Business in full swing
Shotover Canyon Swing started with a modest crew of four in 2002. Nowadays, business is booming. A seemingly endless supply of plucky people eager to throw themselves from their 109m high platform attached to the world’s highest swing keeps the booking and operations staff busy.
Reliability key for growth
“Establishing reliable booking channels was essential to business growth,” says Matt Hollyer, Shotover Canyon Swing’s General Manager.
The iconic Queenstown company began trading in December 2002 with a manual, paper-based booking system. Bookings were taken over the phone or in person by high-street activity centre staff, then logged on clipboards.
Customer demand meant that by August 2003 the company had grown significantly and was ready to streamline operational processes. They needed an easier way to invoice, manage suppliers, analyse sales trends and a booking system that would grow with the business.
“A number of the big operators were using the IBIS system so we knew it must be worth a look,” says Hollyer.
“IBIS best suited our set-up.”
Shotover Canyon Swing installed IBIS software, including the Easy Ticket system, which connects hundreds of nationwide frontline sales reps to online operators’ reservation systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Our IBIS system suits our business model because it allows us, at a mouse click, to close off sections of a day, or the whole day if there are media trips coming in, VIPs like Jack Osbourne or film crews. The staff can easily see what’s happening in advance on touch-screen hand-held devices, as can mangers and our sales representatives traveling round the country.”
By introducing IBIS Technology’s software, Shotover Canyon Swing also wanted to address problems arising from a paper-based system.
“There’s a margin for human error in every business, but we wanted to limit the potential for customers to be double-booked or allocated the wrong time slot. Cancellations are also easier to deal with now too. The system is entirely linked together and shows every Shotover Canyon Swing user and booking agent exactly how many trips are available at any time; double bookings don’t occur.
“We’ve now got happier customers and better staff satisfaction because they generally only deal with happy customers, whose trip ran to schedule and whose place was secured from the word ‘go’.
“In addition, when a cancellation is made, the booking system is updated immediately so we can sell that cancelled space almost immediately,” says Hollyer.
“We picked IBIS Technology because they’re local. We’re an innovative bunch, so when we have a new idea we like to sit down with the team to see how we can work together on a technology solution.
“The IBIS team also truly understands how tourism works; they understand our needs and know the jargon. We were impressed by their proactivity and felt our business was in safe hands.”
From reservations penned on clipboards in the early days, Shotover Canyon Swing now runs a sophisticated and reliable online service that works in real-time.
“With agents booking online, manual processes are reduced to a bare minimum, errors have been slashed and cancellations can be filled with new customers in minutes,” says Hollyer.