Design of the system
To get rid of the problems faced in the Parksnow ski resort, the following steps need to be done. Since the ticketing system and the gates are from the Ski Data company, we have chosen this company as aprovider of the following additional services that should improve the customer satisfaction.
First and online shop needs to be added to the parksnow website, where acustomer could buy ski passes online. Currently only the season tickets can be bought online. For these purpose,the Ski Data offers aPOS (point of sale) solution called Webshop.cash. Which is aweb based marketing platform that can be easily incorporated into the Parksnow website. The Ski Data offers clearly structured and user-friednly site with dynamic price possiblities, e.g. offer price discounts when there is abad weather.It will not only offer the the online tickets for skiing, but customers will also be able to book aski lesson or to rent skies at one portal by one click of the mouse.
After the customer registers into the system, he can proceed to buy an online ticket. After the ticket, or other services mentioned above are chosen, the payment can be made. The methods of the payments can be various, but different credit card payment methods are available with this solution. We will use the the online payment services of the most of the slovak banks, and also paymnet by acredit or debit cards like Visa or Maestro. After the customer pays for the ticket along with the services, there are two options: Either to physically pick it up at the resort cashier booth or he can acces the reservation system in one of the self service vending machines that will be placed in the resort, and print the tickets directly without having have to wait in lines.
Self Service Vending machines:
Another step needed to allow the self-printing of the passes is to buy the self-service vending machines. For this purpose, we will use another POS solution from the Ski Data, called EasyTicket.Cash. This solution will provide customers with a quick and easy acces not only to their online ordered tickets, but also to choose, pay and print the ski pass without the need of staying in the lines to get the passes from the cashier booths. Also customers will be able to charge these tickets with money, so that they can pay with them in the restaurants or for other services available not only in the resort. These vending machiines would be used direclty at the resort but also afew of them could be placed at the surrounding hotels for a better acces.
There are two types of these vending machines:
1. floor mount machine.pngEasyTicket.Cash: 'floor-mount'(Picture) and 'wall-mount' version (Picture )
This type of the machines codes and prints the RFID cards(passes). Custumer can print aski pass either based on the onoline order, after signing in to the system, or can buy it directly from the machine, either using cash or credit card as apayment method. The machines are equipped with amultilanguage, intuitive user-friendly interface which is easy to navigate through and also provides an acustic guidance through the process. After choosing their ticket, customer can also charge the pass with money that can be used in the resort's restaurants, ski-schools and ski-rentals. In the Picture X and Y, the example of the user interface is showed.
2. reload machine.pngEasyTicket.Cash : 'reload'
This type allows the used ski passes to be reloaded again for the use on another day when acustomer comes for avisit. This means, that when Icustomer leaves the resort, the ticket does not have to returned, but it can be kept. The next day that customer comes to the resort, he can just come to this "reloading" machine and buy whatever ticket he wants. Again, the machines receives both cash and credit cards.
The reloading of the used skipasses can be done not only through this vending machines, but also through the internet. Since each pass, has its number, customer can just enter the number into the database and buy "another ticket" but it will actually be the same he used last time. This is not only efficient for the resort, but also for the environment, since one ticket can be used more times byone person. Then when he next comes to the resort, he can avoid the lines by going straight to the lifts.
"Pay- per- use" system
hosted services.jpgAnother solution that can improve the customer satisfaction and ease of use is the "pay per use" system. One possibility after registering into the online paying system to choose from is this type of a membership card. When customers choose this solution, he gets the privilege of not having have to pay for the services and tickets in advance, but afterwards. This type requires a more- detailed registration, where credit card data along with their credentials and a photo must be entered. If a customer enters a wrong credit card data, the registration will not be completed, because "the credit card is checked in the background by the service provider" (Frequently asked questions, 2009). Again, the pass will either be sent to them by postal services or it will be picked up at the booth in the resort. Once the customer have this type of pass, he can just come to the resort and ski wherever he wants to, whatever long he wants to, he can also buy food and beverages, and use services like renting or schooling. Then he can leave and does not have to worry about the payment. System automatically generates monthly invoices to these customers, and so the money is automatically debited to their credit cards. This is provided by the Ski Data software and everything is done by a computer. The pay per use software works on a "software as a service" concept, so no initial cost is needed. It is all web based and so does not require any maintenance or system operation expenses. The resort will keep in touch with the customer through the feedback feature of the "pay per use" platform, where each customer can check his spending and send direct feedback.
