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Why the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is Renowned and Productive

October 16th, 2013

The historic Del Mar Racetrack, located in the Northern San Diego coastal suburb of Del Mar, CA, has a prominent reputation of being one of North America’s major horse racing venues. The venue coined the slogan “Where the Turf Meets the Surf,” and was built by founding members Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brien, Oliver Hardy, Joe E. Brown and other Hollywood insiders. On July 3, 1937, Del Mar first opened its doors with Bing Crosby personally greeting the very first fans. Over the following decades, Del Mar would inevitably become one of the finest thoroughbred racing scenes offered on the West Coast. To this day thousands of attendees migrate to Del Mar each race season to place bets on the stunning thoroughbred ponies.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) books a myriad of racegoers each year with many being booked by group reservations. In 1998 Marc Larochelle, President of Productive Computing Inc., was working on the computers at Del Mar when he noticed the company was using very dated methods for making their group reservations. Employees of the DMTC were walking around and manually recording group reservations with twelve paper notebooks. Only one reservation could be taken at a time per notebook. When Marc witnessed this he knew something had to be done in order to boost their efficiency. He soon approached the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and offered to automate the ticketing system for their Group Sales department.

Marc finished development of a custom FileMaker Pro system for DMTC in about four months. As a result, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club could simultaneously book reservations in every area with any staff member. Reservations could conveniently be booked with customized pricing based on seating area and date. In addition, the system incorporated confirmation letters with custom merge tags to be sent to clients for each group reservation. Thus, the DMTC gained the ability to keep track of all reservation correspondence history quickly and easily. With the success of the automated group reservation system, PCI was soon brought on again to generate an accounting report. This report, known as the Sales Summary Report, was developed by Paul Dacanay and provided a “bird’s eye” comparison of ticket sales for all areas across current and previous years. With Paul as the main developer, the custom-built FileMaker Pro system Productive Computing designed would predominantly increase DMTC’s operational accuracy and control.

The following year in 1999, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club asked PCI to create a nametag system for the Group Sales department’s entrance and seating. They initially requested development for printing tags to a thermal ticket printer; however, this wasn’t possible in FileMaker without incorporating some sort of plug-in. Richard Arakelian subsequently created the Change Printer plug-in for this purpose. Change Printer effectively enabled communication with their thermal ticket printers, and at the same time, added the ability to send a print job to multiple printers with just one script. The plug-in facilitated group nametag printing with attendee details on each perforated sticker including Group Reservation Name, Area, Seat Number, and Race Event. This powerful print automation allowed the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to print both nametags and confirmation letters with a single button.

Productive Computing would continue to keep the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s FileMaker Pro database system up to date in the years following. New features and updates are consistently applied in conjunction with FileMaker’s latest version releases.

“Building a solid FileMaker Pro solution in 1998 that is still in use today is a testament to both FileMaker and the creative minds of the Productive Computing staff. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s database showcases FileMaker’s continuous capabilities in flexibility and scalability. We are proud to enhance the efficiency of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s historic establishment, and will surely be committed to supporting and improving the system for years to come.” —Marc Larochelle, CEO, Productive Computing Inc.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has gone down in history as one of Productive Computing’s oldest clients. The FileMaker Pro system developed for them was one of PCI’s first projects and continues to successfully be in use to this day.

Productive Computing Inc. – DMTC Developers:

– Creator: Marc Larochelle

– Change Printer Developer: Richard Arakelian

– Main/Current Developer: Paul Dacanay

Productive Computing Inc. held its latest staff appreciation event at the Del Mar Racetrack on August 30, 2013. PCI booked a group reservation with tables at the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant, an appealing trackside dining eatery. Staff members and their respective guests wore perforated nametag stickers all labeled with “Productive Computing Inc.” reservation details. With the significance of DMTC as a client in mind, the staff was thrilled to take advantage of the Group Sales database and experience first-hand what PCI had developed. Whether it was the charming luxury of the Spanish-themed architecture, the anxiety of betting on races or enjoying the live concert series, the place “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” certainly lived up to its prestige and celebrated history.

 

About Del Mar Thoroughbred Club:

Since founder Bing Crosby opened the doors in 1937, this historic institution has served as a seaside attraction for high-stakes fun. With the rhythmic clacking of competing thoroughbred horse races, the track has lured fans of all ages and backgrounds, providing a battle zone for bettors and, oftentimes, a playground for the stars.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.DMTC.com

 

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