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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » RTS POS system (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: RTS POS system
Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1379
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 03-20-2017 02:06 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello,

I would like to know if anyone on this forum uses Ready Theatre Systems (RTS) as thier point of sale system. Additionally, I have questions regarding any type of problems they have had with this system (if any). Especially if you have had any problems on a busy weekend.
I am curious to see if similar things are happening at other theatres using this software.

Thanks and feel free to DM me about this, or e-mail me.

(I did go through the previous threads on this topic. I wanted to start a new one to see if anything has changed with the people using it)

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 620
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 03-20-2017 03:16 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've used it for about 5 seasons now. No huge issues with it. Coming from a supermarket background, I find it a little limited on things like sales/item reporting. Also, there's no real "god" setting to where you can fix mistakes of staff easily. The only thing we ever ran into when busy was likely due to internet issues which we resolved. It's still a little funky to me, but the "drones" (our box office stations) must have internet connectivity to the server (concessions till) or they constantly reset and/or we lose the ability to sell tickets. That's new to me, most systems I've used can "stand alone" and report to the server later. Other than that, it can "choke" with ticket printer issues and not sell, but usually that's just because we've run out of paper. People seem good to deal with. Sensible Cinema always seemed interesting, possibly more up my alley, but then momentum and all our data exists in RTS.

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Justin Hamaker
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1951
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 03-20-2017 03:26 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our drive-in switched to Veezi last year after using RTS for a number of years. I can't say I ever had any major problems with RTS, but almost everything was more complicated that it needs to be. The system doesn't offer much customization for how screens are set up and configured beyond where items are placed on a grid.

We have been using Venue by Retriever at our cinemas for nearly 20 years, and it is far more robust and far simpler to use.

Veezi is still a new system and has a way to go in development of things like the inventory system and reporting. However, it is very easy to set up and you can add additional stations without additional licenses - pricing is based on the number of tickets sold in a month and is billed monthly.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 11940
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-20-2017 05:48 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've used RTS here since the late 2003. It's a little complicated to figure out, especially entering the ticket prices (their manual sucks) but training people on it is easy once you get it figured out.

Almost all of the problems we've ever had with it have had to do with operator error (mainly, not knowing what to do about something, again because the manual sucks). Most problems are caused by computer hardware or internet problems, rather than the software.

Tech support can be grouchy and brusque depending on who you get, but they are uniformly knowledgeable. And they have the absolute worst sounding tech support phone line I've ever had the displeasure of being on hold with.

You don't want to put a computer novice on the phone with tech support, if possible...get somebody who is more tech-savvy.

On the aesthetics side, I wish it had a more attractive interface. The ticket-selling touchscreen is bland and ugly, especially if you only have one screen.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2207
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 03-20-2017 06:41 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've had RTS since '03. We initially bought in to serve a 4-plex indoor. We moved it to our drive-in because they were, at the time, the only company willing to modify their system to provide a single ticket per car. That gave them huge points with us.

By far, RTS benefits from the fact its owners are theatre operators themselves. Initially, they developed the system to serve their own operation. We all came along later.

As noted above, one downside has largely been the interaction with their support people. Most of them are very computer savvy and, unfortunately, a few work on a mental plane that doesn't seem compatible with effective social interaction. I've had my run-ins with them, and came close a time or two to looking for an alternative because of that.

They've improved in the social area however, and their owner is frequently in the room when they're taking their daytime calls.

RTS works on a system that allows them to fix bugs quickly, pushing them out to your system or even their entire network. You don't need to do much to keep the system up-to-date... it does that automatically. They are well-equipped to deal with fixing small details their customers run into, but try to hold of on major feature additions until they've saved up a few. In our daily use, we've come up with a few items we've thought would make our lives easier, and if they agree, they've been able to add them in within a day or two.

The demo version of their software is fully operational, except for finalizing transactions and online ticketing. You can work with the software and see if it's "right for you".

For the price, they do provide a support structure that has always been available to us. Being a drive-in, that means our calls usually wake someone up. They've taken that with reasonable grace.

