Impact of Information Systems and Recommendation of Future Infrastructure in the Theme Park Industry Essay

IMPACT OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND RECOMMENDATION OF FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE THEME PARK INDUSTRY: A CASE STUDY OF OCEAN PARK HONG KONG VS. HONG KONG DISNEYLAND Submitted : 11 May 2009 Prepared by: Hwee Chin, Choo (Student No: 00105164) jacqchoo@ymail. com Chun Cheung, Cheng (Student No: 0050098707) artery@mysinamail. com Word Count: 3,518 words JA Consultants 2/F 102 Austin Road KOWLOON HONG KONG 17 April 2009 CEO, Mr.

Tom Mehrmann Ocean Park Hong Kong ABERDEEN HONG KONG Dear Mr. Mehrmann Further to your request of 27 March, I hereby attach our report analyzing the potential application of information systems aligning to your Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP). The report provides a detailed analysis of your current application of information system in the major divisions, as well as an explicit examination of daily operations of your competitors.

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Our investigations suggest that your aspiration in launching new attractions over eight phases between now and its completion in 2012/13, when the Park’s attractions will double in number from the current 35 to over 70 suggest the need for a leading edge technology to adherent your legacy system and gradually eliminate the redundant system in order to progress with your fast-paced development of the Park.

We have proposed a number of ways to add value to the edutainment, long learning and conservation, at the same time achieving highest standards of safety, animal care, products and guest service, as well as to strengthen customer intimacy in creating more immersive guests experience, in order to sustain and standout in the dynamic and competitive environment and to take Ocean Park to a new level as the next generation world-class theme park. Thank you for affording us the opportunity to work with you and your people in this project. We will be glad to discuss any questions you may have at our next meeting.

Yours sincerely JA Consultant EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TABLE OF CONTENTS Page EXECUTIVE SUMMARY3 TABLE OF CONTENTS4 1. Introduction5 2. Strategic role of information systems 2. 1 Strategies and strategic role of information systems in Ocean Park5 2. 2 Strategies and strategic role of information systems in Hong Kong Disneyland6 3. Support for organization, management and business processes 3. 1 Support for organization, management and business processes in Ocean Park6 3. 2 Support for organization, management and business processes in Hong Kong Disneyland7 4. Ethical and social issues 4. 1 Issue related to staff8 . 2 Issue related to customer9 5. Current and future IT infrastructure 5. 1 Current infrastructure9 5. 2 Recommendation for future infrastructure9 5. 2. 1 Database Management Systems (DBMS)9 5. 2. 2 MAXIMO Asset Management10 5. 2. 3 Building Management System (BMS)10 5. 2. 4 Human Resource Information System (HRIS)10 5. 2. 5 Record Retention System11 5. 2. 6 Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP)11 5. 2. 7 Supply Chain Management Systems (SCM)11 5. 2. 8 Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)12 5. 2. 9 Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) 12 5. 2. 0 RFID technology, Wireless Sensor and Global Positioning System (GPS) 12 6. Conclusions and recommendations 6. 1 Conclusions of findings13 6. 2 Recommendations 13 LIST OF REFERENCES 14 APPENDICES Appendix 1 15 1. INTRODUCTION Ocean Park Hong Kong (website: http://www. oceanpark. com. hk/) is a marine-based theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community.

Over 90 million people have visited Hong Kong’s premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offering adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation. Part of the proceeds from the Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects (http://www. oceanpark. com. k/eng/main/index. html). Ocean Park success is a testament to the hard work of all front and back office staffs, as well as the management team, who act as one of the stakeholder. (http://www. oceanpark. com. hk/images/ophk_ar07-08. pdf). Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (website: http://park. hongkongdisneyland. com/hkdl/en_US/home/home? name=HomePage) offers immersive, unique Disney experiences for all families, generations and ages to enjoy.

