The Manifest system is the control panel for your Dropzone. The Manifest screen lets you manage the logistics of an operational day, coordinating aircraft loads, customer registrations, solo skydiver jump listing.
Manifest is a live system, constantly updated from our cloud servers via your network, WiFi or 3/4G signal. Multiple operations staff can use the Manifest system simultaneously, and their screens will syncronise after a few seconds. You can see the current sync progress at the bottom of the page in the form of a countdown bar.
The Manifest system also stores data for offline use. Once you've loaded data, that data will remain on your machine for up to 24 hours, even if you lose internet connection or your machine switches off. This lets you have confidence that you won't lose important operational data whilst running a day of jumping.
There are a variety of options for manifesting jumpers - all of them require the basics of creating a load and placing skydivers onto it.
A load has 5 possible states:
The blue list on the right of the screen is the jump list. This is used to see upcoming jumpers across categories of experienced, student and tandem. Depending on the jump type extra information may be shown about the jump - for tandem skydivers this includes weight and video options, for other categories this may include a specific jump description.
Many jumps in the jump list will be solos, however groups can also be shown in the list. Groups will be clearly indicated with a line drawn around the whole group, rather than just around a single name.
The jump list is ordered in order jumpers are added to the list, except for tandems where the order may be altered on the "Tandem" meny on the left.
Ground Control considers everybody except tandem passengers as solo skydivers. It implies they have had at least minimum training to exit an aircraft not attached to another skydiver.
The normal way for a solo skydiver to be manfiested is in two stages. In the first stage they are added to the Jump List. THe second stage is moving them from the list to a load.
Tandem skydives have different requirements to solo skydivers and the process of getting a tandem from being booked for a day through to completing their jump is also different. The main difference is that Tandems are generally at the centre on a specific day to do their jump, and often have money to pay, details to confirm, and training to undertake before they can jump.
All the information leading up to a tandem being ready to carry out a skydive is contained in the "Tandem" dashboard, which can be accessed by clicking "Tandem" in the blue menu on the left. Each tandem skydiver booked/reserved for the current date will be shown in this list. The list is made up of editable text boxes or drop down selections.
Before a tandem is considered "ready to jump" the system requires the following things to be true:
You may also alter other aspects of the tandem jump directly from the dashboard:
Once you are happy with the data entered for a specific Tandem jumper you can send them to the Jump List. Click the green "Go to jump" button to do this. The tandem will not be removed from this list, but will now be visible by clicking "On the jump list" at the top right of the box.
Switch back to Active Loads at this point to continue manifesting the tandem, or complete details and send other tandems to the Jump List.
One of the most important parts of making sure a Tandem or other customer is ready to jump is ensuring that they have paid the full fee due for their jump. This fee may already have been altered when adding video or altitude options to the jump, so even customers who have paid in full before attending may need to pay more before jumping.
Tandems are moved from the Jump List to a load in exactly the same way as solo skydivers. Either drag and drop them onto a load, or click to highlight them and then click on the load.
Once on a load, tandem jumpers will always have one empty slot for a tandem instructor - it will not be possible to ready the load without this slot being filled. They may also have a slot for a camera person, or the tandem instructor may be marked as requiring a handcam, or both.
See adding staff to a load for more information about filling these slots.
On a day of jumping you are likely to use instructors, coaches and camera people multiple times, maybe in a fixed rotation. Ground Control caters to this with a dedicated Staff List, which will allow you to add the jumping staff for a specific date. This list tracks a count of each kind of jump a staff member is manifested for and allows you to manifest staff to a load without removing them from the list.
By default this list is hidden behind the Jump List. Click the green "Staff" tab above the Jump List to switch to the Staff List. Once on the staff list you can switch back to the Jump List by clicking on the blue tab.
If you have more than 50 staff a search box will be shown instead of a list. As you type in the search box the system will automatically list staff names which match your search.
Staff can be added directly to a load in the event that they are only dispatching or acting as a jump master. However the normal use case of the staff list is to add staff members to existing slots left open for Tandem, Camera, AFF instructors or Coaches. There are two ways to add a staff member to a slot:
In both cases, the name of the staff member should appear in the slot. If you try to add a staff member who lacks a required rating (e.g. adding a camera person to a tandem slot) then the name will not appear and a warning message will be shown.
