An enterprise-grade venue & event management solution
The Grounds of Alexandria realises quick ROI by moving to the Cloud for Multiple Venue Management

Introduction

Opened in 2012, The Grounds of Alexandria is one of the new breed of inner city Sydney venues.  Located in an old pie factory from the early 1900s, the café serves wholesome food and speciality coffees within an industrial and rustic setting that includes a coffee research and testing facility, and on-premise garden.
On holiday weekends, The Grounds plays host to market stalls, live music and children’s activities such as a petting zoo. The picturesque setting and lively atmosphere are perfectly complemented by the café’s delicious seasonal breakfast, brunch and lunch menu. In two short years The Grounds has become a favoured venue for family events such as weddings, christenings and baby showers. Following expansion through the addition of a neighbouring property in 2014, it is now also developing a solid corporate market.
The Grounds of Alexandria

Key Challenge

Busy events team needed to manage multiple venues more efficiently
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds offers a choice of four indoor and outdoor function areas capable of catering for groups of 12 through to cocktail parties of up to 220 guests. The Grounds offers a choice of four indoor and outdoor function areas capable of catering for groups of 12 through to cocktail parties of up to 220 guests. Until recently, these activities were managed using largely manual methods. Jack explains, “We had folders full of paper and Word documents. Quotes were manually prepared and we had to go to the accountant whenever we wanted an invoice drawn up.” This situation changed in January 2014 when Jack convinced management it was time for The Grounds to replace pen-and-paper venue management with Priava’s cloud-based solution.
“We looked at three different solutions but Priava won because it was the only one in the cloud. It stood out as a much newer system compared to the others. It is very easy to understand and to use”

Jack Hanna

Co-Director
The Grounds of Alexandria

Automating Manual Procedures

“Priava won because it was the only one in the cloud. It stood out as a much newer system compared to others”
Jack’s business case was built on efficiencies and productivity. Having used venue management software in the past, he understood the time savings and improvements to customer service that a system could bring. “We looked at three different solutions but Priava won because it was the only one in the cloud. It stood out as a much newer system compared to the others. It is very easy to understand and to use,” Jack says.
The Grounds of Alexandria

The Results

Access information, any time, from any location
The flexibility of the cloud platform allows the events team to access customer and booking information at any time, from any location. This ensures that questions arising outside of trading hours can be quickly answered, even from home and bright ideas can be captured and documented at any time of day. “We have fast access to our information. We have multiple user access so more than one person can be working on the system at the same time. And we have remote access,” Jack notes.
Minimal IT investment and support required – ideal for venue with no in-house technical staff
The other crucial aspect of the cloud solution is the lack of maintenance required. On- premise solutions demand a heavy investment in hardware and require IT support staff to carry out time-consuming administrative tasks, update software, conduct backups and more. For a café such as The Grounds, there are no staff to spare or dedicated IT people to look after systems. By selecting a cloud solution, all that The Grounds has to provide is an internet connection and a device with a web browser. The rest is taken care of by Priava.
A single source of information – easily track actions and requests
Staff use Priava to capture and track every request and every action relating to each booking. This ensures that all information is centralised and prevents critical event details being overlooked or forgotten. Calendar functionality helps the team to better manage bookings and optimise the use of each function area. Furthermore real- time availability ensures a smooth transition between each event booking, factoring in time for set up and break down, even when last minute changes occur.
CRM helps staff to be more proactive and offer more personal experience
Details such as customer histories, particular requests, likes and dislikes are recorded in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, ready to be referenced on future occasions. The depth of information being captured helps the staff to be more proactive and to provide a far more personal experience when dealing with repeat bookings.
Analyse, track and forecast success
Priava also helps to manage budgets, monitor how much business is being booked and converted, and to provide monthly financial reports for management. This provides the senior management team with the information that they need to effectively forecast and track the success of their events business.
Faster, more consistent customer service
Quicker generation of quotes and invoices – “money comes into the business faster”
Customers are benefiting from the speed of service that comes with back-room automation and standardisation. The Grounds has developed templates for quotes and other frequently used forms. This has reduced the chance of errors creeping into documents and has greatly reduced the time required to get a quote into the customer’s hands. It’s the same story with invoices. “This makes everything faster for us,” Jack says. “We can prepare the documents ourselves. We get them out faster and the money comes in to the business faster.”
Increased staff productivity – “The system is worth ten times the money we paid for it"
It’s not just customer service that has become faster. With Priava supporting all aspects of venue management, staff are finding that everything from administration to reporting is taking less time. “The system is worth ten times the money we paid for it because of the amount of time it takes us to do a booking from start to finish. We can track our work, get quotes, contracts and invoices out. When we were managing things the old way, the team could only work on two or three bookings at a time. Now, we are working on between seven and nine bookings at any one time. We are working more efficiently which results in higher productivity for the owners of the business,” he concludes.

Summary

Although early days, the benefits that The Grounds of Alexandria has already achieved through the use of Priava include:
  • Time reductions when taking bookings;
  • Faster access to information, resulting in more efficient use of staff time and more responsive service to clients;
  • Productivity improvements due to significant time-savings;
  • Event information can be accessed at any time, from any location;
  • Information is more easily shared between the events team;
  • The centralised solution assures staff that they are working on information that is up-to-date;
  • Quicker generation of quotes and invoices – aids cashflow;
  • Reporting provides business intelligence for better budgeting, tracking and forecasting;
  • Minimal IT investment required;
  • More proactive, personalised customer service based on previous customer histories and preferences.

Final comment from Jack

“The system is worth ten times the money we paid for it because of the amount of time it takes us to do a booking from start to finish. We can track our work, get quotes, contracts and invoices out. When we were managing things the old way, the team could only work on two or three bookings at a time. Now, we are working on between seven and nine bookings at any one time. We are working more efficiently which results in higher productivity for the owners of the business.”

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how you can introduce live availability and instant bookings at your venue using Priava.

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