Theme Parks and SAP utilities: Two exhilarating experiences…
Whenever I think of visiting a theme park I envision long queues, too many people and over-priced tickets.
After my recent visit to the Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios in Orlando I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t wait any longer than an hour for any of the rides (a small miracle, having waited over 3 hours for some rides in the past).
The queues were extraordinarily interactive so even when you were queuing it didn’t feel like it, and the price was reasonable considering the parks opened at 9am and close late on (1am at Disney and 8pm at Universal).
This got me thinking: what was the difference between these parks and others I have visited?
I noticed at Disney’s Magic Kingdom that the park is arranged in different themed sections. Each section contained different attractions, dispersing the crowds in a circle starting from a central point. Spreading people out this way made the park appear much quieter than it actually was. Using a central point of reference allowed for simple, short navigation, enabling customers to move fluidly from one section to another.
They had the right amount of staff. Resource is a vital commodity, but as the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”. It’s not just about numbers, to get things right you also need to ensure that all team members are efficient and well trained. Each staff member seemed to know exactly what their job role entailed, so just the right amount of people were able to get the job done.
There was a clear and simple process maintained throughout the park. The process was consistent, labelling each entrance to the attractions and repeatedly talking you through how to embark on the rides. This made it very simple to understand where you needed to be, what you needed to do and the crowds were well orchestrated to ensure they were moved efficiently and to the right place.
The park also provided a single ‘fast pass’ at a time, giving a time slot for a ride. This meant the ride queues were effectively managed and control was pushed to the customers. Handing over some responsibility to the customers gave them a sense of ownership and allowed staff members to focus on other key roles.
During a thrilling and adventurous ride around Harry Potter World I thought about how those inputs of resources, processes and navigation could apply to any well-run entity. In particular, I can see lots of similarities with Utilities running SAP:
- The Park becomes the SAP system. Both have an architecture providing the layout and require defined navigation methods to negotiate your way around.
- The Attractions are SAP exceptions. They both have a start and end, a key function and a process to manage or complete.
- Finally the customers in the park are the SAP agents. They need to be effectively managed and trained in the processes surrounding the attractions/exceptions.
I've spent the last five years of my career in the Utilities sector working with SAP implementation projects. In most cases I’ve seen issues whereby resources are low, processes are over-complicated and lengthy, planning is disjointed and problems arise due to a lack of proper risk management.
All of these issues have major impacts on customer service.
So what can Utilities companies do to improve their productivity, ensure all agents are fully effective and well trained, and implement simple, effective processes with smooth planning and timely delivery?
I can see how Basis Technologies can help.
BDEx Suite is a set of tools designed by experts at Basis Technologies to make your SAP system run faster, better and more effectively. The Customer Centric Hub, for example, enables agents to see a 360 degree view of a customer account. Using a central hub to navigate the SAP platform simplifies and shortens the journey of working exceptions and resolving customer queries.
Closure control gives power back to the business, providing control of the workflow to ensure underlying issues are resolved before exceptions can be completed. You certainly wouldn’t want a roller-coaster to commence before all the right processes had been completed!
Our reporting capability gets you the information you need in a fast and informative way, helping your business to run much more smoothly.