Custom CRM and booking system for event planner and travel agency

 
Custom CRM and booking system for event planner and travel agency

Funcruises.se 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. This application took over 6000 hours to build.

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 and Android devices. 

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 the ever-increasing customer demand. With the 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.

The user can create an account using their Facebook login and add friends / co-passengers to make bookings on their behalf. These friends can log in 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 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 a 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 customer’s 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 web shop also enables 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 customization 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, Aurora serverless, 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 are developed using Ajax / jQuery to provide a unique user experience.

Our Indian web development team coordinates on a daily basis with 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 tickets are launched. We introduced a queuing system for creating bookings during traffic with the help of AWS services.

The queue system restricts the number of users and as per the pre-set limit. Access to the booking services is available only when the system load is below the limit.

AWS API Gateway, Lambda scripts and Dynamo DB was integrated to achieve this. We used JMeter LoadImpact for load testing and Pingdom for website monitoring and optimization.

We had implemented serverless architecture for Database using Aurora serverless. The system will auto-scale up and scale down the Database based on the load in the system. This will also reduce the server cost.

We have also integrated Google Analytics to track 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, a major challenge is to set-up a horizontally scaling load balancing server to account for the huge incoming traffic.

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.

Custom CRM and booking system for event planner and travel agency

Our project is a highly customized PHP solution that we have worked on with LiteBreeze since 2009. We are happy with the services provided by LiteBreeze and we feel that 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