The counts shown in columns next to the staff names reflect the number of loads on the current date which the staff member is manifested on. This will count any loads which are: grey, yellow, green, blue or black status. Therefore if at the end of the day there are loads which have not flown, the count will show more jumps than the staff member did.
This is not a problem; this list is not intended to track staff jumps or aid in paying staff. For a full report of the jump types that each staff member carried out for one date or over a date range, click the "Staff jumps report" button at the bottom right of the Staff List.
Ground Control uses the term Bookings to refer to people who are scheduled to attend the DZ on a specific day to carry out a jump. This will most often be Tandem jumping, but could also refer to first jump courses for AFF, AFP, TDS, IAD, Static line or any other training method offered in your country.
Bookings are often made when customers phone or email the centre, but may also come from people attending the centre in person. Ground Control also offers the option to allow customers to make their own bookings online, usually making a part or full payment. All types of Bookings are included in the same system, and will be based on the same availability and pricing.
Some centres or nationalities may use the word "reservations" instead of "bookings" - in Ground Control reservations are an extra concept which means something different, so please bear that in mind as you read this guide.
A number of sections in the Admin menu are necessary to set up the Bookings system before you can make the best use of it. Both of the following two sections can be accessed from "Main menu" -> "Admin" and one of the links in the blue bar on the left.
Click "Booking availability" (in the blue list on the left)
At the top of the page will be shown tabs for each jump type that can be booked through your system. Usually this will be "Tandem", "AFF" and "Static line" but your system may have been customsied differently. Each of the tabs will work in the same way, so it doesn't matter which you use to follow this guide.
Availability is determined in blocks of time between two dates. This matches with how many centres will have a main season, where they might open during daylight every day, and then off-seasons where the centre is open for shorter hours on a few days a week. Therefore each block of availability allows you to specify how many bookings can be taken per day of the week, and per time slot on this day.
To give an example let's say that from 1st March to 30th September the centre will open every day except Monday. Mid-week we can do 20 tandems in a day, and we only want them to arrive in the morning. On weekends we can do 50 tandems and they can arrive any time, but we only want 10 at a time.
At this point it might look like our maths doesn't add up. If we allow 20 bookings for a day, how can we also allow 20 each hour? However the system will stop new bookings at whichever limit is hit first. This means you can choose the maximum for any one time (which may be based on the capacity of your office staff or training room) and the maximum for a day (which may be based on the number of loads it is possible to fly or number of instructors/tandem rigs you have available).
Once you have created an availability block you may edit it on this page using the same techniques. If you get a block wrong and want to start again, click the black "delete" link below the grid for the block. Once a block is deleted it cannot be retrieved, but this will not alter any current bookings.
Click "Booking prices" (in the blue list on the left)
The Booking prices page allows you to configure prices for different jump types across a variety of configurations. It allows setting discounts on specific days of the week or for specific group sizes.
Like the Booking availability page, there is a list of tabs along the top with different jump types. There will also be an extra tab called "Video, Altitude & Instructors", which has a unique set of options (see below).
The top section of each Booking tab will show:
Below these settings is the "Prices" form which has four main input options:
This form is split into four blocks and shows additional fees that may be charged to customers, credited to skydivers, paid to jumping staff or applied to aircraft slots.
The Bookings system can be accessed by clicking the large "Bookings" button in the centre of the "Main menu". There may then be a screen with multiple booking options, though it is possible to set one as default. Regardless as to which option is selected the screens that follow will have the same functions. Bookings of different types are dealt with differently, so the calendars for AFF, tandem, static line or other options do not overlap.
The options that are shown when a booking type is selected are:
The calendar offers an overview of all your bookings. At the top of the page is a form with a drop down select box to search by month. Next to this are two input fields, "Starting date" which lets you choose a date to view the weeks search from and "Weeks" which will show X weeks ahead of the starting date in the calendar. E.g. for starting date 14th Jan and 4 weeks you'd expect to see roughly half of January and half of February, depending on which day exactly the 14th falls on.
The calendar will show a grid of dates, with each date box labelled in the bottom right corner. For the month view, boxes for the current month will just show the date number, whilst boxes for other months will also show the short form of the month name. For week view, every box will show both date number and a short version of the month.
