Long Ridge Glinding Club
Long Ridge Gliding Club Case study by Shirley Johnston The Long Ridge Gliding Club is based at an old military airfield on the crest of a ridge some 1200 feet above sea level. A bar and catering services are provided and inexpensive bunkrooms are available for members who may need to stay overnight. The Club has a current membership of approximately 300 who range in flying ability from novice to expert. The club has two different types of customers: club members and casual flyers who come for one-off trial flights, holiday courses and corporate events etc.
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The Club has six employees: a full-time flying manager, a steward, two part-time office administrators, a part-time mechanic and a cleaner. In the summer months the club employs winch driver (for launching the gliders) and two flying instructors. Throughout the year, essential tasks such as getting the club’s gliders out of the hangar, working the winches, bringing back gliders and providing look-out cover are undertaken on a voluntary basis by club members. It takes at least five experienced club members to launch one glider.
The club’s five qualified instructors, two of whom are the paid instructors in the summer, provide instruction in two-seater gliders for club members and casual flyers. The club charges ? 70. 00 for each trial flight and the average duration is 10 minutes but because of weather conditions, it may be as low as 2 minutes. When club members fly, they are expected to arrive by 0930hrs and be prepared to stay all day to help other club members and any casual flyers to launch whilst they await their turn to fly. On a typical summer’s day there might be ten club members and four casual flyers.
Club members would each expect to have three flights during a normal day with durations of 2 to 40 minutes per flight depending on weather conditions. They are quite understanding when weather conditions change and they are not able to fly. Last year there were 180 days when flying took place, 140 in the summer season and 40 in the winter. Club members are charged ? 8. 00 winch fee for each launch and if they are using one of the Club’s gliders, they are charged an additional 50p per minute that they are airborne.
Bookings for the trial flights and the Club’s general administration are undertaken by the Club’s administrator who is based in a cabin near to the car park and who works most weekday mornings between 0900hrs and 1300hrs. An answerphone takes messages at other times. The launch point is out of sight of the cabin and is approximately 1 mile away and a safe walking route is signposted. Club members can access the airfield and drive to the launch point at any time but the casual flyers may have to stand and wait for some time until a Club member has the time and inclination to find out what they want.
Even when a flight has been pre-booked, casual flyers may then be kept waiting on the exposed and often windy airfield for lengthy periods until sufficient Club members are present. Sometimes, they might be turned away altogether because of the weather or because there are insufficient numbers of Members to launch a glider. The casual flyers are encouraged to assist with routine tasks but often seem reluctant. After their flight, the casual flyers must find their own way back to their cars.
Income from the casual flyers is seen by the Members to be small compared to the total of the membership income (including launch fees) but the Club’s management committee members view casual flying as a loss leader to generate club membership which costs ? 350. 00 per annum. In the past, the Club generated surpluses of around ? 10,000. 00 per annum which was used to upgrade facilities. However, insurance costs have risen dramatically due to accidents involving the crashing of four gliders in the last two years causing severe damage and the deaths of one member and one casual flyer and serious injury to three other members.
The Club’s committee is under some pressure from the members to end trial flights because they reduce the number of flights that members can achieve in a day. Some members have complained that they sometimes spend most of their time at the club in launching casual flights, missing out flying themselves. Although they provide a useful source of income for the hard-pressed club (around 700 were sold in the previous year), only a handful have been converted into memberships. You are to act as an advisor to the Chairman of the club and write a report which covers the following points
Questions Q1. Describe how you would advise the chairman of the gliding club to arrive at an acceptable strategy for the club. 10 marks Q2. What advice would you give to the chairman so that he could improve the operation of the club’s activities appropriately to satisfy the key stakeholders. In your answer you should consider the following operations design areas:- (i) Process design. (ii) Product and service design. (iii) Layout and flow. (iv) Process technology. (v) Job design and work organization. (vi) Capacity90 marks