Sports venue management

image example

Sports facility management business is a good example of booking venues. The sports facility management company has tennis courts in multiple locations. Each location has several courts. They also run several training programmes. The pricing of the courts vary based on the time of the day and court type.

Business Problem

Most of the bookings were over the phone and walk-ins. Some of the booking happens through the online booking form. However current system has several limitation including not able to specify the court number. Cancellations and refunds were not possible resulting in customer dissatisfaction and manual refunds.

The facility management company wants to automate the booking and payment and had the following requirements.

No Requirements
1 Customer should be able to select the exact court type (grass, synthetic, hard ) and court number. The layout of the courts should be visible to the customers.
2 Customers should be able to pay at the time of the booking.
3 Customers should get reminder by SMS and/or email about bookings.
4 Customers should be able to cancel the booking upto 24 hours prior to the booking time.
5 Facility managers should be able to block out time as they desire from online booking.
6 Facility managers should be able to book a court for walk-ins without online payment from the walk-in customer.
7 Customers should get the full refund if they cancel before 24 hours and 50% refund if they cancel 6 hours prior to the booking time. No refunds after that time.
8 Facility managers should be able to vary the cost of the courts based on the demand and time of the year. Some of the variations should be pre-programmed and some can be manually modified.
9 Repeat customer should be able to login and make booking without entering details such as contact details and payment details many time. System should support self-service capability.
10 Facility managers should be able to create reports about bookings and revenue.
11 Facility managers should be able to create reports about customer who booked so they can run promotional campaigns.
12 Training class schedules are different and customer should be able to select training classes and book and pay.
13 Training classes are often range from regular class every Saturday 11AM for kids to Wednesdays 7pm for advanced players. Trainers should be able to create the time-table (schedule) and publish it with minimal or no help from technical team.
14 There are no refunds for the training classes if its cancelled after the second session.
15 Customers who wants to make regular booking for courts/fields can make recurring booking and payment should be automatically processed 24 hours ahead of the next booking.
16 Staff should be able to notify customers who booked for training or a court any changes easily without individual messages. For example closure due to weather event should be notified to all users who booked in the next 24 hours.

Solution

The solution was to replace existing web booking form which was not providing much improvement in booking numbers with managed hosted book and pay solution.

Since the customer did not have on-premise systems and did not have full time IT staff, the team decided to use the managed hosted deployment.

No changes made to existing website apart from adding Book Now and Login buttons. No programming was required for integration.

The Book Now button is used by customers of sports facility to view the availability. The Login button is used by repeat customers, staff and managers to view bookings, get invoices, update profile and other self-service features.

To meet the customer requirements, the workflow was divided into three parts

  1. Booking workflow

  2. Payment workflow

  3. Selfservice workflow

Booking workflow

The booking workflow automates the scheduling, booking, notifications aspects of the business.


For full details of the booking functions, see Booking Api and Schedule and Calendar

One of the requirement is to the ability to book for training classes in addition to adhoc court bookings. Training class schedule are specific to class and vary all the time. For example, a tennis training schedule might look like this

Tennis class for Beginners. Class is for 1 hour, every week starting Oct 11, 2019 ; every Mondays at 7pm and Fridays at 4pm. The tennis class ends after 10 sessions. If the date falls on a public holiday, there is no class. The location is Sydney, Australia.

- Frequency: Every week 
- When: Mondays at 7pm and Fridays at 4pm
- Duration: 1 hour per class
- Ends After: 10 classes total
- Starting: class starts on Mar 11,2019
- Location: Australia/Sydney
- Conditions: No classes if it’s a public holiday in Australia

There may be multiple classes with different schedules. Customers should be able to view the available classes and book the sessions. Training class schedules are created by the trainers themselves using schedule UI. See Schedule and Calendar for more details.



Payment workflow

There are two different ways payment is handled for this business.

  1. One off payment - This type of payment is used for booking the facility such as courts and fields or for paying training classes. For example tennis court booking is a one off booking most of the time. Training classes may also use one off payment.

  2. Recurring payment - This type of payment is for recurring booking. For example a customer may book a court every week at 6pm on Saturdays for 6 months. Payment will be processed 24 hours prior to the time (i.e Friday at 6pm).

Full details of payment can be found in the payment feature

An example of payment workflow is shown below

Self-service workflow

Self-service function enables customers to view past and current bookings, make changes and update the details without calling staff during 9 to 5.

Self-service is also useful for staff to view bookings for a specific court or location or training classes. Self-service allows the staff with certain roles to view and create reports. For example, staff can create reports on customers and their bookings. This will allow to run campaigns or even just to send updates on some changes.

Self-service can also used by staff for bulk notifications. For example staff may close the facility for 24 hours due to an impending weather event and hence all customers who have booked for training or courts will be notified without individual messages.


Details of the self-service function can be found in self-service feature and details of user-management can be found in user management feature

Features Used

Hosted Deployment
API gateway
Advanced security including OAuth Authentication
Notifications
Scheduling and Calendar
Self-service
Reporting system with exporting capabilities to CSV, Excel and PDF
Booking APIs
Asset APIs
Work Order service
User Management



Implementation

Deployment Method

BookAndPay application server is hosted and deployed in a cloud solution provider (Azure). This is a example of managed hosted deployment solution.

Integration Method

The Book Now button and the Login button is added to the existing website and button URLs used the URL of the deployment location. No other integration required.

Configurations

Before the system goes live, the staff at sports facility management company carries out the following tasks.

Customer is not required to do any installation for managed hosted deployment.
  1. Connect: The people who manages the website adds the Book Now button and the Login button.
  2. Configure: The staff customize the application to suit their needs. This includes configuring information about
    1. configure customer notification messages
    2. configure how to receive payments from customers
    3. configure the colors and layout of booking pages
    4. Add information on courts (i.e assets) and cost
    5. Add training class schedules.

Use the schedule UI for creating the timetable for class. More details on how to create schedule can be found in schedule and calendar section

Benefits

  1. More bookings and revenue
  2. Improved customer experience
  3. Reduced a lot manual work and resulting efficiency gain.
  4. Substantially reduced administrative overhead and associated cost.