Each box will show one line describing how many bookings are currently on that day. The next will show how many slots are available on the day. If the day was never configured to have slots it will be shown as closed instead of 0 slots. Staff are not prevented from booking customers onto dates with no slots, but customers booking online can only book on days with available slots.
On dates with slots, a list will be shown to the right of the box listing times for that date, in the format: "bookings" / "total slots". E.g. for a day where there are 10 slots at 8am and 3 people booked for that time it would show "8am: 3/10"
The final line in each box will be an "Add booking" button. This is shown on every day, and opens a form to add a new booking to that day. When a booking is added this way the page will switch from the calendar to the Date search page for that date, so that the new booking can be seen.
Clicking anywhere inside a box for a date (except on the "Add booking" button) will open the "Tandem day settings" form for that date.
The main form has the following options:
Also on the "Day settings" form is a section marked "Reservations". This allows a specific number of slots to be held on a date, with contact details of the person or organisation who is reserving them. Reservations can have an expiry date set, so that if the expiry date passes and the slots have not been confirmed (and often, paid for) they will be released allowing staff or customers booking online to take those slots.
The reservations section shows a form for adding a new reservation as well as a table of existing reservations for the date, listing how many slots they have reserved and how many (if at all) have so far been confirmed as bookings. The number of slots taken can be modified, or the reservation can be deleted entirely from the table.
Enter a text remark in the input box to add a new remark. Press the green "Add" button or hit enter to save. Remarks cannot be edited or deleted. Each remark is logged with the date, time and user name of the staff member who added it, so can be used as part of a reliable audit trail.
There are two ways to search through your database of bookings, "Book search" and "Date search". Each search has a different configuration, but both display their results in a "Bookings table" with options to manage your bookings.
This section can be used to find a specific booking with known details or to examine ranges of bookings, e.g. all females who chose camera, online between two dates. The form is split into two parts, with the most often used inputs on one line, and a "More options" section with a larger variety of options. Note all text search fields will match as wildcards. E.g. "John" will find customers named "John Smith" as well as "Sarah Johnson"
Click "More options" for a second set of inputs:
Click the green Search button at any time to carry out a search
The date search is primarily a search based on the dates that customers are scheduled to jump. The main search allows either a single date or a range of dates. Note When searching over a range of dates it is possible for a single customer to appear multiple times, if they have multiple dates booked during that range. This can often happen when searching between a date in the past and one in the future, where customers may have had to book a new date due to bad weather
The other filters are equivalent to their counterparts in the "Book search" form.
Either search form will load the same format table for managing bookings. Each row begins with an ID value, which is unique to a single booking. If the same ID appears multiple times then you are looking at a range of dates as part of the "Date search" and that customer is booked multiple times during that range.
By default the following columns will be shown, along with a set of option buttons to access more settings for a booking:
Mailer this field will show "Email" if the customer has not yet received an email about their booking, or "Sent" if they have been sent at least one. This is also a button - click it to open the booking email form
After the columns of details are a set of option buttons, which can be found detailed below.
The final, smallest, button is a delete button (with the text "x"). Clicking this will prompt to confirm that the booking should be deleted. The booking will fade out once deleted. Use the "Deleted bookings" options in either search to show previously deleted bookings in a search - no data is ever lost.
To book one or more new customers, click the green "New booking" button at the top of the page, towards the right. The "New booking" form will appear.
Note The "Edit booking" form is very similar to the "Add booking" form, except that it does not allow choice of dates.
The first set of options is titled "Jump day":
The "Booker details" are intended for whoever is contacting the DZ about the booking. In many cases this will be the same person jumping. In some cases a person will book multiple other people, and on occasion the person booking might not be jumping - in which case untick the "Is jumping" tick box.
"Group size" is a rarely used option, usually used for charities, agencies or companies making a large booking where the names and details are not known at the time of booking.
The "Individual jumpers" section allows you to set up one or more people to jump, with each having their own pricing settings and optional altitude and video orders.
+1 jumper press to add another person to the booking. Press multiple times to add multiple people. If there are prices specific to certain group sizes these will be applied when the group reaches the correct size.
The "Payment" section lists options applied to all people in the booking.
