Case-story Algemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme
The complexity of Algemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme requires custom work.
A booking system cannot be that hard to find? After all, there are plenty of standard solutions on the market. Think of all the software out there for hotel management, the recreational sector, the hotel and catering industry, or even specific booking software. But what if your company is not so standard? The Algemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme (ADJ) is a fine example. “Due to the complexity of our booking process, custom work is the only option. So we were looking for a partner who takes the time to get to know us”, says Marc Mangelschots, ICT manager for ADJ. “And we found that partner in 4D vision.”
Booking process not always evenly standardized
Non-profit organization ADJ operates two leisure centres: Hoge Rielen and Destelheide. Both offer a wide array of sleeping accommodations, educational classrooms, sports facilities, etc. And yet this is not your typical holiday park. Mangelschots: “The two resorts are open to all, from families to schools. But our main focus is youth associations. The government grants us subsidies to provide extra benefits for youngsters. This does not make our situation any easier.”
One customized booking system
The booking process is less than straightforward for ADJ. Our reception staff has to account for numerous conditions. For instance, youngsters pay less, are allowed to book earlier, … than other groups. In addition, each booking generates a sizeable series of internal duties. For instance: the staff has to plan for sports instructors, cleaning teams, and kitchen personnel. For every step, the staff had to open a new programme. This situation was no longer tenable, and needed to change urgently. ADJ decided to search for a booking system that automates all steps of the booking process. Very quickly it became apparent that a standard system did not suffice. “The many adjustments would greatly increase the cost”, Mangelschots confirms. “Our situation clearly called for custom work.”
Thorough preparation identifies opportunities
ADJ accepted the challenge, with 4D vision as a partner. “4D vision pays considerable attention to preparation. This was quickly apparent when we verified a few of their references, and they confirmed this during our cooperation”, says Mangelschots. ADJ along with 4D vision scrutinized the entire organization. Not only to chart its operation, but also to improve it. Only after all processes were set up as efficiently as possible did 4D vision proceed with software development. The swiftness of this development is owed entirely to the WebXTC platform, allowing the users to discover the system and provide feedback at a very early stage. This way, 4D vision was able to attune the system entirely to the users. “4D vision developed a comprehensive customized ERP system”, Mangelschots esplains. “The system not only processes the bookings, but also automatically plans for additional tasks, directs invoicing, generates prognosis reports, etc. In short, it makes our staff’s daily duties a lot simpler.”
Clients manage their own booking
4D vision also developed an intuitive client portal. With it, visitors can not only book online, they can also manage their bookings. “As the date of the stay approaches, we are overwhelmed by questions to modify the bookings. This is because the visitors are becoming increasingly aware of the actual number of people who will attend, who will participate in the activities, etc. With the client portal, visitors can now modify their own bookings”, says a satisfied Mangelschots. “The system automatically adjusts our planning. This saves time we can now spend on other important matters, such as client service.”
“Thanks to the direct contact with the developer, we saw all of our questions correctly translated into the system, every time.”
Direct contact with the developer
The entire project went very smoothly. The direct contact between ADJ and the developer at 4D vision played a major role in this. “Whenever we had any questions, I would directly call the developer. This immediately dispelled all doubts, and allowed the developer to correctly implement the changes. This is more difficult in the case of major software companies where everything must pass by the account manager”, according to Mangelschots.
And now it is time for the wish list
A few months after the initial contact, ADJ put the booking system to use. But that was not the end of the collaboration. “During the project we became increasingly aware of the possibilities of the new system. This sparked the growth of countless ideas for the future refinement of the system, tailored to our organization and our budgets. We want to join forces with 4D vision to work on this”, says Mangelschots.