Published on February 22, 2014
Lessons Learned & Innovations Made HORNBLOWER CASE STUDY IN USI IMPLEMENTATION AND CUSTOMIZATIONS USI User Group Conference Larisa Thomas September 2012 Director of Reservations USI Implementation Project Manager
Who We Are… • Larisa Thomas, Director of Reservations • Hornblower Cruises & Events, premier dining yacht company in eight cities in California & New York • 42 vessels and one historic church property known as The Abbey • Parent company to Alcatraz Cruises, Statue Cruises and the newly awarded concession at Niagara Falls, Canada
What We Use USI For: • USI supports the Hornblower side of the business • Custom private yacht charters of 202000 people • From charter ferry services to gala events • Public Cruises for individual bookings and large groups • 300 Users with a concurrent 100 user license in the hosted environment • Looking to expand to 400 users by year end • The User Group includes Sales, Accounting, Food & Beverage, Captains, IT, Marketing, Call Center, Ticket Booth, Human Resources
What We Will Cover Today…. Overview of implementation methods Overview of customizations to work with the nature of our business Overview of improved operating procedures Overview of post-implementation adoption efforts
Before USI • 25+ Year old legacy system, affectionately known as CTERM • So old it was new again! • A lot of manual processes, particularly in Accounting • Lack of reporting – hard to pull data out of the system because of the data structure • Reliant on a single programmer • Heavily customized to our business model • Robust and did a lot of what we asked of it • Difficult to upgrade to work with modern technologies
The Transition Team • Created a Steering Committee with members from all operational areas affected by the conversion • Held weekly internal meetings to recap project progress and divide up the work • The extended team had approximately 30 individuals who all played a part in the configuration and conversion General Management Charter/ Group Sales Call Center Human Resources Accounting Implementation Team Marine Operations IT Food & Beverage Webmaster Marketing
Data Conversion – The Good • Sent our data our to be “cleaned” • Appended customer records with public information • Individuals – with Census Data • Companies – with Corporate Data and NAIS coding • The additional data allows us to slice and dice customer data in new and interesting ways to create targeted marketing campaigns and spot buying trends among similar client types
NAIS Codes – Products/ Services • NAIS information – Using Products/Services
Data Conversion – The Bad, and the Ugly • Would never convert that much data again! • Brought over a complex arrangement of customer data, going back far too many years, especially since the legacy system is still available • Brought over historic event information in addition to the contact information • Became a HUGE time suck • RECOMMENDATION: Keep It Simple! • Bring over only what you really absolutely need to – not what you think you would like to have • Probably really only need 1-3 years of customer information, depending on your industry • Do not bring over historic event information • Create history books or some other archive that is easy for your team to access if they do need to get to the old data
System Configuration • Resource Master/Price Lists – major stumbling block • Over 2700 items in 117 categories • 1230 packages • Hard to keep organized – had to renumber many, many times • Discovered we were missing many items at GoLive. Almost 50% of post-implementation complaints had to do with missing resource/price list items. • RECOMMENDATION: Start your Price List review early • Run metrics on what is being ordered • “If you haven’t worn it in 30 days, toss it” – applies here. If you aren’t selling very many of something, don’t bring it over. It’s just clutter! • Start with a well thought out and consistent number programming, with built in gaps for adding more products later
System Configuration The Bug List • Created a Google Form for Users to submit issues they found in the system at Go Live • 679 submissions from Feb. 23 to Aug. 8 • In late July, began to transition to traditional Help Desk/Support
Customizations, Customizations, Customizations • We had approximately a dozen customizations: • • • • • • • • • • Exact Target Interface Web Services Delivery Email Confirmations Contract Templates Resource Note Copying Voucher Import Voucher Processing Registration Pricing Update Promo Code Copying/Updating And still in progress… • Event Report Web Interface • Event Update Tool
Training • Two Power User Trainings – Brought everyone to our Headquarters • Started End User training with a road trip – traveling with power users, and USI Consultant, to each of the cities we operate in • • • • Started in San Diego on Monday Hit up Long Beach on Wednesday Finished in San Francisco on Friday 1.5 days in each city training the Sales teams • Conducted targeted trainings with Food & Beverage, Operations, Accounting, Call Center
Training • After GoLive, launched weekly webinar topics • Recorded and posted recordings of webinars
Training • Customized training manuals
Naming the New System • Contest winner received a $100 gift card • Received 167 submissions from 57 different users in 17 departments • One User submitted 63 different submissions, including by the end of the contest for: “Ungerboeck” • A lot of submissions with commentary, or some combination of the names of the new and old system
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