ropeways.net | Home | 2014-05-28
MountainOffice: Operation manager improves again!
The use of technology is only as good as the input or the people using it. This is well known and not really disputable. However, the simpler and broader the scope of the technology, the easier it is to be accepted and used. As Steep Management, LLC rolls out MountainOffice to the North American ski resort market, this is becoming more and more evident.
As Steep talks to mountain operation teams throughout the USA about the features of MountainOffice, they begin to see nods and smiles from administrators and technicians who can see their work life becoming easier and more efficient. This is the essence of MountainOffice, making the work process more efficient and creating a more simplified process, which enables workers to focus on their productive work: maintaining ski lifts, keeping groomers on the snow, and enabling snowmaking to maximize production.
The efficiency of having a singular database to manage is something that is broadly embraced. Having it done in a simple manner with the idiosyncrasies of ski resort mountain operations is the real benefit for MountainOffice users.
Steep Management, LLC has learned over the last several months that the North American market has some different characteristics from the European market, such as the importance of the Vehicle Maintenance department within the Mountain Operations department. This is not to say that the care of snow machines and groomers are not important in Europe. What has been discovered is that the Vehicle Maintenance department has a broader scope in North America, maintaining not only on-snow vehicles but also the broad array of on-road vehicles that support a North American resort, from buses to cars, trucks and in some cases the extensive snow removal equipment that is needed in deep snow country. This broader coverage of vehicles leads to a much more extensive inventory of spare parts and a bigger staff. Large inventories means dollars that need to be managed. Many Vehicle Maintenance departments spoken to have tried to use various off-the-shelf truck maintenance software packages to manage their fleets but are not satisfied with the ease of use or have given up trying to make those systems work in their maintenance shop.
The developers of MountainOffice – SEC G.m.b.H. of Gastein Austria – took this input and have developed a new inventory component for MountainOffice, which will be live in May 2014. This new component is an extensive inventory system that goes far beyond the spare parts database that has been provided with MountainOffice.
SEC was responsive to the input from North America, reacting quickly and taking input from various sources so that again MountainOffice offers a simple yet complete approach to managing inventory, whether it be Vehicle Maintenance, Lift Maintenance or an inventory for a building or a terrain park. The system has the following features:
The many attributes within each feature provide for the highest level of management that could be desired for the types of control needed.
The final stages of development are now in process. They entail detailed testing and adjustments to screen layouts after receiving input from potential users. Steep Management is extremely pleased with the response both from the developers, SEC, and potential users. This addition to MountainOffice is seen as meeting a real need at North American ski resorts, who have done their best with what was available but that availability has not been specific for the ski industry. The inventory addition marks the second major improvement to MountainOffice in less than a year. In March of 2013, MountainOffice came out with its mobile capability, which has been widely accepted in Europe, and as the program is being aggressively marketed in North America the mobile feature is looked at by many resorts as the wave of the future. In one recent meeting, a groomer technician shouted with glee, “Yeah, no more paper to deal with.” Additional amazement is seen when a 700+ page service manual for a groomer is displayed on a tablet or smartphone. Managers recognize that making this information so easily accessible to front line staff is going to enhance their performance and enable the technicians to be that more efficient. MountainOffice is the way to more efficient and productive mountain operations. It will lead to happy staff, improved running times and, most importantly, to happy customers enjoying safe and well maintained lifts, snowmaking