Within Event Rental Systems, packages allow for items to be grouped together either to be sold as a bundled deal or to share inventory. To build packages, the items must already exist in your inventory. Additionally, in order to place Packages within other Packages, you must have the Allow Package in Package Setting enabled, which you can enable at Admin>General Config>Misc Settings.
Packages are also used to handle inventory for party rooms, game rooms, Knockerball fields, etc. The creation of hidden inventory items allows you to track availability behind-the-scenes. You can also create time offsets for rotating parties that use multiple rooms. The following tutorial is an in-depth look and training guide on all of the various uses of "Packages" within ERS. This tutorial contains the following sections:
- Dry and Wet Slide Setup
- How to Package Inventory for Party Rooms, Knockerball Fields, Laser Tag Arenas, etc.
- Expressing Value for Packages
- Time Offset and Duration for Rotating Parties and Events
You can watch the following short video for a walkthrough of how to use and create Packages, and/or you can follow the step by step instructions below.
The most common use case for packages is Dry and Wet Slides, and the following example will show how this is done. Packaging allows me to share a single inventory across multiple items. For example, I have one Avengers Slide in my inventory. It can be rented as a "Dry Slide" or as a "Wet Slide". If a customer rents the "Avengers Dry Slide", then the other option needs to be unavailable because I only own one.
Another common use case for packages is modular bounce houses with banners.
To begin, I will create a "Regular" item for my Dry Slide:
Next, I will create a second item for my Wet Slide, starting by copying my Dry Slide Item. Change the "Type" to "Package" and notice that the "Quantity" section is replaced with "Contents". Therefore, the availability or "Quantity" of your package is determined by the components that make the package.
The "Contents" are used to build the package. Now I will build the package by choosing the "Regular" item called "Avengers Dry Slide" from the dropdown box. There must also be a quantity in the "Qty" box to tell the system how many "Avengers Dry Slides" are used when this item is ordered. In this example, the other fields are unnecessary.
Hit "Submit" and the packaged item is created within your inventory! For billing purposes, this will only count as a single item in your inventory. If the item has already been counted toward your inventory, then any package variations of the item do not affect your inventory count.
ERS Advice: Using the Wet Slide vs. Dry Slide example, your staff will see the contents of the package when the Wet Slide is rented, which will show as a “Dry Slide”. This may cause some confusion knowing whether the slide has been rented as wet or dry. We recommend creating a hidden item, such as "Garden Hose", to package additionally with the Wet Slide. This will help your staff know the item is being rented as a wet item in Delivery and Routing. There are also two settings you may find helpful at Admin>General Config>Routing Settings: "Display package names in routeweaver loadsheet," if checked, will put the name of the Package above the contents on the load sheet, which can help clarify how the customer ordered a unit that can be rented wet or dry, and "Do not break down packages in routeweaver," if checked, will stop the system from displaying the contents of a package on the load sheet, instead only displaying the name. It's typically best to keep "Display package names in routeweaver loadsheet" checked and "Do not break down packages in routeweaver" unchecked, so your load sheets display the name of the package and display all the contents of the package. Keep in mind that if "Display package names in routeweaver loadsheet" is unchecked and "Do not break down packages in routeweaver" is checked, you won't see anything at all on your loadsheet, which of course wouldn't be helpful. If you edit these settings, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save" to save your changes.
How to Package Inventory for Party Rooms, Knockerball Fields, Laser Tag Arenas, etc.
Besides linking slides and creating special offers, ERS uses packages to ensure you do not overbook in other ways. A common example we use is for parties.
Scenario: You own a Family Entertainment Center and have one large party room. You sell 4 different types of parties. If one type of party is scheduled, then none of the other parties can be booked because the room is taken.
To accommodate this scenario, we create an item specifically for the purpose of tracking the inventory of our party room. This is a hidden item that is only used in packages to track when the party room is scheduled or not.
Next, we create our party packages as items in our inventory. Make them a "Package" with the contents of your "Party Room Inventory":
The other Party Packages will be set up the same way. So, whenever one party is scheduled it reduced the quantity of our "Party Room Inventory" to zero and all other parties will show as unavailable during that time.
Conceptually, this idea is used to track inventory for several different FEC setups, such as Laser Tag, Knockerball, Soccer, etc. Make hidden inventory items and build your packages to use up what you need. Another example would be having 2 laser tag rooms in your facility. Create inventory items for both laser tag rooms. Create Laser Tag #1 using Room 1 and Laser Tag #2 using Room 2. Then if a customer wants to rent the whole facility for the ultimate laser tag experience, create the package with contents for Room 1 and Room 2.
Packaging can be difficult to conceptualize. Our Technical Support team is always available to help with your inventory setup to ensure the smooth and successful operation of your business.
Expressing Value for Packages
The "Value" field represents the cost or value of the item in the package. Filling in the value will show the normal price of the packaged contents on the Cart screen when those items are rented individually.
Time Offset and Duration for Rotating Parties and Events
For most purposes, the additional fields in "Contents" are unnecessary. However, more complex operations may require their use. The "Time Offset" and "Duration" fields are used for facilities that offer multiple amenities where clients rotate between activities.
Time Offset: Indicates the time delay before this item is used. For example, you have an indoor facility that offers a 2-hour Birthday Party. The first hour is spent in the Game Room. The second hour is spent in the Party Room.
Without using the Time Offset, the Game Room and Party Room will both show as scheduled for 2 hours. By using "Time Offset", the Game Room will show as scheduled for the first hour and the Party Room will only show scheduled during the second hour. This will help you maximize the use of your available rooms.
Duration: Indicates the length of the activity or how long it will be used for.