Mariners was a victim of its own success: their business was increasing
at such a rate that they needed help taking care of all the minute
details that have to be taken care of to make sure that each trip
runs smoothly. They also needed comprehensive accounting systems that
were integrated with the tour management applications. They needed
a system to track their mailing list of approximately 15,000 names.
They needed desktop publishing to prepare advertising copy and some
analysis of sales based on source (e.g. magazine ad, newspaper ad,
radio). They needed a system that would accommodate their plans to
expand to other locations.
fully-integrated on-line system was installed in 1987. It allows staff
to maintain a mailing lists and to send out periodic mailings, to
set up tours, to make bookings (and cancellations), to print invoices
(and automatically post to A/R), and to analyze bookings so as to
better plan for the future.
With the addition of the Ottawa, Hamilton, and London offices, and
access to the system from them, the system became a focal point for
inter-office communication as well as allowing branch office staff
to carry out all their business directly on the system.
system has dramatically changed the operation at Ancient Mariners.
Bookings are being processed and invoiced far more quickly than before.
Even with a dramatic increase in volume (the mailing list has doubled
in size), the system has handled the load and made it possible for
Ancient Mariners to grow the business with only marginal addition
of staff. |
The system has been able to accommodate change with minimal software
modifications. For example, when Ancient Mariners was awarded a contract
with the Ontario government to handle its 'Quarter Century Club' travel
arrangements (with a membership of over 20,000 people), the system
was able to accommodate the extra load and logistics. Not only was
the job of taking on the new list made easy by the automatic uploading
of the Quarter Century Club data; the data was cleaned up considerably
along the way, with duplicates being ferreted out and addresses being
(re)formatted according to Canada Post guidelines.