Hong Kong is one of only five locations in the world that is home to a Disney themed park and the many Disney characters that are beloved the world over, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear and many others. The Resort opened in September 2005 and since then, has received over 10 million Guests from all over the world. Through the unique product offering and the world-class service provided by the 5000-strong Cast at the theme park and the two hotels, the Resort has received outstanding guest satisfaction ratings and a range of awards from the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

Disney is dedicated to serving Hong Kong people through a wide spectrum of community services programs from helping those in need to encouraging the protection of the environment in the region. Stakeholder also includes shareholder of public who have invested in the Park. (http://corporate. hongkongdisneyland. com/eng/discover/20081127. html). 2. STRATEGIC ROLE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 1. Strategies and strategic role of Information Systems in Ocean Park OP is a homegrown park with thirty-two years of history.

OP has a very rudimentary application of Information Systems in the Park daily operations. Currently, OP has limitation with IT based system. Majority of the administration process and operations of the parks are supported by systems purchased and applied ten years ago. In most departments, data files and systems grow independently without company-wide plan. Department has developed their own systems and data files. Each application has its own computer program to operate. Multiple master files are created, maintained and operated by separate divisions and departments.

With the aspiration moving toward the 21st century and leading to a smarter organisation, OP has committed within its Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) a comprehensive Information System Plan for the next three years which would include the implementation of ERP as a better business platform, an automated admission system which will allow guests to purchase admission ticket online probably with a bar code sending to guest’s mobile phone for admission at the turnstile on day of visit, make advance online reservation for show and dining , fast-pass for queue management. . Strategies and strategic role of Information Systems in Hong Kong Disneyland Hong Kong Disneyland is the fifth and newest member of the Disneyland park family. Advancements in IT had allowed the Park to build its site faster, which normally takes five year to build a Disney park, but Hong Kong Disneyland only took three years to be completed. When it comes to the adoption of technology and IT security, Disneyland takes a strictly pragmatic approach and is a media-rich Internet experience.

Spread across 126 hectares of reclaimed land, Hong Kong Disneyland is also the first site to adopt a fully converged Internet Protocol (IP) network—having no legacy systems to worry about. It has 80 IT professionals, supporting more than 100 servers and a gamut of the latest technologies, including VoIP (voice over IP), RFID (radio frequency identification) and Wi-Fi.

The full integration of Information systems in Disneyland today plays important strategic role to improving business processes, controlling costs, attracting, developing and keeping customers, improving workforce effectiveness and growing revenues are typical goals, which compete for budget and resources. To promote the fifth member of the world-renowned branded organization, Hong Kong Disneyland has selected the RedX Distribution Management System to process their electronic reservations and to facilitate the promotion of their products to travel agents around the orld. They also integrated Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) which is a collaboration technology designed to support meetings and group work. 3. SUPPORT FOR ORGANISATION, MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS PROCESSES 1. Support for organization, management and business processes in Ocean Park Currently, Ocean Park has a lot of manual processing in the organization. Majority of the business processes such as sales and marketing, finance and accounting, retail and food supply, operations departments including ticketing and guest relations are mainly compartmentalized.

Individual department has separate system that requires collaboration to integrate all these different systems to unify the data collected from disparate sources into a master database, which could be used as a cross reference, and also a comparison record throughout the years. However, OP’s website was recognized as one of Hong Kong’s top ten “2008 Meritorious Websites”.

Approaching to the technology smart generation, it becomes an important tool to deliver Park’s information, marketing promotions, educational and entertaining online games as well as an option for guest to purchase admission ticket through on-line system or becoming an annual pass holder. There are a few photo opportunity located at different area in the Park. OP is currently using a wireless coverage sending the signal back to Headland photo shop when guest’s photo is taken at Lowland cable car station, and that guest can view and collect the photo once they arrive at Headland.

As per life support, automated system is used to maintain water temperature, water salination etc. However, since high percentage of the process in the organization is currently executed manually, OP has the aspiration to create a good system for procurement, an efficient workflow with no breakage of processing involving a series of paperless electronic submission and electronic approval to enhance the overall efficiency and preserve a green environment. 3. Support for organization, management and business processes in Disneyland Cloning the whole original system from The Walt Disney Company, Hong Kong Disneyland consists of comprehensive information system that support for organization, management and business processes. Its website generates a personalized map that guides guests to their priority activities once they arrive at a Disney park, with special tips for personalized fun. This site makes extensive use of dynamic multimedia sounds and images.

