Success Stories - Case Study
Coach Holiday Operator - Warwickshire
We were contacted by the managing director of a coach holiday company. During the 30 years of trading, he had set up five shops and offices around the midlands to take bookings for his holiday packages. All administration was done manually at head office and therefore all five shops were having to constantly contact him to check availability of the holidays.
The business was increasing, and his manual booking systems could no longer cope. He therefore contacted us to provide a computerised solution.
It was quickly established that the M.D knew of the holiday booking application that was leading the industry. In fact he had been contacted by the software house many years ago to view a demonstration of the system.
We needed to partner with the software house to build a solution for our client. This was achieved as follows;
By liaising with the software house directly, we could ensure a solution was built correctly first time. We were able to ensure all technical requirements of the software were catered for from day one, but with room to grow the business when necessary. Our client was kept in the loop at every step, from initial hardware quotation to system hand over.
A file server was installed at the company’s head site to host the application. All local computers were then joined to this server with the minimum of disruption. Finally a security policy was set to give management full access to all files and folders, with normal staff getting partial access to the network.
Remote access (VPN)
All five sites were linked together on a virtual private network or VPN. We travelled to each site to install business class routers, which allowed the remote sites to connect to the main file server as if it were installed locally. The central application and network folders could be accessed at any site within the company, all via the internet.
During the software application install, we were on site at head office working alongside the software engineer. No two installations are ever identical, and therefore we could give immediate answers to any technical questions that were needed. This allowed the installation to be completed in the shortest possible time.
After the training and handover of the system, there were immediate effects.
Any user at any office could now see live bookings and availabilities. There was no longer a need to telephone head office to check such information. This benefit alone freed one member of management to concentrate on other tasks. Immediate data to the customer meant bookings could be taken quicker and easier.
Once all sites were linked on a common network, central documents could be accessed immediately by any branch. Holiday information, hotel pictures and more could be swapped between any branch instantly.
With all company data now being stored on the central server, a company wide backup policy was simple. The server was fitted with a tape backup device, which copied all data automatically each night. This eliminated the need for each office to be responsible for their own data backup – which was often forgotten.
The entire project was made as simple for the client as possible. By liaising with the software company directly, we took away the entire technical task from the client. We were able to keep the M.D informed at all times, but kept away all the questions and problem he would have faced otherwise.
The client adopted the new system from day one, and a manager was instantly released from the post of manual bookings. Each site were now able to take bookings and requests with no requirement to contact head office.
Due to the time saving of each booking, all sites reported increased productivity and have now begun to advertise even more holiday packages. The M.D has conveyed that this project has been a 100% success.