Pay by invoice same as "Invoice" above, a quick way to add invoice payments to all jumpers. Will be split between all jumpers.
"Emergency contact" is optional and will often be added on the day of the jump.
The "Extra details" are a set of optional items that may be useful to record. The "Remark" field will add the booking(s) with this remark to begin with - each booking may have future remarks added either by a member of staff or automatically by the system if important details are changed.
Click the green "Add booking" button to create the booking(s) on the system. One booking will be created per person in the "Individual jumpers" section. Contact information will be saved to all bookings.
Once the booking(s) are added the "Booking payment" form will open automatically.
In normal usage it's intended that a booking will pay in full before they carry out their jump. There is no requirement for this to be one or even two payments - any number of payments can be recorded against a booking to bring their total balance to zero.
Once a booking has been created the "Booking payment" window will appear; for the first payment the form will be automatically filled with the value of the deposit for the jump. On subsequent visits the form will be automatically filled with the remaining balance, but you may over-type this with whatever amount the customer wishes to pay. The payment form also includes other details about the payment:
If there are already payments for a booking they will be shown in this table. An additional column "Staff" records the name of the signed in user when the payment was added.
There is no ability to delete payments as this could compromise accounting and auditing. Instead to refund a payment a negative payment should be created. This also allows refunds to be indicated via a different payment method, e.g. a card payment may be refunded in cash.
These negative payments will also show in the previous payments section.
Products may be added to the system on the product stock page. If any products are added a form will appear on booking payment windows to sell these products to a customer.
Payments for products will be recorded along with the booking but will not alter the amount they owe for their jump.
The product form is the same as the payment form, but adds a drop-down list to select products and an optional tax field for recording sales taxes.
Clicking the white "Dates" button on either the bookings table or on Manifest will open the "Dates" window for that booking.
A booking may have multiple dates, which will usually indicate that on earlier attempts they were unable to jump due to weather or some other factor. However it may also be that they chose to rearrange, and the previous date was left as a record.
Important multiple dates are not intended for a customer to jump multiple times, as settings such as video, altitude and payments are linked to a booking, not a date. See below for the "Book again" option for customers who wish to jump again or change to a different course (e.g. customer does a tandem and decides to complete an AFF course).
Dates which have previously been added to the customer are shown in the first table.
The date and time can be edited; any edits will be recorded in the "Remarks & history" section below. You must click the green "Save" button after making any changes.
Following this are 4 check boxes. All the check
There are two date boxes for "Check in" and "Hidden" which records when in the day these actions took place, in case it is needed during communication with the customer or debriefing staff.
The form below the able allows addition of a new date. Clicking the date will show the mini-calendar to give an idea of availability.
Often when adding a new date it means the customer is rescheduling. If the "Remove dates" box is ticked other dates from now will be deleted when adding this new date.
This form allows a customer to be booked for another jump of the same or different type. Please remember that customers carrying out AFF or other training jumps will be registered as a Skydiver before their first jump, and no longer need to be booked in order to jump.
As part of a booking process it is good practice to email customers a confirmation of booking details. It might be necessary to send future emails to a customer, informing them of changes to their jump or just to remind them of important details closer to the date of their jump.
Ground Control has the ability to create email templates which are filled out with details of the customer booking, similar to how a mail merge might work, but a lot easier to use.
Emails can be sent to a single booking using the "Email" button on their row in the Search forms, or can be sent to all bookings in a search using the green "Send emails" button at the top of the bookings table.
The email form will be titled either with the name of the single booking that is being emailed or with a count of how many bookings will be emailed.
If sending an email to a single booking the email address will also be shown.
At the base of the form is a drop-down list to allow choice of different email templates. Templates can be created or edited from Admin -> Email templates, or by clicking the green "Edit template" button at the top of the email form.
The date and subject line of all sent emails is recorded. If any emails have been sent to a customer either by a staff member or automatically for customers booking online they will be listed below the email form under the title "Sent emails"
The sent emails box is populated based on the email address in question. If multiple customers have the same email address it may show that the same email has been sent multiple times.
Thanks for your interest in Ground Control. We're still writing these user guides - up to now we've spent most of our time producing great software for our DZs around the world. Please check back or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more specific questions.
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