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The London Eye as a Tourist Attraction Case Study


Examples of the performance objectives of the London Eye from the point of view of the operational performance, for example, the customer requirements

London is a stunning city with varied architectural beauty suggestive of the ancient world. In addition to the architectural beauty of features like the Westminster Bridge in the backdrop and the Westminster Abbey, we have the London Eye. London Eye offers a breathtaking spectacle view and experience, which makes it a popular fixture in travel schedule to any person visiting the city of London (Hess, 2010, p. 66).

David Marks and Julia Barfield was the architect couple that pioneered the idea of London Eye. Their initial idea envisioned a Ferris wheel where persons could sit and take pleasure in a stunning view of London. The financial funding of the London Eye project was by British Airways and the Tassauds Group, which were also the managers from since then.

The project of London eye came to be by the contributions of other people and construction companies, which include steelwork contractor, Mace, consulting Engineers Tony Gee, & partners who had the responsibility of designing the foundations of the project. The designing and construction of the London Eye project took seven years to be completed having its formal opening on the December of 1999. The then Prime Minister Tony Blair overseen the opening ceremony, and it was later became open to the public in March 2000 (Paolo, 2010, p. 96).

London Eye as a tourist attraction tool in London city has several performance objectives from the point of view of the operational performance. Performance objectives refer to the ideology of carrying out things in the right way, which includes provision of error free services and goods, which will ensure customer satisfaction.

The customer satisfaction in terms of quality goods and services can come in different perspectives meaning that performance objectives come in five main dimensions. The London Eye is tourist attraction equipment in London and that effect; it has certain degrees of operational performance that it has to meet while serving its customers. Operational performance refers to the company’s performance evaluated against prescribed or standard indicators of efficiency, effectiveness, and environmental obligations like productivity, cycle time, regulatory compliance, and waste reduction (Kester, 2003, p. 81).

First, we look at the dimensions of performance objectives, which explore the customer satisfaction in terms of the goods, and services a company offers their customers. Customer satisfaction will come from the speed aspect, which refers to the responsibility of doings things fast to reduce the time between the availability of the product or service and the ordering of the product that gives the consumer of the product a speed advantage (Dowd, 2008, p. 73). In the case of London Eye, the performance objective dimension of speed is abundantly put to mind by having fixed schedules of the operations of the wheel.

The London Eye is open daily except on Christmas day from 10.00 in the morning to 9.30 in the night. This is mostly in the summers and during the winter season; the last slot is 5.30 to 6.30 pm. This fixed schedule ensures that customers are aware of the operations of the London eye and can, therefore, plan in relation to their travel. The management of the London eye has also made it possible for its customers to book online for the services of the wheel. These online bookings have made it possible for customers to know when their journey will take place, and since there is a fixed schedule, the customers receive their service at the right time. This fulfills the performance objective of speed, which calls for minimal time between the times the customers orders for the service and the delivery of the service (Lambot, 2002, p. 78).

The second dimension of a performance objective is dependability. This refers to carrying out things in the scheduled time for customers to obtain their services and goods when the management made the promise of delivery. When it comes to customers’ satisfaction, the management needs deliver the goods or services at the exact time it promised the customer. The London requires the customers who intent to board the wheel buy tickets in advance. On buying the tickets, the customer will have to queue and wait for the customer’s allocated time to board the wheel.

The management offers its customers with a sense of dependability because it is a known fact that the wheel takes thirty minutes to make one rotation. For instance, a customer will buy a ticket knowing how many people are before him or she and this will enable the customer to calculate the exact time they board the wheel. The defined time for the wheel to rotate offers the customers dependability on when they get their service. Dependability of the London eye is so high to the extent that customers queue for almost four hours waiting for their service, which is always on time. People come from far places of the world to experience the stunning London Eye, and this would not have been possible if the management did not offer any dependability. Dependability is a paramount element in customer satisfaction (Goel, 2008, p. 54).

There is the dimension of flexibility in the performance objectives of any company. Flexibility refers to the clear result of responding to a dynamic environment in the organization. This is the ability of the organization to transform their services and products or the way of business operations with the present environment. In the case, of London eye since its opening it has been flexible in that it does its business so at meet the objective of customer satisfaction in line with its services.

