Custom CRM and booking system for event planner and travel agency

Custom CRM and booking system for event planner and travel agency is a Swedish event planner and travel agent. They specialize in arranging cruises for students and other niche target groups. LiteBreeze has been developing their CRM, booking management system and website since 2009. The latest version of the application was a major framework-based overhaul.

The system was rebuilt in 2016 to account for the latest technologies and development trends. The whole solution is responsive and has been tested by our QA team on devices such as iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and Android smartphones.

LiteBreeze’s PHP developers and designers have been working with the Funcruises team to develop a scalable, fast, responsive and user friendly system to meet an ever increasing customer demand. With shift of web applications to mobile, Funcruises wanted to target customers using any device.

Overview of key features

Some of the key benefits and features of the system are:

  • Customers can book cruise tickets, manage orders, select add-ons with ease and edit / upgrade their bookings before the booking closing date.
  • Interactive student cap customization module where a customer can personalize a cap and preview in 3D. This customization module was developed using JavaScript+HTML5 Canvas.
  • Automated payment and purchase reminders will enhance sales by ensuring payments are always done.
  • Custom built EMI calculator and EMI payment option where the customers can book the cruises through EMI payment with a minimum service charge.
  • An intuitive administration panel offers complete control over events, products, add-ons and stock management. Custom report generation with real-time sales statistics keeps track of every aspect of the business.
  • Secure payment system with support for PayEx for credit card and invoice payments. Caps store payments are done through Klarna invoice.
  • Multi-language support for English and Swedish

LiteBreeze has rebuilt the Funcruises website and back-end application using the CodeIgniter framework and Bootstrap css. Today we would recommend the Laravel Framework as a competitive alternative to CodeIgniter.

User can create an account using their Facebook login and add friends / co-passengers and make bookings on their behalf. These friends can login to the system and modify their orders as per their preference.

The system gives passengers the option to opt for transportation with ease. The transportation module uses a custom algorithm to fill the bus seats, thus increasing the profit margin considerably. There are some premium features offered to passengers such as choice of a wide range of selection in food and drinks, VIP treatment, priority boarding, pre party packages etc.

LiteBreeze team has integrated a custom timeout feature and auto revert functionality to ensure that the available items will be sold out without keeping them in reserve for unpaid users. This ensures precise stock management and increases the client’s revenue considerably.

This system has a sales agent module where sales agents can log in and make bookings for students. They could in turn pass their coupon codes to students to receive commission. Sales agents also have a special privilege where they can complete the order and make the payment at a later date.

Administrators can keep track of changes through a revision history in the admin panel. The admins can also edit the orders through a single page order edit option and update the order. The admins can set the payment as ‘admin pay’ where the changes are made manually and payment is collected as per their customers request. A newsletter module is also available with customizable email templates and email logs.

Sendgrid is used to ensure email deliverability and scalability. Litebreeze has also integrated a queuing system to send out bulk emails and newsletters with ease. The live support feature is powered by Zopim and a CMS integration manages the content pages.

Webshop with product configurator

Funcruises system comes with a custom made e-commerce module for selling caps, champagne glass, shirts etc. The webshop also enables the customers to personalize their caps. The cap designer has different models and various add-on products for the user to create a highly customized and personalized end-product. The users can add multiple products to their shopping cart and checkout using Klarna invoice payment.

The cap customization panel uses advanced JS coding, which provides a real time view of the finished product. The manufacturer receives excel reports for cap customisation and add-on overview.

In-depth technical information

In 2009 the application transferred to LiteBreeze was built on native PHP. As LiteBreeze took over the project, the code was modified as per the requirements. CodeIgniter framework, Bootstrap responsive design template, MySQL database, jQuery javascript library were used to build the latest application during the revamp in 2016. Most of the pages in the new application visited by the client is developed using Ajax / jQuery to provide a unique user experience.

Our Indian web development team coordinates on a daily basis with several employees at Funcruises in Sweden. We use Basecamp, Skype and webcam meetings for improved collaboration.

A crucial requirement of the application was to handle huge traffic when the tickets are launched. Additional configuration was carried out on the the web server / PHP / database to handle this huge traffic. We used LoadImpact for load testing and Pingdom for website monitoring and optimization.

We have also integrated Google Analytics to track the visitors and conversion rates. The admin panel was developed using the open source Material admin theme and the complete website follows the guidelines of UX design authored by Google. Cloudflare’s CDN ensures rapid delivery across all devices worldwide.

Current challenges

With the ever increasing demands and increasing traffic, the next major challenge is to set-up a horizontally scaling load balancing server to account for the huge incoming traffic.

With the announcement of GDPR, it has become mandatory that we make our website GDPR compliant. We need to analyze the system in detail and modify accordingly in order to make sure that GDPR is followed strictly.

We also plan to integrate an SMS gateway to setup custom reminders making sure that the customers are always notified of important events and payment notifications.

Our project is a highly customized PHP solution that we have worked on with LiteBreeze since 2009. We've been happy with the services provided by LiteBreeze and we feel how service and technical capability is continuously being improved. We recommend LiteBreeze highly.

- Martin Wengström (Sandviken, Sweden)
Team of developers who worked on this project: Vishnu JV, Sam AV, Sarath SK, Chetan BM, Sabir AJ