Theme park training and operations system

Paultons Park – a leading UK theme park – wanted to introduce a system to streamline their ride operations, from training and management to daily operations. They connected with us to do just that.

Understanding the requirement

As with any business, Paultons Park’s operations consist of a number of established processes and procedures, which we needed to understand thoroughly in order to build the software to support them.

To get to grips with everything the system needed to provide, we ran a workshop day at the park with members from our design and development teams to delve deeper into a day in the life of the operations team.

Piecing it all together

Writing a good system requirement specification (SRS) is often key to the success of a software project, particularly when working on a fixed cost basis. Following our workshop, our design and development team worked together to translate the real-world scenarios and business needs into a technical specification. How this is written can depend on the project but for Paultons Park, our system requirement specification consisted of flow charts and use-case scenarios, which defined the key actors, touch points and the roles that needed to be fulfilled.

Turning the need into a solution

The park operations system consisted of four key components; a staff operated Ride App for Android, a training app for iOS and a web-based admin and dashboard system, all underpinned by a central cloud-based server.

The training app

With a fixed deadline in line with the park opening for its new season, we had to carefully plan the order in which we delivered each component of the system. With staff requiring training on the new system, we needed to start with the iOS training app.

The training app replaced a paper-based system where staff were given a training programme in groups, before returning to a room to complete the associated paperwork. Each member of staff had a number of training steps to check off, before signing to verify that they had received the training. Following this, a senior member of staff had to check every sheet and sign for its approval, before the training was manually entered into a spreadsheet.

The new solution consisted of the creation of users, rides and training programmes in the cloud-based admin system, which feed straight into a dedicated training app. Within the app, a trainer selects the staff, followed by a training programme and checks off each step as they carry out the training. Once complete, the staff are shown a summary of the steps, before verifying their understanding by entering their own unique pin. Once complete, the data is stored permanently to the server without any additional processes required. This small part of the system alone has saved Paultons Park hours of paperwork, reduced risk of loss of information and data entry errors and replaced about 30 lever arch folders worth of paper per year!

The ride app

In the interest of resilience, Paultons Park invested in robust Android tablets with ethernet connectivity. Tasked with installing a tablet at each ride, the next priority was for us to develop the app in readiness for opening.

Key to the ride app’s success was its ease of use. Ride operators have a busy and important role, so a key criterium was for the ride app not to distract or delay operators. The result is a simple, easy to use app, which displays all of the most important information and controls on a single screen. Its purpose is to replace a paper-based daily ride operations sheet, capturing important operational data, while opening up the opportunity for better oversight and reporting, as well as improved queue time accuracy.

The admin app

The final piece of the puzzle, tying the whole system together is a cloud-based admin application which facilitates the management and access to all parts of the system. With a training matrix, senior staff are able to quickly view staff training records and plan their resourcing, while during operation, management are able to oversee the operations of the park. From instant queue time updates to the Paultons Park app and in-park screens, to ride closure notifications, the system provides the connected operations that Paultons Park were looking for.

We’re taking this system to market

Paultons Park had the vision to see that this system would realise huge operational efficiencies, as well as gaining new insights and better accountability. They believe that this system could make a difference for other theme parks and visitor attractions, so have agreed to allow us to implement it for other customers.

If you’re interested in this system, or specific parts of it please get in touch and we’d be delighted to discuss how we could implement it for you.