October 09, 2008

Exercise 2: Enter and enjoy!

During the summer month I have visited some amusement parks. A friend of mine an me are crazy for roller-coaster and other scaring attraction (e.g. free-fall-towers) and Germany's parks now offering a good choice of different kinds of rollercoaster. You need an example? Here it comes: sit back and fasten your seatbelt: Silverstar

Still the parks offer more than only high-speeds rides: wild-water-rafting, usual carussels, shows placed in lavish landscape architecture.

Allthough there are parks which offer a free entrance and individual payment for each ride most parks follow the system: visitors pay a fixed price at the entrance - all rides are free then. - Which does not mean that everything is free. The parks are very creative to get more money out of the visitors but only the entrance fee: snakc bars, restaurants, beverages, ice cream but also VIP-"non-queuing"-tickets or reservations for shows and parking. The large parks even have - following the US parks - park hotels to get the visitors stay not only for one day.

In the following I would like to concentrates on two services in area of amusement parks: on the one hand the park entrance and on the other hand running a single attraction, let's say a single roller-coaster.

Since scaring, high-speed, going-to-the-limits rollercoaster are not everybody's favorites, it is clear that more people visiting the park than taking the ride on the coaster. Only few will take multiple rides on the same coaster: waiting times for queuing are long and the parks usually offer more attractions as you can do on a single day. Nevertheless the coaster-highlights always have the longest queues.

On the entrance site the parks drew large attention on reducing entrance queues by taking advantage of new technologies (e.g. ticket selling online, automated ticket-checking at the entrance) and organizational changes (e.g. seperation of ticket point of sale and entrance gates, multiple entrance points).

Of course late spring and summer time is the peak season, with special offers and events the parks trying to make low season more attractive to visitors.

In a 4V-diagramm I would chose the following profiles for both services:


Running the coaster from my point of view is a mass service: high consistency is possible and (during opening hours) the service is always available. In a typical roller coaster there is no variaty. (Some carusells can vary in the turning directions forward and backwards.) And there is a very limited flexibility in volume. Few roller coaster can run an additional carriage to higher the volume but usually the service is limited to a fixed number of carriages (one or two). Investment costs are high of course but due to the high utilization unit costs are low.

Looking at the park entrance I tend to see it as a service shop: there is some flexibility in terms of ticket variation (single, groups, children, one or multiple days, saeson tickets) and payment-types. The service offered should be consistent but depend on employee.

- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Neil McPhater


    I very much like your choice of processes taken from the amusement park. I think your designation of proces types as service shop and mass service are quite right. You have elucidated a 4V diagram. However your typology is different from the course notes (Figure 2.2). LOW Volume is associated with HIGH Variety (high Variation, High Visibility) and vice versa. It would very much make sense for you to restate your typology to coincide with the course material (you might find the banking example Figure 1.10 in Slack useful).

    Two other points for reflection. (1) As well as ‘process (type) choice’, you were asked to comment on ‘layout’ decisions – you will find some stuff on this in Section 2.10 of the notes. And (2) if you get really enthused you can position your two processes on the Product-Process matrix (Section 2.7).

    Hope this helps. I am very pleased you are now on your way.

    Ciao, Neil.

    15 Oct 2008, 20:17

  2. Enjoyed the rollercoster ride… A bit thrown of by the highs and lows :-)


    16 Oct 2008, 15:53

  3. Hey Alex,
    Thanks for the rollercoaster ride, I feel like I’ve conquered Silverstar without risking my life, or indeed, the contents of my stomach :-)

    It’s interesting how a bus is a batch service, but a rollercoaster is a mass service…I guess the difference is in the frequency of the buses versus that of the rollercoasters. I don’t think the theme park would do much business if you had a 20 minute interval between each ‘coaster!

    You were right – it is a fun blog

    16 Oct 2008, 21:48

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