PERMORMANCE MANAGEMENT PACKAGES
PFM Industrial provides a reporting kit to track snowmaking efficiency and provide reporting to pivot to next-level adaptability throughout the system. This new-tech addition to our services helps measure optimal snow production system-wide.
It is easy to see that low-e equipment has reduced the amount of energy used in the snowmaking process. Essentially, the industry is making more snow with less energy. The cost per unit of production is less and this is good for the bottom line of business.
To improve on the situation, managers must also recognize that lots of energy and money is still being left on the table. More importantly, wasted energy means less snow production – and every resort wants more snow. The good news is that reporting tools are available to identify and measure optimal productivity.
Click on image to enlarge: The dashboard above shows precisely what costs (energy, labor, water) should be at a given temperature. The gap of differential identifies exactly when temperature-based targets (Benchmarks) are met and when waste occurs. These KPI’s are reported in both real-time and historical time.
How Does This Knowledge Help Business?
When snowmaking managers have this information, they are enabled to (measurably) make better decisions. From operational adjustments like snow gun selection, compressor bypass, pump sequencing, labor or field communications; operating costs are reduced by 4%-20%. The measurement of performance insures that snowmaking is running at optimal production. The business benefits by making the most snow for the least cost, in all operating conditions.
Just like all accounting systems, raw data needs to be collected, computed and reported. This is accomplished with manual logs and spreadsheets or automatically with software. Our company provides training and software that helps your team benefit from these best practices. Contac us to receive a plan for your resort.
Since most resort managers come from a background in business finance, understanding the industrial process and KPI’s of snowmaking can be a mystery. The good news is metrics are available that quantify snowmaking performance with the same accounting methods as financials.
Similar to revenue producing departments like retail, the snowmaking process also measures performance with percentage margins. In both applications, the metric uses a benchmark with actual performance (or profit or productivity) measured against it. The differential is expressed as a percent. Below is an example for 12 hours of operations.
Click on image to enlarge: The dashboard above shows and example report over twelve (12) hours of operation.
Additionally, both departments require an accounting method that fairly compares the variables of peak and off-peak operations. For retail, the variable is time-based with weekdays and weekends. For snowmaking, the variable is temperature-based with warm and cold temperatures. Because percentage margins are weighted to the variables, managers use these KPI’s to measure and adjust productivity – in all operating conditions. This management method fairly compares the performance from hour to hour, day to day, MTD and YTD; even when the variables of revenues or temperatures are different.
How Does This Knowledge Help Business?
One of the biggest misnomers in snowmaking is that GPM is the tell-tale of performance. If this was true, then Gross Sales would be the tell-tale of retail performance. The proper accounting utilizes performance margins because they include the entire process – and not just the gross outputs. With this knowledge, snowmakers are able to maximize best practices, while minimizing the poor ones. Your business benefits with improved productivity by (measurably) making the most snow for the least cost.
Just like the accounting systems used in retail, raw data needs to collected, computed and reported for snowmaking. This is accomplished with manual logs and spreadsheets or automatically with software. Our company provides training and software that helps your team benefit from these best practices. Contact us to receive a plan for your resort.
Now that most snowmaking systems are upgraded with the resources of low-e snow guns, automation, VFD’s and better compressors; managers are in search of the next level of efficiency. Reality is that all of this equipment, including automation, needs human resources to operate it at best production. Therefore, the next level comes from maximizing performance of the human resources.
To ensure maximum performance requires a standard or benchmark to measure against. Once the benchmark is established, actual operations are compared to it and the differentials are reported as productivity margins. These KPI’s measure how efficient equipment is operated and how effective labor (and automation) reacts to temperatures and production opportunities.
Click on image to enlarge: For snowmaking, common KPI’s are Cost/Acre-Ft of Snow and kWh/KGals. In the report below, we see how benchmark analytics use margins to quantify the difference of actual and potential productivity.
Additionally, both departments require an accounting method that fairly compares the variables of peak
How do benchmark analytics take you to the next level of efficiency?
KPI’s measure actions of the entire process, so managers know the value of all practices, including best and worst practices. This awareness empowers decision-making and adjustments that:
Optimize technology of low-e snow guns and automation.
Close the gap that exists between actual and potential snow production.
Reduce energy waste by knowing exactly when it occurs.
Use statistical management methods that account for the effects of temperature, instead of habits.
Accelerate the pace of energy savings – by expanding frequency and longevity of best practices.
Your business immediately benefits as the manufacturing process (measurably) makes the most snow for the least expense. From adjustments such as snow gun selection, compressor bypass, pump sequencing, transportation and field communications; costs are reduced by 4%-20%. Depending on the size of the system, annual expenses decrease by $20,000-$100,000.
Just like benchmarks used in other departments, raw data needs to be collected, computed and reported. This is accomplished with manual logs and spreadsheets or automatically with software. Please contact us to for more performance reports that help you elevate snowmaking to the next level of efficiency and off-peak operations. For retail, the variable is time-based with weekdays and weekends. For snowmaking, the variable is temperature-based with warm and cold temperatures. Because percentage margins are weighted to the variables, managers use these KPI’s to measure and adjust productivity – in all operating conditions. This management method fairly compares the performance from hour to hour, day to day, MTD and YTD; even when the variables of revenues or temperatures are different.
IMPACT OF SNOWMAKING
The Impact of Snowmaking on the Ski Industry
With the record high temperatures in 2018, weather events and climate change, nowhere is the lack of precipitation more prevalent than at ski resorts worldwide. Regardless of location, northern hemisphere ski areas are gearing up for winter operations, and this summer has been a big investment year in snowmaking infrastructure and equipment.
Snowmaking is the production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a “snow gun,” on ski slopes. The systems consist of computerized control centers and an efficient network of piping and explosive power supplies to distribute large amounts of water all over the mountain. A deep, fundamental knowledge of electrical and hydro engineering, as well as physical system design and construction implementation, is essential to a successful installation.
The Fall season is always busy with travel to many of the resorts PFM services.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is investing $2 million in new infrastructure and equipment over a 3-year period, according to Snowbrains announcement last month. PFM Snowmaking, in partnership with Torrent Engineering & Equipment and SMI Snowmaking machines, has been laying the infrastructure and automation
management systems that will fuel snowmaking on the hill.
Sugar Bowl Resort has invested over $3 million in infrastructure upgrades and PFM Snowmaking has been an integral part of that push for maximizing the skier and snowboarder experience there.
Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah has undergone upgrades to its computer control system in 2018. PFM has made 3 onsite visits in 2018 alone.
Aspen Skiing Co. just announced on August 23, 2018 a substantial investment in their snowmaking at Snowmass, more than 30 acres of systems upgrades and installs. Vail is performing upgrades to the computerized control systems this Fall in preparation for the 2018/19 ski season.