Custom booking and scheduling solution steers ground-breaking cycling facility to success
A first-of-its-kind facility
In 2017, Iconic British cycling brand Boardman announced that they were going to build a ground-breaking facility designed to bring wind tunnel testing within the reach of ordinary cyclists.
The team at Boardman needed a system to take bookings for wind tunnel sessions but also for everything that might conceivably take place at the Worcestershire-based Performance Centre. This includes talks, conferences, physio sessions & gym classes.
The system also needed to enable staff to allocate and keep track of all the personnel, rooms and equipment required to deliver each service or event – be it a wind tunnel session or a conference.
Oh, and if that were not enough, they needed the software ready for the Centre’s launch which, at that time, was less than five months away!
Developing a digital product road map
We knew that building a first-of-its-kind system in less than half a year was going to be challenging to say the least. But we weren’t daunted. We’d already established a great rapport with the Boardman team having built their suite of global websites. And our adeptness at employing Agile development practices, honed over 15 years, was also going to be invaluable.
We started with a phase of Research & Development (R&D) prior to the ‘main build’. This allowed us to find solutions to some of the ‘thorny’ technological issues without the risk of slowing down the main build.
One challenge was to process all the information gathered in a wind tunnel session and display it on an iPad in time for staff at the Performance Centre to conduct a debrief with riders 10 minutes after their wind tunnel session.
The second of our approaches was the ‘Minimal Viable Product’ (MVP) principle.
MVP is about developing software with enough features that it satisfies early users but leaves scope for the final set of features to be designed and developed after getting feedback from the software’s initial users.
Set for success
The Boardman Performance Centre welcomed its first paying customers on 30 April 2018. And from day one, the system has been at the hub of everything they do. Our system allows staff to focus on serving customers not worrying about whether there are enough staff, rooms and equipment to cover bookings. Users can go to the Boardman website and book any service or facility at the centre.
We are particularly proud of the flexibility that the system gives staff. They can easily create new types of products / packages and events. They do this by defining the personnel, rooms and equipment required to deliver them.
Following the launch of the initial system, we have continued to develop the system - adding a range of additional features including staff rotas, and ‘Buy as a gift’.
Thinking outside with James Ryan
Brand Communications Manager, Boardman Bikes
What surprised you?
The success of our B2B services - things like Pro teams and coaches hiring the Centre and its facilities. The flexibility of the scheduling software means that we can effectively manage the staff and room resources required to service these types of bookings with ease.
What was fun?
It’s venturing into the unknown - doing something that has unique requirements. The software is an integral part of what we wanted to deliver and seeing that come to life alongside the Centre itself was fun.
We’re working with bluebox on new scheduling algorithms that will allow us to book more sessions into a day. This will enable us to serve more customers, increase efficiency and revenue.
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