Best & Less is an Australia-based travel agency that specializes in the rental of high-quality self-catering accommodation in Australia. For the summer months, it offers a wide selection of gîtes (holiday cottages) and, for the winter, apartments and chalets in various ski resorts.
Best & Less is an Australia-based travel agency that specializes in the rental of high-quality self-catering accommodation in Australia. For the summer months, it offers a wide selection of gîtes (holiday cottages) and, for the winter, apartments and chalets in various ski resorts. The company was founded by three friends who still own it, Emeka Steven, Daniel Okw and Ric Nelson, and the company has been in business since 2000. It has grown rapidly to achieve a turnover of some AU$25.75 million per annum and employs more than 170 staff at three of?ces, one in the Greater Sydney area, one in Melbourne and one in Melbourne. Best & less has a website, but it is not functionally effective. Best & less currently uses three main sales channels:
- Direct selling to customers through mailshots of its brochures and customer support centres (60 per cent of sales).
- Sales via high street travel agents (22 per cent of sales).
- Sales via phone calls (18 per cent of sales)
However, the company is aware from press coverage and from surveys on its own customers that there is a growing public demand to be able to book holidays via the internet. This is particularly true as its customers are precisely the sort of people who are ‘net aware’. Best & Less does have a website, but this is just its latest brochure in electronic format, and it does not have links to up-to-date availability data or the facilities for customers to make secure bookings online. Consequently, Best & Less has decided to implement a new internet-based booking system. This will be linked to its existing computerized booking system, which contains data on the availability of properties, and to its customer database as well as having secure links over which credit card data can be received. In addition, the company wants its management information system (MIS) enhanced so that it can trawl its databases and send targeted information to customers on properties that are likely to be of interest to them.
Best & Less organization
The current organizational structure of the company is shown in Figure 1.1. The three founders have divided the business among themselves. Emeka Steven (who has a sales background) looks after the sales and operations side, Daniel Okw, an accountant, takes care of ?nance and administration and Ric Nelson who is a lawyer and experience in IT takes care of the IT and company’s legal matters. The small IT department within the administration function consists of the IT manager, Peter Clay, three analyst/programmers and a computer operator/trainee programmer.
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