Client name . YSE Limited
Sector . Travel and tourism
Summary comment . Fiona Easdale, Managing Director, YSE Limited
"There are endless numbers of travel software companies and they all seem to be courting us. I must get a new pitch every two weeks. But we really like FileMaker and we're sticking with it."
FileMaker Takes to the Slopes (Ski Resort Database)
Few people are better qualified to operate a ski tour company in the French resort of Val d'Isère than Fiona Easdale and John Yates-Smith. Fiona is a former member of the British Ski Team and competed in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. John moved to Val d'Isère that same year, got a job washing dishes in a tea room and never left. In 1991 they teamed up to form YSE, the only tour firm specialising exclusively in Val d'Isère. John (the YS) manages the resort operation while Fiona (the E) runs the UK office.
With 192 beds in 21 chalets under management, a resort staff of more than 50 most of whom need to be hired afresh every season, and a weekly 180-seat charter flight from the UK, YSE is no small operation. And unlike conventional hotels where rooms are identical or similar, at YSE each room and every chalet is unique. Add to all that the fact that the season only runs for five months of the year and the operational challenge becomes even greater.
YSE has been a FileMaker user for nearly a decade. In 2000, Fiona met developer Roderick Boekdrukker who was just beginning to offer FileMaker programming. "We were his guinea pigs," she says. "He set up a bookings program and a contacts list. It was amazing!" Since then, YSE's FileMaker system has been steadily expanded and improved.
- The system is easy to use. New staff members are up and running with little instruction.
- Bookings system tracks all aspects of each guest's visit including flight details, reservations, insurance, special requests and more. Complete flight and rooming lists are also generated and can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet and sent to the resort.
- Billing and payment element manages all aspects of invoicing and financial management. Invoices can be sorted by a range of fields including past due, which FileMaker can then use to generate reminder emails.
- Flight details are easily tracked showing which flights are available, sold, held on option or awaiting confirmation.
- Unlike other tour operations where beds are linked to flight seats, at YSE the two are not connected. FileMaker system therefore manages each separately.
- Users can view current accommodation status sorted by chalet, by room or by individual bed. As well, a single "find empty beds" button makes last-minute booking quick and easy.
- HR function manages all aspects of YSE's yearly job of hiring more than fifty seasonal staff, including employee status and personal details, contracts, payroll and taxes, insurance, as well as UK National Insurance and P45 and French E101 requirements.
- Future plans include using FileMaker to comply with upcoming Home Office e-Borders requirements. As well, YSE is considering retaining a professional FileMaker developer to further integrate various elements of the current system.