Range booking system

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Hauptman

Range booking system

#1 Post by Hauptman »

When an affiliated club tries to book a range for a club shoot, why can't it be done on line in the same way that a holiday or a hotel room is booked, ie display a calendar with available dates for each range highlighted in one colour, unavailable dates already booked in another colour. Then as soon as the booking is made and paid, the calendar is immediately updated.
John25

Re: Range booking system

#2 Post by John25 »

Ah, this idea was submitted years ago when the online booking system was first suggested.

When I left, it was still on the wish list but cost of programing was stopping it going forward.
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Individual
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Re: Range booking system

#3 Post by Individual »

John25 wrote: When I left, it was still on the wish list but cost of programing was stopping it going forward.
?? it really shouldn't cost very much to do :roll: . There are plenty of free-to-use appications out there that could satisfy most (if not all) of the requirements. Out of interest who is "in charge" of all things website at the NRA?
IainWR
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Re: Range booking system

#4 Post by IainWR »

The problem is that to make such a system work you have to put the entire range booking system on an electronic basis. Now, given that Bisley is pretty much unique, the number of customers for the software is going to be in low single figures. Hotel booking software sells by the million copies. Also, the range booking problem is not amenable to computer solution. What computers are good at is taking a large number of simple inputs and processing them into many different outputs. The range booking problem is the exact opposite. There are a large number of complex and dissimilar inputs, many external factors that influence the solution, and only one output. This is of course doable, but it is extremely expensive to program and there are no economies of scale. My analysis is that it would be nice to have but not such an advantage over pencil and paper as to be worth the time and expense.

In overall charge of IT and suchlike is the Head of Support Services.

Iain
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dodgyrog
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Re: Range booking system

#5 Post by dodgyrog »

IainWR wrote:The problem is that to make such a system work you have to put the entire range booking system on an electronic basis. Now, given that Bisley is pretty much unique, the number of customers for the software is going to be in low single figures. Hotel booking software sells by the million copies. Also, the range booking problem is not amenable to computer solution. What computers are good at is taking a large number of simple inputs and processing them into many different outputs. The range booking problem is the exact opposite. There are a large number of complex and dissimilar inputs, many external factors that influence the solution, and only one output. This is of course doable, but it is extremely expensive to program and there are no economies of scale. My analysis is that it would be nice to have but not such an advantage over pencil and paper as to be worth the time and expense.

In overall charge of IT and suchlike is the Head of Support Services.

Iain
And their name would be???????
Purveyor of fine cast boolits.
All round good guy and VERY grumpy old man.
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Individual
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Re: Range booking system

#6 Post by Individual »

IainWR wrote:The problem is that to make such a system work you have to put the entire range booking system on an electronic basis. Now, given that Bisley is pretty much unique, the number of customers for the software is going to be in low single figures.
Iain
Iain, from much hard-won experience I know that these problems are often much more complicated than they first appear. There would always be some risk attached to moving away from paper. So you could well be right that a standard booking calendar wouldn't work. What would you say makes the range booking system unique? from say booking any other kind of resource?

If there was an on-line calendar for each range facility that both range office and members could view, with control over who could reserve/confirm/update it wouldn't that be a possible solution?

By the way I'm not even sure there are any 'problems' with the current system. Simply transferring the paper system to an 'online version' doesn't seem worthwhile unless other benefits can be had by doing it.
rox
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Re: Range booking system

#7 Post by rox »

Individual wrote:What would you say makes the range booking system unique? from say booking any other kind of resource?
Things like separation and safety templates for simultaneous shooting at different distances with various falling-back regimes.

..
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Re: Range booking system

#8 Post by Individual »

rox wrote:
Individual wrote:What would you say makes the range booking system unique? from say booking any other kind of resource?
Things like separation and safety templates for simultaneous shooting at different distances with various falling-back regimes.

..
True - if required, the rules would be hard to automate.

But if the system was overseen by the range office staff anyway, they would apply the same rules as they do now.
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Re: Range booking system

#9 Post by rox »

Individual wrote:True - if required, the rules would be hard to automate.

But if the system was overseen by the range office staff anyway, they would apply the same rules as they do now.
Isn't that how it works now?

..
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Re: Range booking system

#10 Post by Individual »

rox wrote:
Individual wrote:True - if required, the rules would be hard to automate.

But if the system was overseen by the range office staff anyway, they would apply the same rules as they do now.
Isn't that how it works now?

..
Yes. Although how well people think it "works" can vary.

There is no way for anyone to know what might be available and/or request/reserve a booking without contacting the range office. That uses up useful range office time, and ties up the phone whilst 'Is it available on Friday? / no it isn't / you could have a week next Wednesday/ no that's no good I'm washing my hair/how about Tuesday the 12th' conversations take place.

I've been in the range office waiting to book in or resolve a query when such protracted negotiations are carried out over the phone and its frustrating for everyone. An online calendar of existing bookings / available slots might even lead to an increased perception of customer service (even if very little changes under the covers).
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