A leading distributor of tourist attraction leaflets realised they needed a new control application, after an upgrade to their existing system meant that one of their main customer reports could take as long as 20 minutes to be output.
After considering a number of options the distributor chose Perceptis to develop their new web-based Transport Information Management System (TIMS).
Each contract the distributor gained with a tourist attraction required one or more leaflets to be delivered to outlets such as supermarkets, hotels, small guest houses etc. These outlets were categorised by size and tourist attractions could also choose from a range of geographical regions.
After an initial run each season, the racks holding the leaflets are topped up on subsequent visits to replenish what been taken by the public. With hundreds of contracts to manage it was extremely difficult to work out which leaflets needed to be delivered where and at what frequency.
TIMS is able to calculate which leaflets were due for delivery for a particular area and outlet category and automatically produces a packing list of leaflets to be loaded on the van.
As it is not cost-effective to deliver directly to very small outlets and tourist information centres an online ordering system was set up via the distributor's website, also developed by Perceptis.
These smaller outlets can login and select exactly which leaflets and quantities they wish to order. The leaflets are then delivered by a standard parcels carrier.
As well as handling the distribution planning, the Transport Information Management System also controls stock for each leaflet. The system allows the initial number of leaflets printed to be entered and then as each delivery takes place, the delivery Merchandiser is able to enter into a PDA how many leaflets were needed to replenish each slot in the rack back to full.
From this information and keeping track of the online orders, the system knows how many leaflets are in stock at any time. The stock level is particularly important as the rate of take up of leaflets by the general public is a good proxy for the number of visitors that may visit the attraction.
Where leaflets are moving faster than the tourist attraction anticipated, they are giving enough warning to print extra leaflets. Attractions with slow moving leaflets are offered the option of intensive local distribution, where key towns are identified and leaflets blanket distributed in these locations to boost visitors, in an attempt to boost visitor numbers - a process also controlled by TIMS.
The Transport Management Information System produces a number of reports in PDF format that can be e-mailed to the customer. Tourist attraction customers can also login via the distributor's website and view their own reports at any time.
Being a web application the distributor's Managing Director loves nothing more than to visit a customer and be able to login and show that customer their progress, which usually results in securing their order for next year's season. The report that took 20 minutes is now output in under 3 seconds!