Saskatchewan Provincial Park Campsite Management and Reservation System
(11 pages of text)
The manager of Visitor Services with Saskatchewan Park Services was thinking ahead to next year, even though 2011 was still four months away. Park Services had experienced a number of turbulent years around the provincial park campground reservation system. While the problems experienced were largely invisible to the public, over the years the behind-the-scenes actions required to process campground reservations had placed an onerous burden on Park Services staff, both in Regina (in Saskatchewan, Canada) and in the local provincial parks. Additionally, the present system severely limited the type of services that could be developed for tourists and campers due to the lack of quality data on campers.
While steps had been taken in 2009 and 2010 to address some of the major problems surrounding the campground reservation system, serious issues remained that required action. This was particularly true when the system in place in Saskatchewan was compared to new campground reservation systems recently employed in Alberta, Manitoba, and the federal national park system. The manager reflected on the turbulent 2008 season, the relative calm in 2009 due to the success of temporary fixes, and the new issues that had arisen in 2010. She needed to decide on a more permanent solution that resolved the operational problems of the present reservation system while also laying the foundation for improved services for campers.
Camping is something most students have done, but the information systems supporting campground availability tracking, allocation, and reservations are largely unseen. This case presents some of the issues around campsite management including information technology, organizational structure, human resources, and work processes.
While the case focuses on the campground reservation issue, this issue is embedded in the overall management of the respective campground and campsite inventory and allocation. Any potential alternative or ideal state depends on the need for a reliable and timely flow of information between the reservation system and all affected campgrounds so that campsite inventory and assignment can be managed seamlessly. This is the customer-facing point of contact, where any interruption to the flow of information creates the potential for chaos at the campground gates, frustrating both staff loyal to their park and their clients.
Canada, Large, 2010
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