With requirement of several plug-ins such as Macromedia® Flash, Macromedia® Shockwave, QuickTime to the Web browser, the website allows to play sound, animation, film clips, displaying of virtual tours, and other enhanced media display rich, engaging interactive Web content. Hong Kong Disneyland also launched a fingerprint scanning technology that would not require an overly tedious process of safeguarding its customers’ fingerprint data and privacy. Dubbed Ticket Tag, the ticketing system takes 50 points of a fingerprint—captured in numerical value—and runs the numbers through an algorithm and adds encryption to it.

The biometric system also detects physiological data “underneath the finger” to monitor blood flow and cartilages, so prosthetic or fake fingers are not allowed to pass through. With Ticket Tag, Annual Pass holders no longer need to produce a photo ID card to authenticate their identity. Furthermore, guests will be able to print photos from their digital cameras and mobile phone cameras using KODAK Picture Maker kiosks and order stations inside the park.

Roving photographers – using proprietary technology from Kodak Event Imaging Solutions (EIS) – will take family snapshots that guests can select and print before they leave. Kodak digital memory cards, traditional products and same-day processing are also offered at the park. Before leaving the park, ambassadors station at the entrances with wireless handheld devices to conduct survey and collect feedback from their visitors for further improvement. 4. ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES According to Laudon and Laudon (2006, p. 126), technology can be a double-edge sword.

It can be many benefits, and it can also create new opportunities for breaking the law or taking benefits away from others. 1. Issues related to staff Utilitarian Principles (Laudon and Laudon 2006, p. 137) stated, “Take the action that achieved the higher or greater value”. Generally, the openness to search information on website increase productivity and resources, but might also creates a situation of misuse of this technology among employees. Senior management feels obligate to monitor subordinate e-mail and internet use to minimize drains on productivity.

Subordinates might believe they should be able to use the Internet for short personal tasks in place of the telephone. A debate exists between the percentage of time contributed to work issue and personal matters. Nonetheless, to keep staff abreast of the Park’s fast-paced development, OP introduced intranet portal. In 2007/08, Ocean Park completed and opened a staff canteen where employees can rest and relax, and surf the intranet and socialize. By injecting intelligence into the present systems, processes and infrastructure, OP can work more effectively, with less wastage.

In another word, when OP is digitally interconnected by intelligent instruments and systems, when most manual process replaced by electronic processes, employee would not risk to lose their job, on the contrary, job enhancement can be implemented to nurture multi-tasking role and technology sensitive employees. Indirectly, it will be cost-cutting for organization and time-saving helping employees to achieve productivity and efficiency within working hours, subsequent create more personal time and achieve a well balance between work and home.

It may also create more job opportunities, which will help solve the social problems in the society. 2. Issued related to customers However, purchase online admission tickets for both Ocean Park and Disneyland, or being an annual pass holder, guest’s sensitive data such as ID number, credit card number, address and telephone numbers. These data flowing over the Internet can be monitored at many points. The activities of Web site visitors can be closely tracked using cookies and other Web monitoring tools. Both Ocean Park and Disneyland have strong privacy protection policies.

The database bank containing sensitive and confidential information of guests would be kept within the organization for purpose of payment and communication, but will not sell to someone else for other commercial use. As per fingerprint scanning technology Hong Kong Disneyland launched for annual pass holders, it would not require the customer’s entire fingerprint (image) and they have to implement a security structure to properly protect that data to avoid having to deal with privacy concerns. 5 CURRENT AND FUTURE IT INFRASTRUCTURE 5. 1 Current IT infrastructure OP has very rudimentary application of IT with majority manual handling.

