Datalogic Skorpio Gun Helps Funtastic Traveling Shows Increase Efficiency with Wireless Ticketing System

Posted September 15, 2010

Datalogic FuntasticFuntastic Traveling Shows is a company expected to live up to its name. This Portland, Oregon, company runs fairs across the Northwest using the Datalogic Skorpio Gun to help them slash theft, usher customers quickly aboard rides, and forecast future needs. Together, Funtastic and Datalogic are bringing the fun to fairgoers faster.

Putting on 80 events a year makes every moment precious to Funtastic. From time spent planning the fairs to speedily serving corndogs and reducing line waits, Funtastic makes every second count towards their efficiency and profitability.
Throughout their existence, fairs and carnivals have had a problem monitoring employees, vendors, and even fairgoers.

Most fairs and carnivals rely on an antiquated system using tear-off tickets. This requires the printing of hundreds of thousands of tickets a day for customers to use on rides and to win prizes. Those tickets can be reused, sold, or given away, cheating the company out of revenue. To calculate attendance, tickets have to be weighed and reported, wasting valuable labor hours. Some ride owners were underreporting their attendance and some employees were stealing tickets.

Rick Spromberg, unit manager for Funtastic, says in the past, “some of the ride operators were not very honest.” Funtastic vice president Robert E. Rhew agreed. “There was tremendous theft of cash and tickets in this industry. We decided to get the cash and tickets out of people’s hands.”

Funtastic developed an automated fair management system that tracks employee attendance, ride activity, and eliminates the use of cash. Funtastic now uses a “Fun Card” and the Skorpio Gun to track all fair activity. Developed over a 10-year period, the system gives fair patrons a Fun Card that functions just like a debit card. Each card has a bar code; fairgoers purchase credits they can redeem for rides and food by using the Fun Card. Patrons take the Fun Card to the operator at the rides and food booths. The ride operator reads the bar code on the Fun Card using a Skorpio Gun, and the system verifies there is enough credit left to ride or purchase. Verification is instantaneous, and with a positive read, the patron hops on for a fun ride or purchases a tasty treat. Using the Skorpio Gun, Funtastic tracks patron activity. The data is used for auditors, committees and to help plan future events, Spromberg said.

The time savings has been immense for Funtastic and fair patrons. Before, people had to wait in line as ride operators counted and tore off the correct amount of tickets. Longer wait time meant people were going on fewer rides, or leaving them altogether. Now, with the Skorpio Gun, it only takes a scan and the Datalogic patented “Green Spot” confirming good reads for the passenger to be allowed to board.

“We’ve saved in every department thanks to automation,” Rhew said. Two people used to spend three hours a day just weighing the tickets and reporting them, he said. Going ticketless with the Skorpio Gun has eliminated that wasted effort.
The Skorpio Gun has not only made boarding rides and office work more efficient, but training has been speedy as well. Fair workers are often brought in only three days before the fairs opens, Spromberg said. With all the safety and other training they have to undergo, there’s no time to waste. The Skorpio Gun is easy to use, and training is fast.

Skorpio Gun’s size and ruggedness made it a hit with management. “I knew I needed a small gun,” Rhew said. “The Skorpio Gun is light, small, and compact. I instantly loved this gun.” With Funtastic traveling throughout the Northwest, the company needed a device that could function in different environments. The Skorpio Gun met that challenge. “We travel every week and the environment is different every week,” Spromberg said. “We’re able to change channels and get up and operating. With Skorpio Gun’s wireless capabilities, we’re able to adjust in a mobile environment and adapt. “The Skorpio Gun withstands a beating during days of constant use. Being dropped or falling in the water, it survived and surpassed expectations, Spromberg said.

Filed under: Case Studies