SATO's DR3 offers Cinema-Visitors an Improved Service


End user: Cinema
System: In-house ticket printing with seat reservation system
Benefits: Improved customer service and reduced wastage

A large cinema company was purchasing pre-printed tickets for sale through their ticket offices.

Issues: Seat Reservations
Cinema visitors had expressed wishes to reserve seats. The cinema was worried its customers would start going elsewhere if they could not offer this system. However the pre-printed tickets made it impossible. The cinema realised how inflexible the pre-printed tickets were. For every film, tickets were printed for every seat in every cinema, as a matter of precaution, even if they knew the film was not likely to be sold out. They also had to predict how many discount tickets for pensioners or students they were likely to sell and have these pre-printed too. The result was a lot of waste, increasing the average cost of production of each ticket. 4 days notice was also demanded by the printers, meaning any last-minute change in information such as a film starting time or a price alteration could not be made.

Solution: In-housing Printing
In-house printing of tickets with customised software was the chosen solution. After consultation with a ticket printer supplier, the SATO DR3was selected as the ideal printer for this application. Its ability to print on ticketing material and the option of an inbuilt cutter meant the cinema tickets could now be printed on demand.

With the DR3 printers connected to the network, the new system enables each ticket office to offer a seat reservation service. Customised software allows the customer to view the seating plan of each cinema on screen and select an available seat. Once selected the seat and row number are automatically printed on the ticket. In the same way, student discounts and pensioner rates can be printed. A variable field in the label design means the clerk simply chooses a category from a dropdown list and the related price is printed. Any general price changes can also be put in effect immediately, by those authorised with a password altering information in the main network database.

The cinema company has found that printing tickets in-house, on demand with the SATO DR3 is far more efficient. Ticket costs are considerably lower, as only those tickets required are printed, eliminating waste. On demand printing also means more flexibility - last minute changes can be put into immediate effect.
In combination with customised software, the cinema has also been able to improve their customer service, offering a new computerized seat reservation scheme.