How A Party Rental Company uses Flex inventory tracking to add the magic touch to memorable events

The team at Decorus Events in San Antonio, Texas knows a good party when they see one. They’re a party rental company with some big ideas on how to turn a regular ol’ party into a lasting impression. But putting on a memorable event sometimes requires a huge investment in staffing, event planning, and party rental equipment. For those looking for fun, uncomplicated, and affordable ways to add a magic touch to their event, Decorus Events is the way to go.

The company manages four party rental and event staffing brands — Margarita Man, Cowgirls Unlimited, Cheers Party Services, and Pappa Rotzi's Photo Booth — and have a whole suite of party rental solutions. From Coyote Ugly-style bartending services to event staffing, frozen drink machines rental, photo booths, drink mixes, and more.

“We do some larger events, but it’s never stage or lighting equipment, it’s staff and bar equipment for the event,” said Rob Stevens, owner of Decorus Events. One such event is Cox Media’s San Antonio Best Margarita Pour Off — where 20 restaurants compete to win the title of Best Margarita. “This is a much larger production for us, there are 12 different bars and a lot of alcohol, we supply about 20 staff.”

Managing a large crew, tracking party rentals, inventory tracking and availability, and setting up custom pricing structures required a flexible system that adapted to how Decorus does business. In turn, Decorus provides a quality party experience to their clients.

In May, Decorus Events turned to Flex to manage one of their biggest brands — Cowgirls Unlimited. “We needed a system to keep track of who is available and when they’re available, we’ve been using StaffMate for a long time and TSheets, but the biggest advantage of using Flex is it’s ability to keep inventory of our rental equipment and the ability to do pricing models,” said Rob Stevens, owner of Decorus Events.

They use it for inventory tracking, for sales to manage, track, and quote using flexible pricing structure and for labor management to keep track of staffing availability. Here are some ways this party rental company uses Flex to keep their business running smoothly:

Using Building Containers and Packages in Flex for Inventory Tracking

When you rent equipment from Decorus Events, you get much more than just a Margarita Machine, you get a whole package which includes one drink mix, 50 cups, extension cords and everything you need to make sure you can enjoy your party. Using Flex Building Containers and Packages features, they can assemble these rentals as self-contained packages and keep track of each item inside the container from the moment they leave the warehouse to the moment they get customer sign off — without having to track each item individually. For Stevens, the ability to do this type of inventory tracking resulted in significant time savings and greater accountability of how certain packages were selling — so that nothing falls through the cracks.

Flexible Pricing Model Tiers

Decorus Events has a fairly intricate pricing structure that accounts for nearly every scenario in their party rental playbook. For rental equipment, clients get special pricing when it’s a catered event or when they rent from Decorus on a regular basis. On the staff side and labor side, there are also tiered levels depending on how many hours they’re at the event. For example, Decorus Events charges $150 for the first four hours and $25 for every hour after that. Before Flex, they had to manually calculate all these different variations in pricing using Quickbooks. But now, they use Flex Pricing Model Tiers.

“In Flex, we can put in labor for six hours and it calculates it, it’s really great,” said Stevens.

Pricing can be assigned to each inventory model in your system. By default, Flex includes several common pricing models like Day Rate, Week Rate, and Hourly Rate. You can enter a different rate for each pricing model, then choose which pricing model you are using when building a Quote.

Project Elements

Decorus Events maintains a clear overview of all their upcoming events, staff assignments, and equipment availability using Flex. The inventory tracking features and adaptability of Flex was a big selling point for Decorus Events. They don’t quote and invoice clients directly using Flex. For example, instead of using Quotes, they changed the Project Element to be called Events — it works better for their workflow and how they operate their rental business. This way they’re able to track each event from the moment the client calls to the moment the equipment is returned to the warehouse.

“Our quotes don’t get automatically invoiced, it was just better for us this way,” said Stevens.

Learning how to use Flex

Implementing a new system for your business is never an easy feat, but with Flex’s variety of helpful resources and educational materials, our users have the information they need to get up and running quickly. For Stevens, it was the our comprehensive video library that gave him the tools he needed to make Flex work for him.

“I watched about 20 to 30 hours of those videos,” laughs Stevens, “I spent two weeks implementing and when I got stuck on something I just rewatched a few of them.”

History Behind Decorus Events

Steven’s education and background in instructional technology means he is well equipped to take on ambitious technology projects. So much so in fact, that when he started Decorus Events in 2015 he tried designing and building his own software.

“I spent twenty years in the corporate world building online learning environments for training teams,” said Stevens. When he started Decorus Events he was working for AETNA. “We would put on these massive conferences of 2,000 to 5,000 people, and I was responsible for any technology or apps they had to use during the event, and I was a trainer also, presenting sales material.”

In 1999, he started bartending and delivering equipment for Cheer Party Services. In 2011, the company was gonna go under, so him and his wife decided to buy the company.

“In 2015, we decided to take it to the next level, so I took out a loan from our 401K and bought Margarita Man, and we came up with Decorus Events,” he added. Earlier this year, the couple bought Cowgirls Unlimited and Stevens quit his job at Aetna to focus on the business full-time.

“I tried to develop my own system to manage all or parts of our business, and I thought ‘This is gonna take a while to build’,” he said, “it did some things, but I needed something more robust, I looked for 9 to 10 months for party rental and event management software before settling on Flex.”

Keeping track of their party rental equipment through inventory tracking and event staff is no easy task, especially during a busy event season. With Flex, the team at Decorus Events can take advantage of tiered pricing and next level inventory tracking so they can focus on what they do best: adding that magic touch (or secret sauce) to every event.

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