Wildlife Worldwide & Dive Worldwide had chosen a new system for all of their customer bookings, but wanted help to run the project to make it work for them. They turned to Thinkers for that help.
Wildlife Worldwide organizes fantastic wildlife watching holidays all over the world, whilst Dive Worldwide specializes in the best and most exotic places to dive. When this project began, they were separate companies, although nowadays they are both brands operated by The Natural Travel Collection.
Most of their holidays are tailor-made for an individual, family or small group. They make the travel, accommodation and guiding arrangements specially for each customer. They used a multiplicity of spreadsheets to record the information about each customer’s holiday, but had decided to adopt a system used elsewhere in the travel industry. This would become the core system for their business.
However, they faced two big problems. Firstly, that system was primarily used for booking package holidays, not tailor-made ones, which meant breaking new ground and pushing the system to its limits – and the system and vendor were not responding well to the challenge. Secondly, they had nobody with sufficient experience to run a software implementation project of this scale and complexity. They were struggling and the project was going nowhere and was in danger of failing completely. They turned to Thinkers to run the project for them.
Thinkers used all their experience to turn things around quickly by:
- Understanding the key business processes – quoting, booking, confirming, invoicing – and what was critical or important to the business at each step
- Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the new system
- Mapping out how to use the strengths of new system to support those processes, and how to avoid the weaknesses where possible
- Collaborating with the vendor for defect resolution in critical areas
- Extending the system to produce clear and elegant customer documents
- Configuring the system to make it simpler and easier to use for the staff
- Training and supporting staff in terms of business process, not in terms of software function
Within months, the system was live, and the client and customers were happy.
Thinkers also helped the client negotiate significantly better financial terms with the vendor.