It has four IT staffs handling over the whole Park’s IT infrastructure. Hong Kong Disneyland has more than 80 IT staff overlooking 100 servers in the Park, where most of the system are cloning from The Disney Company. Examples of the current system are included on the support of the organization, management and business processes. 5. 2Recommendation for future IT infrastructure 5. 2. 1 Database Management Systems (DBMS) A database management system (DBMS) is software that permits an organization to centralize data, manage them efficiently, and provide access to the stored data by application programs.

Relational DBMS such as Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL Server are recommended for OP. Microsoft Access is capable to develop desktop system application, creating data entry screens, organize data from databases into polished reports. A smarter solution would be a meticulous analysis covering up-to-the-minute market updates, customers’ preferences and requests, inventory details and so forth. A strong database would be valuable to determine the pattern of consumer behavior and staff efficiency, or to work out a practical strategy on promotion and productivity.

When technology identifies certain patterns for certain behavior, problems can be solved much more quickly. 2. MAXIMO Asset Management To maximize the current utilities and create long-term investment, MAXIMO Asset Management provides insight for all of the enterprise assets, their conditions and work processes, for better planning and control. The software help to manage all the assets deployment, specifications, monitoring, and calibration, costing and tracking from a single system, OP would benefit from the planning of inventory to meet maintenance demand precisely, and making the parts available at the right location when needed.

In addition, through this feature to manage the vendor contracts with comprehensive contract management support for purchase, lease, rental, warranty, rate, master, blanker and user-defined contracts, OP would be able to achieve scalable service oriented architecture with a flexible business process configuration platform that adapts to the changing business requirements and easily connected with the rest of the enterprise systems. 3. Building Management System(BMS)

Building Management System increases comfort level, security and saves resources (electricity, heating, conditioning, water and so on) while heating and climate control are the intelligent system more frequent use. Temperature sensors and outputs, such as on/off signals are connected into outstations around the building. This system is good for life support especially in exhibits and aquariums. In terms of security in a Park with outside guests, Customized Access Control provides physical control of people movement in the premises by restricting entry into specified areas.

For Electronic Surveillance purposes, indoor/outdoor type cameras are located at strategic points as per the challenges of the design and to maintain discreet positioning as required. These cameras are connected to either DVR or a server based system. 4. Human Resource Information System The Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is a software or online solution for the data entry, data tracking, and data information needs of the Human Resources, payroll, management, and accounting functions within a business.

An effective HRIS provides information on just about anything the company needs to track and analyze about employees, former employees, and applicants. With an appropriate HRIS, Human Resources staff enables employees to do their own benefits updates and address changes, thus freeing HR staff for more strategic functions. Additionally, data necessary for employee management, knowledge development, career growth and development, and equal treatment is facilitated. Finally, managers can access the information they need to legally, ethically, and effectively support the success of their reporting employees. 5. Record Retention System

Corporate IT centers are challenged to implement long-term archiving and data preservation systems to store company records while also being able to provide quick access to those records. For most businesses, records can be very expensive to store, inefficient to access what is needed, and certainly confusing on what can be destroyed or thrown out. Various types of records have different retention requirements. To put a further strain on IT professionals, compliance government regulation of keeping all documents for at least seven years require companies to electronically archive and store records for specific amounts of time.

These requirements can cause a major impact on a company’s business, and in some cases may lead to a company’s demise if not met properly. Record retention system solves the problem effectively. 6. Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) OP’s compartmentalized systems refrains the company to operate as a single entity. ERP collects data from various key business processes in various departments and storing the data in a single central data repository. This makes fragmented information in different systems to be shared across the firm and for different parts of the business to work more closely together.

ERP also speed communication of information throughout the company, help coordinate daily operation and provide valuable information for improving management decision making. If OP creates online shop selling its product in future, when a customer places an order, the data flow automatically to other parts of the company that are affected by them. The order transaction triggers the warehouse to pick the ordered products and schedule shipment. The warehouse informs the factory to replenish whatever has depleted. Customer service representatives track progress of the order through every step to inform customers about the status of their orders.

