What’s your Score

What’s your Score

Based on – A Winning Culture Keeps Score – John Case, and Bill Fotsch – Harvard Business Review.

So, if you, as Mountain Ops Director, asked your Lift Maintenance Manger – What is the score of your department’s culture? What would you get back as an answer? Would it be an answer that you thought was meaningful? What does winning mean?

In sports, it is very clear who has the better score wins. In a ski area, it is not as clear. More profits? A higher stock price? How can I affect those? Maybe “winning” just means making my KPIs—or not getting laid off. Employees can’t get excited about winning, because they never know whether they’re winning or not. They need a score to tell them.
So, the next question is, are you keeping score? Many of you may have attended one of my sessions at RMLA or LMS over the past couple of years on Using Metrics to Improve Staff Engagement, where I explain the value of metrics and how to establish metrics, or a scoring system, that works for you. Here are connections to my prior writing on metrics.
Much of this post comes from some great articles from Harvard Business Review. The points made in the article of what makes a number key are so important.  It is critical that the number must tie to something financial that has meaning, not just being under budget as the classic maintenance department example of where being under budget was king, so there was a deep resistance to spend money on maintenance to enable generation of more revenue.
Important that the number not come from above but as the article states from the team and stakeholders.
The number has to be relevant now; it is not forever. You can adapt as things change.
The article makes reference to open book companies without a full explanation of what that means. Lot’s of ski areas don’t fall in that category, and that can be difficult.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


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Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

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Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.