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  • Orcoda (ODA) enhances the bumper ski season in the Australian Alps with its logistics tech
  • Orcoda Logistics Management System (OLMS) meets the needs of operators and ski resort visitors.
  • OLMS gives operators access to “big data” that helps optimise operations
  • Q1 results for FY2022/23 show massive improvement for Orcoda

After two years of bleak snow seasons in the Australian Alps, the crowds have returned to Mount Buller in numbers reminiscent of the resort’s 1980s heyday.

Over 420,000 people crowded the resort through the season, creating a challenging logistical scenario — not least in the transport arena.

Given the expense of the sport, and their understandable eagerness to get on the slopes, the last thing skiers and other visitors want is to be held up with transport issues. But moving thousands of people around a mountaintop every day demands careful planning, precise timing and the optimisation of all available resources.

Orcoda to the rescue

This year, for the first time, resort managers at Mount Buller had the benefit of big tech and big data on their side, with the introduction of Orcoda Logistics Management System (OLMS) technology to the transport system around the snow fields.

Created and deployed by Australian publicly listed company Orcoda (ODA), OLMS technology powers the Mount Buller Transportation app and associated operational platform utilised by transport operators.

While passengers can book, pay for and track their rideshare and shuttle journeys around the mountain using the app, the platform allows operators to plan, coordinate and optimise over 20,000 passenger movements per week in peak times.

Big data = big improvements

OLMS technology makes it easy for logistics operators to collect and analyse mountains of data for use in enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their transport operations.

The data can be used to plan vehicle and staff deployment, optimise scheduling and monitoring, and provide real-time tracking and notifications for both operators and passengers.

End-of-day reporting is automated, reducing the need for skilled staff to manage the process — a huge win in a market starved of qualified staff.

Further, usage statistics facilitate everything from route and vehicle selections to maintenance schedules, reducing wait times for staff and passengers, lowering fuel costs, and optimising staff rostering and placement.

The OLMS is particularly effective in making transport demand more forecastable for the operators as it allows variables like the weather to be factored into planning. Major events like blizzards can place a huge strain on the transport system, and planning for them before they happen is a great benefit of the OLMS technology.

Challenge accepted

Orcoda Managing Director Geoff Jamieson told The Market Herald that bringing the digital transformation to Australia’s snowfields was a challenge he and his team were pleased to accept.

“Our vision is to give our clients unprecedented access to the information they need to dramatically enhance visibility over their operations,” Mr Jamieson said.

“Our technology works to collect and analyse data to streamline every aspect of the client’s logistics, giving them the tools to markedly improve their logistics performance.”

Mr Jamieson said the peak of a busy ski season was a challenging setting in which to test the technology, and even through weather events and other unexpected surges, the system came through with flying colours.

“Mt Buller at the height of winter is a bit of a cauldron at the best of times,” Mr Jamieson said.

“We were really pleased with the take up of the app, with over 62,000 users, and the feedback from the operators is incredibly encouraging.”

A crowd pleaser

Mr Jamieson said that based on the success of the technology’s debut in Mt Buller, Orcoda had been inspired to leverage that success to explore other potential projects like other major ski fields, sporting events and anywhere there are large movements of people.

“We learned a lot from Mt Buller, and we’re ready to put it all into practice in other locations and situations,” Mr Jamieson said.

“The principles we applied there, and the technology we deploy, are equally applicable in a broad range of circumstances, from holiday transport to major events, to industry and community transport. And the data we gather at every new site will help us further improve our services and the services our clients provide.”

The tip of the iceberg

Mr Jamieson said that in terms of what Orcoda had to offer investors, the ski resort logistics technology was the tip of the iceberg.

“Our expertise in asset utilisation, service provision streamlining, compliance and reporting, among other things, is applicable across a huge range of industries.

“We are finding a growing demand for our technology and planning capabilities in assisted transport in the health and community sectors, including helping transport providers plan for electric vehicle usage.

“The ski resort experience is useful in that it demonstrates our capacity in a high-pressure environment, as well as showcasing the profitability of the company,” Mr Jamieson said.

“In the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, our cashflows increased by 114 per cent, and customer receipts climbed by 59 per cent to $6.8 million,” he told The Market Herald.

“It feels as though, like the skiers we’ve been helping to get around Mt Buller this year, we’re about to hit the heights.”

ODA by the numbers

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