Yardstick Case Study

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WHAT IS YARDSTICK? Yardstick is a suite of benchmarking tools that delivers "need to know" information for businesses to inform their decision making and improve their service delivery. Yardstick projects largely encompass parks, facilities and roads. An organisation's participation in Yardstick will ensure that it can compare and measure performance against others in the industry, providing a proven and sustainable delivery model with opportunities for benchmarking globally.

KEY ELEMENTS Yardstick provides tools to collect and compare both management and user information. Some elements which users may find useful are: Financial performance reviews and cost estimating Performance and system evaluation Long term trend data Access to local, national, and international benchmarking data Comprehensive reports for individual organisations Factual, independently audited information Cost/benefit analysis Visitor survey reporting The ability to measure gaps in levels of service

USER FEEDBACK “There is no eureka moments with Yardstick. It is a regular touchstone, a check-up on how we are going. It builds confidence with our key stakeholders including management and governance. When questions come in, we can refer to this survey work rather than relying solely on our observations.” – Palmerston North City Council

WHY YARDSTICK? Developed by people like you Yardstick is operated by Xyst, a company dedicated to supporting local government and other agencies in the sustainable planning and management of parks, open spaces and public facilities. The people behind Yardstick and Xyst have years of experience in the parks and recreation sector, from park rangers, facility managers, asset managers, to environment experts and architects. Yardstick is also supported by industry organisations around the world. Including: Recreation Aotearoa World Urban Parks Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Alberta Parks and Recreation Association British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association Parks and Recreation Ontario Ontario Parks Association

"YARDSTICK HAS 92 USERS ACROSS NEW ZEALAND, CANADA, EUROPE & AUSTRALIA." It keeps you on track Users have found that Yardstick has been a useful tool when it comes to strategic development and planning. One New Zealand based user noted that Yardstick enabled them to see a lag in accessibility to their natural spaces and as result made the strategic decision to extend a hiking track to accommodate for that accessibility. Yardstick gives users the ability to track their progress and service levels against fellow organisations or peer groups. Users find that the national data collected and made available by Yardstick has had an integral influence on operational and service conversations.

"Whenever I’m faced with providing information and reports to elected members, where there is a need for comparison or to add balance or a national industry average is required; Yardstick is always the tool that springs to mind to provide this level of detailed information. It is objective, independently audited, and therefore very robust. I am of the firm belief that Yardstick is the only relevant benchmarking tool park professionals should be using.” – Gore District Council

Yardstick Report Example

Customer satisfaction Through user survey (the Survey project) Yardstick identifies what is important to the user/customer and how well you are meeting their expectations. Service providers have the option to: Intercept surveys - Survey your customers before they leave the facility/park on an ipad or tablet. Online Completion – After their visit customers can complete an online survey at home. The survey is made up of questions that can be customised to your park or service and invidualised reports will be generated by Yardstick at the end of the survey period. This gives users the chance to note the gaps (and successes) in their services, this can also be compared to the data of fellow Yardstick users. Users have found that access to comments from the public in one comprehensive package/report has been helpful in programme planning and future design.

SO, WHO CAN USE YARDSTICK? Yardstick is for anyone in the business of managing parks, facilities and roads; whether you’re council operated or a territorial authority. Yardstick helps you to better understand your business and ensure you are delivering to international standards of service. If you are looking to improve services and operations in your park or facility, then Yardstick is the benchmarking tool for you. Visit yardstickglobal.org for more information

USER FEEDBACK “Yardstick user surveys help us understand what the average park user is thinking in an unsolicited or "normal" situation. It picks up the little things that you might otherwise miss in the focused and specific consultations of a major capital development consultation…. We get to hear from people that might not typically respond to a call for feedback or ideas.” – Palmerston North City Council

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