Three businesses in one
Three main business sectors run within the multi-award winning thermal reserve at Hanmer Springs. These are the Pools, i-SITE Visitor Information Centre and Health Body and Mind treatment centre.
According to Administration Manager Justine Rutherford, the main challenge facing the team was the lack of integration between each business. “Our three business sectors ran completely separate systems. We worked around it, but looking back many man-hours were lost due to inefficient processes and an unreliable reservation system. No proper reservation system was in place and as the business continued to grow this functionality became increasingly important in growing the company and offering exceptional customer service” says Rutherford.
Before putting a technology solution in place, all reservations had to be manually checked to see if payment had been made. Another issue was the lack of correspondence between a payment and a booking. Customers have always enjoyed their visit to Hanmer Springs however the team knew that opportunities were being missed to develop the customer relationship. Basic details like a customer’s address, telephone number and number of visits were not being recorded and bookings from the same customer were all treated entirely separately. “If someone was buying two packages or more than one treatment, there was no link to show both bookings. We knew this system was inefficient and costing us money in terms of man-hours. To boost efficiency and streamline the business we needed a Point of Sale option, a reservation system, database management option and a VIN system. Above all, we needed compatibility – all three systems had to work as one.”
Picking a technology partner
Rutherford explains that IBIS Technology was Hanmer’s favoured option. “We had heard about IBIS a lot within the Tourism sector and they were top of our list. Once we had identified our needs we did also look at what could be bought off the shelf and worked with two other companies to see if they could design a system for us. Working with these other software designers drove costs very high and they never really understood our requirements. I suppose the three separate business sectors working as one made it difficult. The level of customer support offered by IBIS was also a significant drawcard for us.”
A win win situation
“After doing our research we brought IBIS in to streamline our systems. We noticed results immediately. Simple, fast processes have freed-up our time to focus on growing the business. When we assessed our Visitor Information Network part of the business, it’s clear that the functionality of the IBIS online availability screen for moteliers has increased the speed of bookings dramatically. Costs have also been reduced since we’ve all but eliminated the need for our team to return phone calls to clients with an answer to their booking enquiry. We give an accurate response to customers straight away and in person – allowing them to get on with enjoying their holiday.”