The Client

Our client is one of the largest cruise companies in the world, running trips to ports all over Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Alaska.

The Challenge

The company was facing difficulties creating and distributing promo materials, welcome packages and communications to travel agents. The in-house process was proving too costly, so in order to reduce overhead they looked to outsource fulfillment to a third party.

An analysis of the existing fulfillment processes revealed challenges in allocating and distributing promotional material to travel agents.

At that time, travel agents were sent an inventory list of everything the client had in stock and could order as much or as little as they wanted. This regularly led to stock-outs and uneven distribution as travel agents always sought to acquire the latest material to aid their sales process.

There were also delays in dispatching the materials to travel agents. With the cruise industry being so competitive, the client wanted their latest brochures and guides to be available for potential customers to view as soon as possible. Delays were costly and could equate to lost sales. If the client could not ensure the most relevant materials were available to their customer, they risked losing them to a competitor.

Our Solution

Using our proprietary order entry and fulfillment system, nexTouch, we developed a custom systematic process for managing inventory, promotional materials, personalized guest welcome packages and communications.

Travel agents would be allotted a fixed quantity of promotional material that they could order directly from our web-based nexTouch tool, which prevented stockouts and ensured all stock was distributed evenly. They would also receive personalized reporting on their own allocated stock rather than an update on the client’s entire stock list.

The materials would be shipped from multiple warehouses in the Continental U.S. and Canada, greatly increasing the speed of fulfillment.

We created scalable processes to accommodate the fluctuating demands of different cruise itineraries, which ensured the fulfillment operations we provided would remain flexible and responsive.

Working with Harte Hanks, the cruise company successfully transformed its fulfillment operations, leading to efficiency, personalization, scalability and cost savings.

The Results

Faster fulfillment:

Most fulfillment of promotional materials and guest gifts is now same-day. Fulfilling from a warehouse in Canada as well as the U.S. also means that materials no longer need to cross the border, preventing delays created by customs checks.

Cost savings:

Outsourcing their fulfillment services has led to significant cost savings for the cruise company by eliminating the need for an extensive in-house operations team and reducing the overhead costs associated with it.

Enhanced reporting:

Providing users with updates on their own stock, rather than the entire stock list helps travel agents manage their inventory more effectively.

Improved material distribution:

Rather than a first-come-first-served model of distribution, our approach ensures promotional materials can be shared evenly among travel agents.

Efficiency gains:

Enabling travel agents to order directly from our nexTouch system made this process quick and efficient.