Business Services Management performs two kinds of functions:
(1) Year-round: We manage the Project budget process and other administration needs. This area covers support of vendor contracting, including direct responsibility for contracts for the playa shuttle bus, rented office buildings, and rented golf carts.
(2) On-playa: We manage the Center Camp Cafe, CampArctica/Ice Sales, and the playa Commissary.
See the Admin report for discussion of the budget process. Community Services discusses the Shuttle Bus service, and separate reports deal with the Cafe, ice sales, and Commissary.
As vendor relationships span the years, our year-round work simplifies. At this point, the relationship with vendors for building rentals and golf carts consists simply of telling them what we need, and agreeing when items will be delivered and picked up. They treat us like any other professional customer; we return their items in good condition and on time. Similarly, our shuttle vendor has its playa operations well-enough defined that we simply check in about any problem from the previous year (this year: none), and we make appropriate updates to the contract.
Our success with managing our golf cart fleet on the playa also has continued to develop. This year, the maintenance team created a headlight solution based on simple attachment of equipment to each cart before it was released out into the city. The harnesses were then removed after the event and stored for next year. Again in 2004, we lost no carts to theft or vandalism, and our maintenance and repair costs were the lowest yet.
Departments like Emergency Services still rely on golf carts as an imperfect solution due to their inherent unreliability and inconsistency under heavy use in playa conditions. We will continue to explore alternative playa transportation options for these functions.
A change in leadership in the Business Services Department will cause a change in who manages specific related projects. Some contracts are being redistributed and Project Management routed to new departments for 2005.