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Simplify Your Product Creation (Breaking the Trifecta)

Updated: August 25, 2021 | Share on LinkedIn

When many Galaxy users create a new product, they create: 1. A Chart of Account (COA), 2. An Access Code, and 3. An Item. This is a very logical way to create a new product, and a process that we’ve even recommended in the past. But with newer versions of Galaxy, including Galaxy 7.8, our latest version of the software, we’ve built in new features and functionality that can help you simplify your product creation by mitigating the use of the one-to-one-to-one relationship between COAs, Access Codes and Items (what we call the Trifecta).

The Challenge

Many attractions build every new product using the Trifecta: one new COA with one new Access Code with one new Item. For example, creating a new Adult general admission ticket could look like this:

Then they’ll do this for every general admission ticket product, like Child and Senior, and then Group Adult and Group Child and Group Senior and so on.

But it becomes incredibly cumbersome to maintain all these pieces of the Trifecta. Every time they set up a new product, they multiply the work they have to do. Some attractions have thousands of access codes.


Why Use the Trifecta

Many attractions continue to create a new COA for each new product because they don’t use Reporting Plus and rely solely on Galaxy reports. At the end of the day, they print a company or composite income statement to see quantities and revenue value of products sold and they need all the different products separated out by COA. Perhaps the COA is also tied directly to the finance ledger account. These attractions want flexibility. If something changes or they want to report on something in particular, they can isolate that data point.

The same applies for creating new Access Codes for new products when it comes to using Galaxy reports versus Reporting Plus. It could be that by the end of day, the only way to know attendance is to run a standing report, and the only way to break out adult, child and senior general admission is by an Access Code report. Some customers also use Access Codes for their deferred revenue reporting because Galaxy has a setting that will move revenue from deferred to recognized when a ticket is scanned. Finally, there are a small number of attractions that issue supplemental tickets and use Access Codes to help with this process. When a ticket is scanned, they actually “sell” and print a new ticket. For example, if a guest has a ticket valid for four-day entry, at the gate on day-one, they may get a new ticket printed that is now valid for three days.

Finally, attractions often create new items when they want to change prices. When a year switches over, they copy and create new items from the previous year, with new prices, so that they can easily pull reporting and know the difference between an Item from a particular year. Other attractions create new items to represent multiple variations of the same product based on sales channel: one for general admission gate, one for Galaxy Connect, for kiosk, for groups, etc. They may also create new items because they have a complex naming schema for third party applications.


Breaking the Trifecta

You will never have just two products and five access codes and a limited number of Items and COAs. That’s unrealistic. There’s no magic number. But it’s important to simplify your product creation using this simple recommendation below.

Instead, use Attributes.

Attributes are a signifier or flag you can attach to a COA, Access Code or Item when you create a new product. Instead of creating a new COA for a new product, use an existing COA but attribute it differently. For a very simple example, you can have one COA for General Admission and then create different products with that same COA and just flag them as a Child, or an Adult, or a Senior, etc. You can configure the attributes ahead of time, and then use a drop down menu to assign them to the product. You can then pull reports using Reporting Plus and just organize or filter by the one or many attributes you need – using only one COA.

We recommend using Attributes to limit the number of Access Codes you create as well, unless these scenarios apply:

  1. You have different access rules, like all one-day tickets get one Access Code, and all two-day tickets get another.
  2. You need a different display or prompt for the ticket, like at waterpark when a Child ticket needs a prompt to check their height.
  3. You need supplemental tickets.

We’re a bit handcuffed with Items though, in terms of Attributes. Admittedly, it’s easier to streamline COAs and Access Codes. But here are some recommendations for creating as few Items as possible:

  1. Don’t make new products every time there is a price change. Use price calendars, effective date pricing, sales programs or discounts to let Galaxy adjust the price.
  2. Effectively use keywords for personalization
  3. Leverage Attributes for reporting whenever possible.

Finally – and this came directly from a Galaxy user – make sure you understand how your Finance team and your Executive staff use your reporting. You can have all of your COAs, Access Codes and Items cleaned up and grouped perfectly, but it still may not match what your stakeholders need. You may also find that they don’t need all the detail you think they need. So before you go in and blow up all your COAs and reporting, make sure you check with your Finance and Executive teams first.

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