The off-side of the price is that it's not a buy-out system. You'll pay a yearly price, based on how many computers with the software can actually sell at the same time. For example, could have, say, 10 computers on your network with fully-operational software on them. If you buy a license for 5 sales machines, any 5 of that 10 can log in and make sales. This allows me to grab an available slot and do a quick gift or credit card transaction from my office without having to buy a full-blown license for that position. I understand they are now able to license on a monthly basis, possibly charging the recurring fee to a credit card. The license codes are pushed to the main office server, which then branch out to the individual sales positions.

I think I've said this in a previous post... most of this sounds familiar. If you have a single screen with what the industry might deem a "low average gross", this system might be overkill and too expensive. If you have a few screens and/or multiple locations, it's a good choice.

Since we computerized our POS, several other systems have hit the market. I'm not much motivated to move 13 years worth of data over to a new system, so I can't say much about what else is out there. It would certainly be wise to look around though. These systems are certainly set up to be long-term fixtures, once the choice is made.

As to Mike's comment about the way the ticket screen "looks": I don't have much to compare to, but nobody here seems to care. For us, the point of the system's look is to communicate what the buttons do. We're not really looking for resource-eating ornaments.

As for "busy weekend problems": The system seems to thrive on heavy workloads. If high transaction count brings out bugs, I'd be looking at the computers, network or internet structure, not the software.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1379
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 03-20-2017 07:40 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the problem we are having is a mixture of hardware, networking, and some other things.

I am meeting with them at CinemaCon to see what we can do to iron out the various problems we are having. Hopefully we come to a solution. I have two ten Plex locations that are extremely busy and they seem to have the most issues.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-20-2017 10:56 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is, RTS handles all of your data transmissions to the studios for you, which is very nice. I shudder to think of having to put up with that nightly Rentrak phone call, which always seemed to come right in the middle of us eating dinner.

quote: Jack Ondracek
As to Mike's comment about the way the ticket screen "looks": I don't have much to compare to, but nobody here seems to care. For us, the point of the system's look is to communicate what the buttons do. We're not really looking for resource-eating ornaments.
We're only one screen, so I just wish there was something in that huge blank area due to us only having one title on display. Maybe our theatre's logo, or a picture. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or resource hogging. The other competing systems tend to have a much more attractive interface. RTS, being self-designed by a tech-savvy bunch of computer guys, doesn't go in for much of that sort of thing.

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 03-21-2017 12:25 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never get a phone call from Rentrak any more, now that I have the following system:

I send an email to them every night with: current date, title, total amount of ticket sales in dollars.

Once a week on Thursday night I log into their web reporting program and fill out the form for each day. Which takes about five minutes to do.

That's it.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2207
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 03-21-2017 01:03 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dennis Benjamin
I think the problem we are having is a mixture of hardware, networking, and some other things.
I'd agree (returned your message, btw).

quote: Mike Blakesley
We're only one screen, so I just wish there was something in that huge blank area due to us only having one title on display.
Point taken. We have 3 titles, but still have lots of room on that screen.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 11940
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-21-2017 12:26 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I never get a phone call from Rentrak any more, now that I have the following system:
I had a feeling they'd updated the antiquated phone call system.

I suppose a good share of smallish theaters like ours aren't computerized to the degree we are, and RTS is kind of expensive, but it saves time and work for me and helps the accuracy of the boxoffice and concession, so I feel like it's worth it being computerized.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-21-2017 04:44 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
Once a week on Thursday night I log into their web reporting program and fill out the form for each day.
What is this form of which you speak?
I do the nightly email, too. I've never had to do a weekly form for Rentrak. Is it a BO report?

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1573
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 03-21-2017 04:57 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rentrak form

It's a box office report. It remembers your ticket prices and so on, so you just fill in the number of admissions in each category for each day.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 620
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 03-21-2017 05:05 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd concur on most of the good points here. I like the data/reporting I have, with the exception of concessions (just can't seem to find how many hot dogs - or any item - we've sold on a date or date range). And as I say, I wish the "drone" stations could operate "stand-alone" when connection to the server is interrupted. But overall, just keeps on chugging and there's value in that.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 11940
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-21-2017 05:26 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave - if you close your stations at night and then close the "deposit" station, that report can be configured to show your concession sales by item. There may be other ways to get that info but that's how we do it.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2207
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 03-21-2017 06:47 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another way is to go to "reports - inventory - conc sales vs inventory"

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