An increase in demand, new client wins and expansion into new sectors has resulted in a 43% increase in revenue over the past 12 months at online booking and scheduling specialist, thinkBooker.
The innovative brand is a product of Cardiff-based web development and technology company UpriseVSI. A two-time award winner at the Wales Online Digital Awards, thinkBooker has become a key channel for the overall business; growing from 10% of the UpriseVSI total revenue in 2016-17 to 30% in 2017-18.
Originally developed for the likes of Manchester United, Juventus and Fulham FC Foundation’s soccer schools, the system is also used by the Welsh Rugby Union and NFL franchise, Jacksonville Jaguars.
It’s a legacy in sport that has seen thinkBooker appointed by The Football Association of Wales (FAW) Trust to develop an online booking system for facilities including pitches, meeting and conference rooms at Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Development Centre. The brand has also started working with the Dragons rugby region on the development of an internal room booking and bespoke CRM System and has recently launched an online booking system for Pro Shot Golf, a new indoor golf simulator company in Milton Keynes.
Further afield, thinkBooker announced a move into the sports and leisure sector with their appointment by one of Europe’s largest ski schools, New Generation Ski & Snowboard School, to deliver a booking and scheduling system for their operations across 27 major resorts in France, Switzerland and Austria.
It’s an example of the growth and diversification of the software over the past twelve months, providing solutions for customers in new channels. This includes major projects in the retail sector including an innovative Personal Shopper and Scheduling System for the renowned Browns Fashions stores in London, as part of parent company Farfetch’s omnichannel ‘Store of the Future’ initiative. The software will also be integrated into a wider UpriseVSI digital development project for leading men’s formal clothing company Dyfed Menswear, allowing customers to book appointments for fittings at its five stores.
2018 has also seen thinkBooker develop solutions for meeting room and venue hire, as well as education and training. This includes a new website, re-brand and booking system for London Meeting Rooms, and appointment by AIM-listed training provider, Wey Education to develop a booking system for its home-schooling courses; fully integrated into their learning management system.
Demand from existing customers has also been a major contributor to thinkBooker’s revenue growth. Newport-based Retail Merchandising Systems (RMS) has been working with thinkBooker since 2016 on the ongoing development of an innovative staff scheduling system, which has helped it secure major contracts with several large retailers. Also, having launched a new online booking system for the Executive Lounge at Cardiff Airport in 2017, thinkBooker has been working with the airport to develop an integrated customer feedback and CRM system, which will allow it to collect, manage and respond to customer feedback via different channels and to increase revenue generating opportunities.
Gareth Rees Jones, managing director of UpriseVSI, commented;
“We set out at the start of this financial year to increase the number of thinkBooker projects and recurring revenue and to expand into new sectors and I’m pleased to say that we’ve achieved that. There is strong demand and recognition amongst brands that they have to provide their customers with a convenient and personalised customer experience and a major element is allowing them to book services or experiences online at any time and from any device.
“Also, by collecting personal data, preferences, lifestyle information and even things like clothes sizes, which the thinkBooker system does, allows a company or brand to personalise the customer experience, which is proven to increase sales and loyalty. At the same time, companies are looking for efficiencies including saving time and money on manual admin and scheduling tasks and increasing the reliability and quality of the services that they deliver. The tools available within the thinkBooker systems have the proven ability to achieve this and, of course, it provides UpriseVSI with a powerful addition to our overall web development and digital applications portfolio.”