Phoenix Parks and Recreation manages more than 41,000 acres of desert parks and mountain preserve land as one of the largest geographical cities in the continental United States. The over 5 million citizens in the greater Phoenix area enjoy access to 186 parks, 32 community recreation centers, and 29 pools among other facilities. To handle the large demand for access to their sites and programs, the department needed a software partner that was able to manage its many facilities, integrate with existing systems, and improve communications.
Collaboration at Scale
ACTIVENet helps Phoenix Parks and Recreation manage hundreds of facilities. “We’re basically seven cities under one umbrella,” Lani Auwen says. “We have a lot of territory, and we have a lot of parks.”
Accommodating online booking and permits for such a large service area is no easy task, but Auwen worked closely with ACTIVENet to make improvements that would better serve her city. Now the department uses ACTIVENet to manage large-scale permits and has gone online with some of its reservation offerings.
The addition of online Facility Reservations and Specialty Permits has saved countless hours of staff time, according to Auwen. In the past year, customers have reserved over 15,000 hours and booked over 5,400 permits online.
“The general public demands easy access to programming and facility usage. ACTIVENet helps us fulfill our goal.”
One of ACTIVENet’s strongest selling points for Phoenix Parks and Recreation is its many integrations with different parks and rec offerings. “ACTIVENet is integrated into a large portion of what we do,” Auwen says.
ACTIVENet features, like Point of Sale and Data & Insights, are woven throughout Phoenix’s systems. These integrations allow Phoenix to efficiently create and deliver reports across departments including weekly field staff lists for field rovers, classroom schedules, and annual budget reports.
“ACTIVENet’s ability to integrate across many platforms allows its customers to adapt to each situation and have integration that smoothly interacts between finance, staff, external customers, and internal customers.”
The ACTIVENet Marketing & Communications tool is one the Phoenix Parks and Recreation department “can’t live without,” according to Auwen. The department uses templates to give its communications a cohesive look and feel. Consistent branding is built into their templates so fewer people need to touch each communication. It’s as easy as draft, schedule, and automate.
“When we send out an email, we have a half-million customers. We need to be able to schedule when different blasts go out,” Auwen explains. “In the communications tool, we do class updates, reminders, and just a whole array within that tool.”
During the pandemic, the department transmitted all its COVID-19 announcements seamlessly through the communications tool. ACTIVENet made it easier for customers to stay informed on closings and protocols and continue to receive updates when facilities reopen.
Since implementing ACTIVENet in 2014, Auwen has become one of the software’s most active ambassadors. She teaches classes throughout Arizona to help cities update their business processes to use ACTIVENet more efficiently.
Her pursuit of more efficient program use led her to the ACTIVENet System Optimization process. Auwen didn’t expect the process to make a big difference for Phoenix operations, but she was surprised about the results and now recommends it to other cities.
“The Optimization process showed us enhancements we didn’t think we needed because we had never used a segment. Now we’ve found we can’t live without it,” Auwen says.
But Auwen didn’t stop there in her quest for improvement. She visits ACTIVENet customers during her travels to discover how other cities around the U.S. use the tool.
“ACTIVENet is my hobby,” Auwen says. “All over the United States, if ACTIVENet is in a city, I schedule a meeting because maybe they’re doing something I don’t know about.”
“Optimization was a wonderful tool. Phoenix recommends it.”