There are plenty of days off during the school year for elementary schools and junior highs. Whether it be for Martin Luther King Jr Day, Columbus day, Election Day, Pulaski Day, or even those teacher institute days– kids are off school. The question though is, what to do on a day off from school? Since working at an indoor trampoline park, I’ve found the answer to that question and that is come to where I work and jump around with friends. However, that’s hard to do if my job doesn’t open until 2pm during the week and a lot of our staff are in high school and still have school on those days. This is where forecasting comes into context. Since being open for a year now, the managers now have a better idea of sales and turnout for special holidays. With that information they can forecast the number of customers on days where the surrounding school districts have days off.
Being the main office assistant, I was asked a couple of months ago to create a spreadsheet of all the surrounding school districts’ days off from school. The task involved me having to look up all the school districts in the area 2012-2013 school calendar and from there create an easy-to-read spread sheet of every non-attendance school day. The project itself took me about a week to do but with the final product the managers were able to use the list as a tool to forecast the following: sales, turnout, number of staff needed, and the cost benefit of opening up the store early. The list isn’t the only thing that the managers look at to forecast for the days off. They also look at the previous year’s (for that specific day off) sales and turnout as well as what day of the week the holiday/day off lands on and how many inquiries we’ve received about birthday parties/group reservations for that day (at an earlier time than we open).
Taking into consideration all those factors, I’ve notice the importance of forecasting and how it can really effect a company’s sales if not done the right way or even at all. I have seen the problems that can occur when forecasting is not done such as under staffing, not opening up earlier when we could/should of, and unhappy customers.
I currently work at an indoor trampoline park as an office assistant, where I learn about what’s going on within the company firsthand. One of the big issues with the type of industry that I work for is liability. Of course with any physical activity comes the risk of injury if done improperly or with negligence. There have been stories on the news about lawsuits arising with people getting hurt at these trampoline parks. One of the rules of the company I work for is that all jumpers must either jump barefoot (no socks) or with laced up shoes. A lot of parents and even kids that have called or come in always question why they can’t wear socks but can wear shoes. The answer is socks are slippery when jumping and that can create a greater risk for our jumpers—while jumping barefoot or with shoes eliminates slipping while jumping. However, last month my company started advertising a new product in all their stores (west coast to Midwest) that would end all our customer’s concerns about jumping barefoot or with shoes. They are introducing socks with grips on the bottom. Customers now have the choice to jump with these socks that they can only buy from us or still jump barefoot.
The actual product has not launched in all the stores yet. I was told that they were going to do trial runs in some of the stores on the west coast. While this idea of these new socks may sound like a great idea, being a business student who would like to potentially open up my own business, my concern was again with liability. These socks may sound like a great idea but I questioned my general manager of what would happen if someone got hurt while wearing the company’s exclusive socks. As far as I know the company’s liability waiver is not going to be changed, which if this is true wouldn’t be the smartest choice on the owner of the company’s part.
I connected this story with what we learned in class about project characteristics. The characteristics consist of cost, time, and performance objectives/planning. The time and cost of the project is not what’s going to make this product fail, I think that the planning is. There are a lot of elements with putting a new product out on the market when you’re in this type of industry. Liability is the main one that I would be worried about. If I were the project manager I would have spent more time planning and figuring the pros and cons of the product instead of how much profit the company is going to make off it.