The system of charging the customer can depend on the hours of skiing, or the ski lifts taken. The method of the billing can be various, but it will also take into the consideration the lunch break, so if a customer takes a last lift at 11 a.m. and then goes for a lunch, it will only charge till 11. If he continues to ski at 1p.m., the charging will again start at one until the last entry through the lift gates.
MonitorFreemotion_01.jpgSince all the ski passes have tha availability of being re-charged with money, we will need to provide hardware solution for restaurants and rental shops at the resort to be able to read the magnetic cards and subtract the money spent. For these purposes, we will need a mobile Hanheld gate monitor from Ski Data. This handheld will be placed at places where customers can buy products or services in the resort. After a customer buys a luch for example, this monitor will be connected to the restaurant system, and according to the prices, certain amount of money will be subtracted from the ticket. It could be a self service computer with a touch screen with the offer of the restaurant menu, but in Slovakia, there will have to be a restaurant staff that will assign the amount to the ticket. Another solution this advice provides is that if the ticket used is a "pay per use" , and so does not have any balance on it, the picture of the owner pops up, so the personnel can distinguish the actual owner in case the card was stolen or lost. This will prevent unauthorized access to membership cards.
The management software used in the Parksnow resort is called Freemotion.Logic by Ski Data. This is "designed for efficient and professional access management at mountain destinations". It covers almost everything from "ticketing, access control, device administration and data management". After we implement these new solutions, additional software would be needed to allow the control and online monitoring of all the installations.
We will use the Operator.Services software which is a "professional management tool for all systems and facilities of [our] project" developed by Ski Data. This would allow the management to monitor and control all the processes we have just described in the resort online. The management will also be to fully automate the processes of the installations. The remote maintenance it provides will allow them to respond to any problems ad hoc. It provides all kinds of technical reports needed for proper controlling and reduces service costs by optimizing the use of staff and evaluation of the services (Remote monitoring & Control, 2009).
To increase the customer satisfaction at this level, after all the new installations, the CRM software needs to be acquired. The Ski Data along with its partner, the RTP corporate, provides acomplete enterprise software solution called RTP/One. This is acomplete resort management solution to optimize and integrate all the operations made both online and on location, showing all the information about the registered customers, what they consumed, and what their needs are in an integrated and understandable format.
To help management predict trends and made the decision making process faster, a decision support system will be needed. RTP/one solution can be combined with a DSS software from RTP corporate called RTP/Analytics. This software "helps you gather, store, organize and analyze data from your organization's transactional systems". It helps management with strategic and tactical decisions by analyzing the trends in the resort. This system will help the company uncover the hidden patterns that might change corporate decisions to give the resort a competitive advantage (RTP/Analytics,2010).
To sum up, we need to acquire the following for ech resort:
Frequently asked questions. (2009). Retrieved March 6, 2010, from http://www.pay-per-use.bz/faq2_en/items/faq08_en
Remote monitoring & Control. (2009). Retrieved March 6, 2010, from http://www.skidata.com/Operator-Services.175.0.html?&L=1
Mobile control and validation devices. (2009). Retrieved March 6, 2010, from http://www.skidata.com/Handheld-Gate.205.0.html?&L=1
RTP/Analytics. (2010). Retrieved March 6, 2010, from http://www.rtp.com/pos/products/analytics-e-commerce.aspx#reporting_manager