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TO: Analysis Team

FROM:Mr. D. Vitale

SUBJECT: Ticket Operations

I am the executive director of the National Cow Calling Association (NCCA), an organization of over four thousand institutions dedicated to the finest in Cow Calling competitions.

The NCCA’s responsibilities range from rule legislation and enforcement, to officiating and administration.Many of the day to day activities have become a bit muddled and we are seeking help in getting things back on track.Your group has been selected to study our ticket operations for some future reimplementation.I understand you come armed with some new tool called “Data Flow Diagrams.”We are a little unsure about you using these new ideas on our system so we would like to start out with just once function of our organization…how we coordinate the sale and distribution of tickets to the famed “Final Four” tournament.

Every year the National Cow Calling Association hosts a season ending tournament that includes sixty-four of the best Cow Calling teams in the country.Several thousand Cow Calling teams compete through a grueling twenty-five plus Calling matches in an attempt to qualify for this tournament.

Formerly, the tournament consisted of only sixteen teams, but a few years ago, the member institutions voted to expand the tournament format to take advantage of television revenue.

The high point of the tournament comes when the top team from each region of the country advances to the climactic “Final Four” for the National Championship round.Due to the immense popularity of this event, the finals are hosted in the largest barns available and ticket sales begin almost as soon as the previous year’s tournament ends.

Actually, I get the whole process started with a letter to the Special Events Department Director.In the letter, I inform them of where next year’s tournament will be held, seating capacity at the selected arena, the tournament dates, ticket prices, and what the cut-off date will be for public ticket orders.I also provide them with a seating plan showing the seat locations for the arena.

A few days after the completion of the current tournament, the NCCA releases a series of TV spots and newspaper ads providing the public with this information and how to order tickets.Public orders must also include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their ticket order.And we require that all ticket requests be postmarked by the cut-off date.

As soon as they are received at our office, ticket orders are opened and inspected for completeness.We check to insure that a valid return address, ticket order and payment are enclosed.Any orders which do not pass inspection or are received postmarked after the cut-off date are returned to the sender.

In the meantime, the Special Events Department places an order for the printing of tickets.They send the printer a seating chart of the selected arena so they can print the tickets.

As soon as the tickets arrive, we start the annual process of filling ticket orders.We immediately extract several blocks of tickets, which must be set aside for the special groups as follows: 500 tickets for fans from each of the our teams in the finals (coordinated by the Competition Committee), and 850 tickets to be distributed to registered head coaches of affiliated Cow Calling teams and contest officials (known as “Linesmen”).These tickets are taken care of by the Coaches and Linesmen Federation.We also reserve 300 tickets for the NCCA offices and their associates (don’t tell anyone but these come to me) and 800 passes for members of the news media based on validation of media credentials is handled by the NCCA Media Operations Office.The actual distribution of tickets to these special groups, with the exception of the coaches, is handled by the responsible NCCA department.All the Special Events department must do is bundle the tickets together and send them to the appropriate department.

Four months before the tournament is to begin, public orders are selected at random from the hopper.Each public order must contain a name, address, number of tickets requested (maximum of 8 in multiples of 2) and a cashier’s check for the total amount of the tickets ordered.Orders are selected at random from the hopper until all available tickets have been allocated.

Allocated tickets are placed in the return envelope along with a letter of thanks from the NCCA.W write the assigned seat numbers on the checks and set them aside.A deposit is made at the end of the day.The Audit Department requires that a list be sent to them showing the name of each purchaser, the amount of their check and the assigned seat numbers.

After all the tickets are allocated, the remaining orders are returned to the sender in their return envelope.

That about wraps it up for the Special Events Department.I’m sure there are a lot of details you will need later but see if you can create one of your “models” from this mess.Then let me know if this project has a chance of success.

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