During the high season, which is, normally when the weather is exceptional, the wheel changes its closing time for the rotations to around 9.30 in the night, which allows for more sets of rotations. This is usually during the summer time where there are several people on holidays in London. During major holidays, the London eye has the flexibility by allowing its customers to have their ideas of fun carried on the wheel. For instance, during the Valentine’s Day the wheel lets its customers board the wheel as couples and offer romantic experiences for couples on this lover’s day (Tonchia & Luca, 2010, p. 41).

The flexibility objective is present in the London eye tourist-attraction tool by the activities that take place on the wheel. Among the other possibilities, the Eye can offer to its customers is the carrying out of momentous events on the wheel. This includes occasions like weddings, civil partnerships, and other functions.

Since its opening, the Eye has hosted 433 civil partnerships and weddings, in addition to the spectacular New, Years Eve fireworks, which is normally at a fee. Families and groups can also hire the private capsules to have their celebrations during the Christmas period. This flexibility has increased the popularity of the London eye among the tourists and other people visiting London. In addition, the London eye has arrangements for specific ticket holders like school bookings, flexible tickets, disabled tickets, flexible fast track tickets and many more (Steve & Marcus, 2007, p. 62).

One notable operations objective is cost, and this is where companies compete most. It is common evidence that low costs are a universal, attractive objective to customers. This objective is attainable by producing low cost goods, which can compete with other products in the market. This works well in situations that have many competing products in the market. The companies have the duty of producing low cost goods but of the same high quality so that customers do not end choosing the alternative products and services.

In the case of London Eye, it has customer friendly prices even though it is the only company with such services in the whole world. The customer turnover is an absolute indication that the prices of the services are low, and the customers get the worth of their money with the services they get. For customers to keep on coming back to the wheel, means that the services offered are at par, and the cost is worthwhile for the services. This in turn, ensures customers’ satisfaction as the services provided by the London eye match their costs.

All the above dimensions of performance objectives lead to a greater customer satisfaction, which is a requirement for all the operational objectives of any company. High quality or uniqueness of services of the London Eye means fewer errors or mistakes are made by each service offered to customers. Fewer mistakes or errors will mean the company will require less time to correct these mistakes, confusion, and customer irritation. High quality of services profoundly affects the customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to efficient and stable services by the company. On the other hand, speed of delivery of services supports the flexibility of the business services to the customers’ needs and demands.

What is the capacity of the London Eye?

The capacity of London eye refers to the number of people the eye can accommodate at a time. In this case, we look at the capacity of the eye in one complete rotation. The construction of the London eye saw the complete build up of thirty-two futuristic capsules with the capacity of each capsule accommodating twenty-five passengers. In total, the Eye can accommodate up to 800 passengers on board in one complete rotation. The rotation of the London eye takes about thirty minutes, and this means that, in a single day, the London eye can accommodate up to 10,000 people. Being the most popular paid-for tourist attraction in the UK, the London Eye reports visits of over 3.5 million people annually and this population includes people from all over the world.

The construction of the wheel that accommodates the observers took over a year and a half to be complete. The observation wheel used over 1700 tons of steel, and 3000 tons of concrete to lay the foundation. The capsules with a 25-passenger capacity were conveyed from France by train via the Chunnel. For the construction to accommodate twenty- five passengers, its shape is egg like being eight meters long with a weight of 500kgs. This makes the London eye accommodate approximately ten thousand people in a single day.

Given an annual number of 3.5million visitors what is the anticipated utilization?

Utilization of a product or service refers to the utility of the product. Utility is the economic life of service, product, which is normally, measured in line with the time the product, or service will be operating. Utility is the proportion of the available time that a piece of the machine or system is operating, and the utility is usually expressed as a percentage.

Formula for utilization is operating hours * 100 / available hours. The construction of the London eye involved the use of strong and durable material, which ensures the reliability of the wheel. The parts of the wheel have materials that can sustain its daily rotations, which are approximately over 30 rotations a day. The rim of the wheel has a diameter of 122 meters, which is about 200times the size of a bicycle wheel. It has eighty Spokes that connect the rim with the spindle to enable its rotation. These materials mean that the wheel has a long utility life for the machine is still in use more than ten years after its opening.

This prolonged utilization of the London eye has been made possible by the constant upgrade programs, which require about 12.5million Euros to install the repairs. In the program, there put will removal of each capsule, and a non-functional capsule in position until the repair of the last capsule. The constant use of the London eye requires these constant repairs to ensure there is no exposure of customers to any health hazards. It is, therefore, evident that the London eye has a lifetime economic life, because equipment has to serve people for an extraordinarily long time. It is a monumental investment by the London city.

