The Caravan and Motorhome Club.

Continuous improvements to every facet of the member experience help drive dramatic changes.

Sector

Travel and Tourism

Project type

Reservations

The Caravan and Motorhome Club continue their journey of digital transformation.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club, founded in 1907, represents nearly one million caravanners, motorhomers and campervanners. The Club provides over 4 million pitch nights a year in the UK in some of the most amazing locations, including the farthest corner of Scotland to Royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The Club operates more than 200 sites across the UK with a further network of 2,350 Certificated Locations which are found mostly in rural locations such as farms and leisure sites. The Club’s growing Overseas business provides members with access to over 300 overseas sites that can be packaged with a ferry or Eurotunnel crossing.

The driver for change.

The drive for positive change on behalf of their membership meant that the Club is looking to constantly improve the quality of the services offered to them. To support this objective the Club embarked on an ambitious programme of technological transformation to create new powerful integrated online and offline booking channels for the Club’s Overseas product.

The member centric focus of the Club means that significant change can only be made through careful consideration. After a thorough research and insights program with its members to identify the improvements required to the existing system, a competitive tender exercise found a new partnership with Inspiretec, whose positive approach reflected their very own values:

  • 01

    Inspire.

    Together we want to inspire more people to enjoy the great outdoors.

  • 02

    Simplify.

    We’ll make the experience as easy and seamless as possible so you can enjoy the great outdoors your way.

  • 03

    Pioneer.

    At heart, we’re explorers forever looking to learn, discover and innovate.

  • 04

    Inclusive.

    We’re a diverse community of adventurers, drawn together by our passion for the great outdoors.

Building the community and opening the Club to everyone.

The Club’s desire for continuous improvement is in their DNA and they are constantly innovating in not only the services they offer but also how they offer them to further enhance the experience of existing and new members alike.

This ‘best service’ approach to its members is reflected in the robustness (and complexity) of its internal systems. The Club is supported by an incredibly stable SAP system that manages its CRM, Finance and Enterprise Resource Planning functions. This strategic preference for enterprise-level systems means that Inspiretec’s Reservations product was the perfect choice to support their large call centre operation, meaning that Inspiretec would deliver the mission-critical platform for their improved member search, cost and book experience – both on and offline.

Pushing the boat out.

Phase 1 of the transformation project was created to give members a fast, robust and intuitive booking experience of a channel crossing and a pitch for their European holiday. The desire was to make the booking experience as easy as Club members may have had elsewhere when booking accommodation or a flight.

The complex landscape of channel crossing operators, including P&O, Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Eurotunnel meant that Inspiretec had to build a high-performance connector to support real-time, live ferry and tunnel availability to help improve the member holiday planning and booking experience.

Furthermore, the intricacies of managing the Club’s overseas partner stock was significant. Inspiretec worked with the Club to create tools and workflows to carefully load and release inventory to their members – all with a keen focus on delivering up to date site information, real-time availability and accurate pricing.

The Club asked Inspiretec to work closely with their hosting provider (TSystems) to provide an SLA backed ‘service wrapper’ to maintain exceptional live service levels for the Inspiretec application on the TSystems infrastructure.

Embarking on the journey.

Inspiretec worked closely with the transformation programme team in the Club to implement the Inspiretec Reservations platform within their Enterprise architecture. This included connecting through their Enterprise Service Layer to key services such as the Club finance system, membership management system, website CMS and payment gateway.

Beyond giving the Club’s highly valued and award-winning contact centre team brand new tools to support members in creating their perfect holiday, Phase 1 also encompassed the creation of a cutting-edge web booking experience, the Club’s new Internet Booking Engine (IBE). Designed from the ground up, to an ambitious member-centric blueprint, it provided a fresh and innovative online member booking experience for the Club’s overseas product.

Go live and dealing with unexpected challenges.

The new system went live in Q4 of 2019 and was instantly greeted with widespread appreciation, adding functionality and capability whilst also relieving longstanding challenges.

The new challenges that Covid-19 presented to the Club were no different from those experienced by the rest of the Travel and Leisure industry. The need to quickly and efficiently cancel or amend bookings was paramount highlighting the importance of robust and flexible systems when dealing with the unexpected. The digital transformation programme continues to ensure the Club’s ability to evolve and adapt in an ever-changing world.

The journey continues.

2021 will see the partnership continue to an eagerly awaited 2nd phase. This phase focuses on extending the platform to support all of the Club’s UK sites whilst it also includes the creation of property management tools to support the individual campsite staff as they welcome and host their members.

We knew that this programme would be a huge change for the Club, but we also recognised that it was an essential one for us to deliver the strategic member benefits we sought. Finding the right technology supplier was critical for us and we found that Inspiretec rolled up their sleeves, faced the inevitable challenges head-on and we quickly moved on from a buyer/ supplier type relationship to create a trusted partnership aligned with a common purpose

Harvey Alexander Director of Marketing and Membership Services, The Caravan and Motorhome Club

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