There are many options out there and you have already tried a few. You struggling to figure out what application best suits your company and business model; as none of the systems fit perfectly into your eco system. You are either considering building a custom one (not always an option for everyone) or after all this time, no longer even sure whether you need a system. Does this sound familiar? Most of the travel agencies or tour companies go through this and if they are lucky they find a system that works for them.
Here are some guidelines or tips that we would like to share with you in order to land in your perfect system fast.
Decide what you want
- It's best to figure out yourself what you really need. No software is going to provide everything and when they do it may not fit in your budget. If you are looking just for a CRM, or only an itinerary builder go for a system that does it best.
Invest in training your staff
- Let's face it, not all systems are highly intuitive. Some need time getting hands on. Invest your time and have dedicated time set aside for your staff in getting trained. Focus is very crucial here. The key stakeholders need to invest their time and focus on getting systems implemented. An organization cannot just buy a software and leave up to its employees for its successful implementation.
Process oriented approach
- YImplementing a system in an organization is actually mapping your business process into the system. That means, some of the things that were done on paper or spreadsheets or verbal communication may now be accomplished using the software. This is always a big change for an organization and getting everybody on-board is very important.
One process at a time
- If your software does lot of things, getting on the system completely may be overwhelming. So, go one process at a time. Start with the straightforward once first. This would give you enough confidence to implement one process after another.
User onboarding and training
- Employees may come and go, but organization and system continues to support your business. Decide and implement a process to get new employees trained on the system. This onboarding may take a couple of days to couple of months, depending upon their role and complexity of the system. Having an onboarding plan would really reduce management anxiety of implementing the system in the first place.
Refrain from customizations
- Every organization is unique in some way, so getting a software that fits exactly is nearly impossible. You may have an urge to go for customization even before starting. Usually this works for bigger organizations that have budget and have fixed processes which are difficult to change. However for smaller organizations, it makes sense to adapt to the system. Also having customizations means delay in getting it work for you.
- I get it, you are busy and so is your staff. But there is no excuse for not having your own data filled in to the system. You got to work on it. Fill up your masters with your own data. Initially it may seem hard, but once the staff gets used to it, they would want to use the system more than anything.
Making tour operator software work for you requires a systematic approach and discipline. But points mentioned above are well-taken and followed, you could achieve what seems like an impossible task!