The Castle Fun Center turned to L-Tron Corporation, a data collection and barcode systems consultant. L-Tron's technical expert recommended the Zebra S4M direct thermal printer. The S4M prints barcoded tickets, enables easy and quick customization per event and integrates out of the box with the company's point-of-sale system, CenterEdge Software. Additionally, the entertainment center would cut costs on paper stock, without cutting quality.
"Instead of paying extra for tickets with pre-cut perforations, the S4M cuts tickets right on the spot. We get heavy stock on a roll and just load it in. It has the heavy feel that customers expect from event tickets," Baier said.
L-Tron assisted the company in setup and configuration. From there, Baier began customizing his own ticket designs using Zebra templates.
Using pre-ordered paper stock branded with its company logo and colors, the Fun Center prints barcoded tickets as orders are processed in CenterEdge Software. Barcoding ensures that tickets are valid—with a quick scan—and gives the Fun Center insight into who attended events.
With templates in the S4M, the Fun Center sells tickets for multiple events simultaneously and prints all on one printer—even if orders for different events come in one after the other. Logging the sale in the POS system pulls the correct event information into the ticket fields for print.
"We can have 10 different events and print 10 different types of tickets back to back," Baier said.
With a networked version of the S4M, Baier can flexibly move the printer throughout the large complex as needed. For example, the Fun Center may need to print a high volume of tickets just prior to an event starting. In such cases, it can locate the printer right there at the event site as customers arrive.
"We just unplug the S4M from the network and plug it back in at another location, without having to reinstall software," Baier said.
One Printer, Multiple Uses
Zebra's versatile S4M not only prints the company's event tickets, but wristbands as well. A recent addition to the Fun Center's operations, wristbands are issued for groups, restricted access events or time-based activities. For example, customers in a group or birthday party receive wristbands that specify which activities they can participate in. Using Zebra's Z-Band Fun wristbands, the Fun Center can choose from various colors, helping distinguish wristbands for different activities.
For time-limited events such as batting cages or roller skating, the wristbands list the date, eligible activities and expiration time. For "Winter Wednesdays," wristbands allow unlimited play from 3-9 p.m. Or, for the pub, the Fun Center can issue wristbands only for those over 21.
The Castle Fun Center can print all of the above with a single S4M. Staff members simply process sales in CenterEdge, which pulls the right data fields and sends tickets or wristbands to print.