Cycle Journeys NZ

Cycling

Individual & group packages. Multi day or day hire

Cycle Journeys takes the right path to operational automation with Odyssey

Background

Cycle Journeys was established to meet the opportunity delivered by the Nga Haerenga Cycle Trails network - initially working out of Twizel on the Alps 2 Ocean Trail and expanding to the West Coast Wilderness trail, the Paparoa Track and most recently the Tasman Great Taste Trail. Currently Cycle Journeys provides services for over 6000 customers per year undertaking multi-day cycle trips.  Administration and Marketing / Finance is based in Christchurch, with depots in Twizel, Oamaru, Hokitika, Greymouth and Nelson.

Moving on from spreadsheets

When it was newly formed and like many start-ups, Cycle Journeys ran its business on spreadsheets, but as the business grew the bespoke nature of customer needs forced the team to look for alternative options to deal with the increasing complexities of the tours.  Says Geoff Gabites, CEO and founder of Cycle Journeys, “Spreadsheets had become overwhelmed and we needed to find a programme that could manage our specific operational processes and procedures. We looked at a number of off-the-shelf solutions but they didn’t cater for the breadth of our needs which included bike rental, multiple levels of accommodation types, luggage movements and financial reporting. 

Having worked with them previously, Cycle Journeys approached Odyssey about using their solution to manage bookings across the majority of its offerings. Some specialisation was needed but Odyssey quickly understood Cycle Journey’s needs; the solution had to be cloud-based in order to offer an interactive product in its remote depots, greater security was needed as was realising workplace flexibility to operate a mobile workforce – which proved invaluable when Covid induced lockdowns and forced everyone to work remotely.

Getting on the right track

Odyssey’s solution easily adapted to meet Cycle Journey’s requirements to create “the perfect solution” says Geoff.  “We were a little apprehensive about the final product meeting exactly what we’d asked for and the delivery to multiple locations with supporting training on site.  But Odyssey reassured us that they had understood our requirements, the solution could do what we wanted and they could deliver – we trusted them”.

One the biggest challenges was implementing a new system while operating business as usual. Staff were using two systems concurrently – loading future bookings into the new solution for some of the smaller trails while managing existing bookings using the old system. Covid complicated the situation with everyone working remotely.

“The degree of sophistication and friendly ‘look’ of the programme provides us with an asset and business tool that takes us to a level of professionalism that reflects well on us.”

Understanding business delivers success

Geoff says about working with Odyssey “their depth of understanding of our seasonality and the historic booking patterns meant that Odyssey was extremely sympathetic to our needs and our challenges.  Additional training was available and video training support delivered great confidence to the staff when they were working with high levels of detail and complexity.” The implementation was lengthy due to Covid and seasonal timing but soon Cycle Journeys had one depot in use and was pleased to see a working model come to live and deliver benefits.

Cycle Journeys had a member of staff working from the UK loading the next season’s bookings into Odyssey and that allowed them to mould a champion for Odyssey.  They owned the solution and became expert in using it from end-to-end – ensuring it did what it was supposed to and would deliver benefits to the business.

Geoff concludes “we are anticipating a 20-25% saving in time by having many tasks automated with the new solution.”

“It’s a program built by people who understand the complexities of the tourism industry and thus have programmed it to take a lot of the hard work out of data inputting!." Cycle Journeys Staff user


 

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