Discuss ways in which this revenue/performance gap could be reduced

Performance/ Revenue gap refers to the trend, occurrence, or incident that indicates a company’s performance falls short of the expected presentation levels especially when the company’s management ignores growing technical evidence supporting other technical interventions or when the manager’s do not attain the benchmarked goals. This performance gap is usually present in most companies especially after the beginning of its operations.

The creation of a certain company comes with set targets and goals that the company needs to achieve and in most case it usually in set durations. These set targets and goals govern the manner in which the company will conduct its operations, the services it will provide, and the price or costs of its services or products. After the company goes in to operation, the management will have to carry out evaluations on the level to which the company is meeting its objectives whose consequence is the revealing of the performance gap.

Gap analysis is a tremendously helpful tool for helping the marketing managers of a company to decide upon marketing tactics and strategies. Gap analysis will enable the marketing managers to come up with ways in which the performance or revenue gap can be reduced. In the London Eye, case, there is a notable gap performance, as it has not met its expected revenue targets and there are ways in which the management can close the gap. Like any other product or service, the management will have to look at issue like the costs, the nature of the services and products offered the flexibility of operations, and other matters (Hawkes, 2000, p. 67).

The main way in which the management of London Eye can bridge the revenue gap is to reduce the costs of the services they offer. As seen in the above discussions, high costs of a product tend to push potential customers away as they seek other alternatives options. This will reduce the customer turnover because of the high costs that the company is putting to the market. London eye is a tourist attraction, and it is a spectacular tool in the economy of London.

This has made the management set high prices because it attracts many visitors from all over the world. This, in turn, will create a revenue gap because the tool will register low visitor turn up. To reduce the performance gap, the management of London eye offers friendly prices to its customers to enable more people to visit the wheel. The high customer visits will result in high revenues, which will reflect in the company meeting its set revenue objectives (Neely, 2002, p. 67).

Another method in which the company can bridge the performance or revenue gap is to explore alternative revenue streams. The London eye management can come with more ways in which it can collect revenue apart from the usual ways. This can be by introducing exceptional capsules, which persons can hire for their occasions like anniversaries, weddings, Valentine’s Day celebrations, and even researches.

These distinctive capsules can be for people who are willing to pay an extra coin for the service and enjoy their privacy while celebrating their unique occasions. The management can increase the time in which the wheel is to operate to late in the night as it offers an even better sight of the city. For a company to achieve its targets, it should explore ways in which it can improve its revenue collection or its performance levels.

We have the flexibility of the operations of the company as a way of bridging the gap in revenue. Flexibility in this sense means the capability of the company to offer other services from the usual or offering the usual services in a more attractive way. London eye can be flexible in its services by even offering services in the night or increasing the speed at which the wheel rotates.

The London Eye can increase the speed of its rotations from 30 minutes to a smaller period to increase the number of rotations in a day, which will in turn increase the revenue collected in a day. The decisions made in the initial stages of the operations do not have to stick for the rest of the economic life of the equipment. The management should be flexible in its decisions so that it can cater for any inevitable changes in the future life of the machine. With all the above methods, the London eye management will be in a position to reduce the gap in revenue/performance of the company.

Table of information on operations of London Eye

Capacity Annual visitations Special occasions
800 people in a rotation (32 capsules accommodating 25 passengers each). 3.5million people 433 weddings and civil marriages

References

Dowd, S., 2008, The London Eye Mystery. New York: David Fickling Books.

Goel, T., 2008, Performance Appraisal and Compensation Management: A Modern Approach. New York: PHI Learning Pvt.

Hawkes, J., 2000, London 360:̊: views inspired by British airways London eye. London: HarperCollins Illustrated.

Hess, N., 2010, London Eye: Score & Parts. New York: Faber & Faber.

Kester, R., 2003, The essential eye. New York: HarperCollins.

Lambot, I., 2002, Reinventing the Wheel: The Construction of British Airways London Eye Conceived and Designed by Marks Barfield Architects. New York: Watermark.

Neely, A. D., 2002, Business performance measurement: theory and practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Paolo, T., 2010, Business Performance Measurement and Management: New Contexts, Themes and Challenges. London: Springer.

Steve, R., & Marcus, R., 2007, Eye: the story behind the London Eye. London: Black Dog.

Tonchia, S., & Luca, Q., 2010, Performance Measurement: Linking Balanced Scorecard to Business Intelligence. New York: Springer.

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