Changing tee sheet and point-of-sale vendors can be a daunting task. If you are considering making a change, there are several important items to keep in mind. Let’s start with the most basic question of all: “Why are you making a change in the first place?”
You should have a clear list of the reasons you are making the change. Are you looking for better pricing? Are there new features your current vendor doesn’t offer? Better reporting? Integration to partners you want to work with?
It’s common to focus on the new shiny features and assume the system will also have all your old features. Be cautious and make a list of the features and functionality you rely on today. Understand what you will gain, and what you may lose by switching systems.
What data do I bring over?
Understand the data migration plan. What data is being imported into the new system and what data is being left behind? It’s common to only import customer data and future bookings while leaving behind historical booking data.
Make sure you don’t lose this important business information. If it won’t be transferred to your new system, you should make a point of preserving it by running and saving reports from your old system before it’s shut down. For more information see our article: Don’t Throw Out the Data with the Tee Sheet.
In the cloud or at your course?
There are pros and cons to onsite and cloud-based systems. An onsite system requires additional hardware, maintenance, security, and backup processes. Remote access and data sharing can also be more challenging.
A cloud-based system overcomes these issues but usually requires a fast and reliable internet connection. Will you have a plan to continue operating if the internet or your new vendor goes down? Some operators print the tee sheet each night so they are prepared for the next day if an outage should occur.
Who are your integration partners?
Having an open platform that connects to other partners may help close the gap on missing features and set you up for future innovations. Is there an open API so you can allow marketing partners to book on your new tee sheet? What about other integration partners like pricing and reporting solutions? Do you have choices regarding payment processing and related fees?
Be careful not to get locked into a proprietary system. The more open your vendor is, the better.
What is your customer support like?
Another important aspect that is often overlooked is ongoing support. A good test is to ask upfront for the support email and phone number. Send a request for information to the support email and see how long it takes to get a response. Call the support number and see if anyone answers the phone. Do they offer a support agreement and, if so, what service levels are available?
How do I pay for my new system?
There are a few options when it comes to how to pay for your new system. Some vendors offer an exchange of services: you get the software, and they get to sell some of your tee times. These are often referred to as “trade times” or “barter.”
Watch out for this practice and if you move forward with it, make sure you limit the tee times and cap the revenue. We have found many cases where courses end up paying ten times the amount they should because of an unfavorable trade-time arrangement.
Have more questions?
We work with many different tee sheet and point of sale vendors. If you have questions or would like to discuss an upcoming change you are planning to make, please contact us. We are happy to answer questions you may have and possibly help point you in a good direction.