Adventure Experiences, Inc.
Challenge Courses have been in existence in the United States since the 1970’s. Since this time they have been used for the purpose of experiential education. Experiential education was originally based on long expeditions to create artificial stresses and obstacles for participants to overcome and gain confidence. Educators realized they could offer the same type of stresses and challenges in a shorter amount of time creating the first challenge course. These courses were originally constructed of rope, wood, trees, and cable hence the title – ropes course. The industry continues to grow in popularity and program development. Corporations and athletic programs utilize these courses to build teamwork, trust, communication, and problem solving. The industry has evolved into utilizing the challenge courses for therapeutic recreation, rehabilitation, and counseling.
Adventure Experience, Inc., (AEI) one of the original full service challenge course construction companies, is recognizes nationally as well as internationally for its expertise in designing and building state of the art challenge courses. AEI offers services which include: consultation, design, construction, inspection, facilitator training and certification, and challenge course equipment, hardware and material sales. AEI is a Professional Vendor Member of the ACCT (Association for Challenge Course Technology). Tim Kempfe M.A. Ed., director / owner of AEI, has served ACCT since its inception. He has served on several committees which field tested many of the systems and equipment the use today, and has served as President of ACCT from 2000-2006.
AEI also offers zip line canopy design and construction and challenge course inspection services.
AEI approached Extensitech with an existing database, built by another developer, in FileMaker 5, from 1997. It was a major pain point that the software had never been maintained or upgraded for their database so even the simplest of tasks, such as adding new users, acquiring more licenses, developing to more modern needs, we impossible.
AEI and their workflow steps had outgrown the system and the outdated feature sets prevented AEI from capitalizing on maximum efficiency. One unique challenge AEI had was that they needed to migrate their legacy data into a new system, so they could take advantage of new feature sets. This was an extremely difficult task as many of the pieces of data they had previously stored in the database were typed in memo boxes and not a ‘trackable’ part of their data. This lack of ‘trackable’ data and the data that they hadn’t been collecting at all was affecting their abilities to stay organized, on-task and profitable.
Extensitech built AEI a robust abstract solution using xBase as the foundation, giving AEI a modern version of a database with unique and custom added feature sets that were needed for them to grow and become more organized when pursuing large projects and complicated pricing models.
Extensitech was also able to migrate their old data so that all their historic legacy data existing in one central file. As users got used to the new database, they were able to easily create and repeat equipment and hardware lists and order materials in a “job specific” way. This process was a valuable money saving feature set to AEI because they did not have to keep so much inventory on hand. It also helped them evaluate their pricing models and see what their margins actually were.
Through this unique process and the business analysis of Extensitech, AEI realized they needed to be charging a significantly higher price for many of their materials and services, thus becoming a more profitable company while still being able to charge competitive and affordable rates for design, inspection, hardware, etc.