- Case Study -
Discover how Morey's Piers uses Zavanta to streamline 55 operations manuals for their rides and attractions.
Discover how Morey's Piers uses Zavanta P&P software to streamline 55 operations manuals for their rides and attractions.
“Structured content is a game changer and time saver. It’s nice to have that backbone for the consistency of the documents” Ryan Protasi, Operations and Security Manager
Our Client: Morey's Piers
Morey's Piers, located on the boardwalk in the Wildwoods, New Jersey, is a classic seaside amusement park, family-owned and operated since 1969. Morey's Piers has over 100 rides and attractions spanning over 18 acres along six beach blocks and includes three amusement piers and two beachfront water parks.
Convenient to the major population centers of the Northeast, yet a world apart, Morey's Piers, along with Morey Hotels & Resorts, combines the pure joy of an amusement park, the sights and sounds of a classic boardwalk, outstanding accommodations, and the rhythm of beach life.
Operations Manuals for 55 Rides
Ryan Protasi, Operations and Security Manager, oversees the security team and assists in the management of the day-to-day operations of the amusement facilities. During the off-season, Ryan works with two other members of the management team in updating amusement ride training manuals.
Ride manufacturers provide a manual on how to operate and maintain the rides. Ryan’s team translates that information into language the front-line associates can understand to operate the ride and provide a safe and positive guest experience. Each associate reviews a paper copy of the manual during training. They are planning to shift to an electronic copy of the manual in the coming years.
- 55 rides. Some rides have multiple manuals, depending on how many positions there are.
- Manuals are updated and prepared every year, with most of the revisions occurring during the off-season.
“Painfully time-consuming, entire winter project.” Ryan Protasi
The seasonal employee population is comprised of domestic Associates, from age 14 and up, as well as international college students participating in a Summer Work Travel program, so Morey’s Piers has a high annual turnover rate. Effective employee training is critical. Manuals include critical information related to ride and rider safety and operational procedures.
The international students arrive over the first few months of the season, which allows training to be staggered throughout the season. The student workforce comes from up to 40 different countries, and many have never seen an amusement park ride before. The simple ability to include images in the operating procedure documents is a must.
For example, the word “restraint” has multiple meanings in the English language. In the case of Morey’s Piers, they are referring to a seat belt, lap bar, over the shoulder harness. Showing an image of the restraint or seat belt will help clarify the proper use and ensure guest safety.
Challenges with MS Word Docs
“We need to get out of Word. It’s just not working. It’s not efficient. We need something easier and more robust.”
Inconsistent formatting. Prior to implementing Zavanta, the team created the operation manuals in Word. The team spent many grueling hours writing, formatting, and reformatting in Word. The system was inefficient and frustrating.
Frustration inserting images. Inserting images caused many annoying issues – Word just did not cooperate. There was no way to standardize the size of the picture, and inserting images changed the flow page breaks and spacing for all content below the image. The team used an outline system with lettered and numbered bullet points, but this added another layer of complication when adding images.
Inefficient process for duplicating content. Certain sections of content were repeated across all 55 manuals. For example, most manuals include a common section on the proper way to check a Guest's height. This content was copied and pasted across the manuals, and there was no system to easily trigger an update to all manuals if this section had changes. Imagine copying and pasting an update into 55 Word documents and then having to reformat the bullet points. (Spoiler alert: structured content in Zavanta makes this easy.)
Solution Search Requirements
Morey’s Piers has 55 rides and attractions that ultimately result in 80+ separate manuals. They needed a software solution that allowed them to streamline the process. Time savings and ease of use were priorities. A few of their requirements included:
Content filtering. The ability to index content in all documents and allow for certain sections of content to be repeated across manuals. For example, most manuals include a section on the control panel of the ride. They need the ability to easily filter the system to find and update this content.
Version control. They needed the system to automate the update process, track changes by author, allow for comments, and track versions.
Add images. The ability to include images was critical in the work instructions to properly illustrate the procedures in the manual for each different ride or attraction.
Automated formatting. The team needed the ability to streamline the formatting of the manuals. They rely on bulleted lists, headings, and images to properly communicate procedures. It was imperative that the system absorb the time-consuming process of formatting the manuals.
The Results with Zavanta
Morey’s Piers began their journey with Comprose in 2012 on the desktop version of Zavanta. Once they migrated to the current cloud-based version, they could take better advantage of the structured content model and new automation features.
Their initial pain points related to the difficulties of working in MS Word. The key business results relate to how Zavanta has successfully solved those pain points. All of these have had a major impact on reducing frustration levels, simplifying the annual review and update process, and saving countless hours of time in the off-season.
The updates are still time-consuming due to the content being added or modified, but Zavanta makes the process easier and more efficient.
“Structured content is a game changer and time saver. It’s nice to have that backbone for the consistency of the documents”
Ability to change and update steps in outline form.
Many of the step-by-step procedures are written in outline form, which in MS Word used to be very clunky and time-consuming. Now with Zavanta and the structured content model, it is simple to write, update, or change. The system prompts the author to answer questions, and the content is captured and “chunked” in a way that allows the content to be treated as data. This allows the system to handle mass updates where one change feeds the same content that is repeated across manuals. The system also handles the required reformatting.
Imagine an outline in a Word document but you have to add a new section in the middle. Ryan Protasi explains, “Sometimes in Word it was impossible to add a new step 1 after the document was built.” Now with Zavanta, the structured content system handles the heavy lifting to update and reformat the document.
In this example below, it would be time-consuming to attempt to add a new Step 1 with an image and then have to manually reformat steps 2-4.
1.1 Daily Ride Inspection Example
1.1.1 Step 1
1.1.2 Step 2
1.1.3 Step 3
1.1.4 Step 4
Ability to add pictures.
Ryan’s team relies on a front-line workforce comprised of many international students from up to 40 different countries. Many new hires have never seen a roller coaster ride, and amusement-park-specific words like “Ferris wheel” aren’t easily understood by international associates. Pictures are critical.
Zavanta makes it easy and less time-consuming to insert, change, or delete an image in a manual. Pictures can easily be built into the step-by-step, structured content components of the procedures. Employees get a clearer understanding of the ride operations, inspection process, and safety procedures because of the use of images.
Automated and consistent formatting.
All the manuals that Ryan’s team creates have a consistent style, format, and flow. Zavanta’s guided authoring, structured content, and content overlays work together to automate and streamline the writing and formatting process.
The system prompts the writers for each section to ensure each manual is consistent. Ryan and his team can focus on the actual content and work instructions instead of formatting Word documents. For anyone who has spent hours trying to reformat a Word document in outline form and make changes to a detailed outline, this feature is priceless.
Since the manual for every ride is built in the same format, employees become familiar with the flow and presentation of the ride manuals, making it easier for them to comprehend the information contained within.
Structured Content Simplifies Updates
Zavanta's structured content model eased the time and energy required to update the manuals in the off-season. In the example above, we mentioned that over 50 of the manuals included a section on the proper way to check a Guest's height. Now, with Zavanta, any edits are automatically updated in any manuals with that section. No more copying and pasting 50+ times!
Streamlined and successful inspections and audits.
Morey's Piers conducts daily, weekly, monthly, and annual safety inspections. The maintenance team conducts a mechanical-centric daily inspection of all rides before they open to guests. Ride operators conduct a separate inspection that is more guest-centric and includes checking signage and communication devices. The new manuals have helped to streamline the process of training ride operators in how to perform a daily operations ride inspection.