LV Networks (formerly called Club Cam Systems), an in-club webcam company. In 1997, I had a guy come in and presented me with an idea to bring a live web feed into the club, broadcast via the internet. I got on board with it, thought I/we needed to to stay ahead of the competition. I had delusions of grandeur. It was a massive failure.  When the mailman came, we had the largest bill he’d ever seen. He asked me if I’d let him watch me open it. The bill said $114,000 for one month from GTE, that was the bandwidth cost. I lost over $2 million, I was sick for months.
In 2010, a little IT guy comes into the club and says that the Super Bowl is coming to Tampa, so why not put cameras in the club, broadcast it to the world, gather memberships for monthly internet service, etc. I told him to get his shit and get out of the club. But I ended up telling him my whole story.
It turns out that everything I had done in ‘97-’98, the same bandwidth today was $1100 a month. He said, how about we give it a shot? I got my legal pieces in place, made sure we were doing it right. we had 40,000 people per week coming to our site in the first week (it was free at the time). Now my bill was $900 per month. We developed LV Networks (Club Cam Systems) soon after.
I’m not trying to sell anyone anything. I’m the exact opposite; the internet is only for certain people, and implementing certain technologies can negatively affect some people. But if you do things correctly, I still firmly believe the internet is the future of where this industry is headed, at whatever level.

Technology 9187David Boehm

I’m an old school guy. I think a cell phone in a waitress’ hand can be a very bad idea. I was in Las Vegas and saw many waitresses carrying cell phones to take orders, and I about lost it. I’m all about hospitality; that comes first and foremost. If you’re taking the order by looking down at your phone and not at the guest, you’ve lost the whole experience.
It’s all about making that first impression and doing it in this case with eye contact. Using technology for convenience is great, but I will go toe-to-toe to argue the case that you can’t use technology to replace hospitality. Once we lose that human-to-human contact, we’re in trouble. I can’t stand seeing waitresses and entertainers looking down at their phones. Eye to eye contact, handshakes, smiles, that’s what it’s all about.

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