The accounting department is able to view payment once credit card payment is completed online. 7. Supply Chain Management Systems (SCM) Supply chain management (SCM) systems provide information to help suppliers, purchasing departments, and logistic companies share information about orders, inventory levels, and delivery of products and services so that they can source, produce, and deliver goods and services efficiently. The ultimate objective is to get the right amount of their products from their source to their point of consumption with the least amount of time and with the lowest cost.

With the helping of this system, OP can consider offering pick-up-service before departure for guest to shop at the first retail shop, without the need to carry the items around the park, will directly allow the guest to fully enjoy other attractions. Psychologically, guest will continue to shop without releasing how many items has been purchased. The minute when data is keyed at cashier, information automatically flow to the main shop or warehouse to prepare for the items upon collection by guest before departure at another entrance. . Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help OP to manage the relationships with customers. CRM systems provide information to coordinate all of the business proceeded that deal with customers in sales, marketing, and service to optimize revenue, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. This information helps OP to identify, attract, and retain the most profitable customers; provide better service to existing customers; and increase sales. 9.

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) Knowledge management systems (KMS) enable OP to better manage processes for capturing and applying knowledge and expertise. KMS supports processes for acquiring, storing, distributing, and applying knowledge, as well as processes for creating new knowledge and integrating it into the organization. Tacit knowledge is documented to become explicit knowledge. Through the process of learning, OP can sense and respond of their environments rapidly survive longer than those that have poor learning mechanism.

If each employee carries a wireless handheld device with storage of relevant knowledge, by searching the information from the KMS, everyone will be able to provide instant assistance to guest anywhere anytime, or to assist in a crisis. 10. RFID technology, Wireless Sensor and Global Positioning System (GPS) Wireless communication helps businesses more easily stay in touch with customers, suppliers, and employees and provides more flexible arrangements for organizing work. In addition to the wireless systems, radio frequency identification (RFID) systems and wireless sensor networks are having a major impact.

Ocean Park can enlist its own Satellite Security Systems, which integrate radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Single-use admission ticket can be replaced with a cost-effective, environmental-friendly and recyclable multiple use smart card with RFID technology to record guest name, credit card details etc. This smart card has an advantage where guest can use it for admission, shopping without the need to bring cash or credit card, which might increase revenue, psychologically; guest would continue spending without knowing how much has been spent.

In addition to it, this RFID technology will help parents to locate missing child and especially useful for tourist who do not read and speak local language. Furthermore, rental service of a wireless device which stored educational information for each exhibits, where each time when guest enters an animal exhibit, all pictures and names or educational information of the animals in the exhibit will appear on the screen of this device, which would be an innovative tool of edutainment. Tracking device using global positioning system (GPS) would help guest to better plan the itinerary.

The device can utilize the wireless environment to check Park’s information, schedule for each show or to reserve seats for restaurants or cafe in advance. Self-service automated ticketing station can be installed at entrances to alleviate crowd. Embedment of wireless sensors could be widely implemented to manage temperatures and lighting, doors or entry to sensitive area could be encrypted and protected by password. 5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6. 1 Conclusion of findings “Our political leaders are not the only one who have been handed a mandate for change.

Leaders of businesses and institutions everywhere have a unique opportunity to transform the way the organization works (new corporate value of IBM). To compete and sustain in the fast-growing world, creating an environment of innovation and maximizing productivity through flexibility and collaboration is necessary. It is important to identify the greatest challenges of innovation and business collaboration and how OP copes with these challenges. The IT mission is not just alignment – it is business improvement. The solution is to make leadership personal, and to take it beyond the corporate walls. . Recommendations In order to identify the area by which could be proactively improve will be setting up an IT steering committee headed by CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CEO. Raghunathan (1992) sump up that the involvement of the CEO on the IT steering committee improves the alignment with the organization objective, the perceive importance of IT and the effectiveness of the committee. The committee then continue to work on the strategic and direction of the business application on IT on an on-going basis. LIST OF REFERENCES APPENDICES End


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