And why we need to evolve…..
When taking a closer look at the amusement park and attractions industry it is noticeable that the industry has been evolving rather slowly when it comes to digitalization compared to the digital pace and need for data that has been changing other industries and the world for that matter in the last decades.
Of course, a lot has happened regarding many attractions that continuously are becoming more and more advanced and spectacular in order to match the technological development seen in for instance the movie and computer games industry and therefor also match the expectations of today’s children.
So, in which areas are the evolvement moving slowly? Well, behind the scene of many stunning attractions and behind the faces of excited and happy children circumstances are in many cases the same as they were years ago regarding safety and maintenance checks and operational management. Things are slowly changing, but not fast enough and the farewell to analogue and hello to the adaption of digital technologies and the use of big data regarding safety, maintenance and operations throughout the industry have not yet reached a breakthrough.
But why fix what ain’t broken? The answer to that question comes in many versions depending on the eyes and ears of the beholder, but it is a fact that the entire industry from small amusement parks to global manufacturers of roller coasters can all benefit from embracing the digital opportunities.
By digitalizing safety and maintenance operations in leisure parks and on individual attractions the management and employees will reach a new level of overview, quality and assurance. Digital tools and workflows can deliver real time, documented and safely stored data and improve on the attraction safety and maintenance checks. It will also result in a faster and more effective communication between all team members and management, enhance transparency and optimize the overall operations. To sum it up digitalization can help parks and attractions benefit from and improve on optimized safety and quality processes, smarter resource allocation, more effective and time saving operations, a more cost effective and sustainable overall setup, and documented data for continuous optimization and in case of an accident.
With digitalization comes the access to and extraction of useful data not only relevant and important to the parks, but also extremely relevant for the manufactures who develop and deliver the individual attractions – from the smallest carousel to the world’s largest roller coaster. The sharing of data and knowledge could also reveal the opportunities in establishing new partnerships with other industries beneficial for both parties. Through data delivered by the parks or attraction owners it will in time be possible to track and observe important data regarding attraction down-time, malfunctions, costs regarding material, spare parts and work orders. This information will help all the involved stakeholders reach a whole new level of transparency which can lead to better and more durable products, higher product standards, cost reductions and finally enhanced safety for the end user.
For the industry associations and for the industry combined the access to and use of data can result in a much better overview of core drivers, that have a direct effect on industry processes, stakeholders, product improvements and key elements that enhances the constant strive for safety best practice. This could mean a much more agile and responsive industry with a lot better insight, fuelling research and development for the benefit of the entire industry. Today safety seminars are being held on a regular basis, and safety management is a key subject and always on the agenda. But as a wise man once said, “Without data you a just another person with an opinion”. If the industry stakeholders adapt to the digital possibilities the opinions will no longer stand alone but will be transformed into advisable actions based on documented facts.
To end this article one might ask the question of what are the grounds of the above-mentioned claims? The grounds can be found in every other industry that has adapted to digitalization and new technologies, and amongst those in the amusement park and attractions industry that has already started adapting. Digitalization is the future, industries are getting more and more connected and in the end, it all comes down to seeking every way possible in order to improve and enhance the safety of those men, women and children visiting the amusement parks, riding the attractions, and whom we all want to show the time of their lives.