selling tours and renting bikes

N.B. this is an optional premium feature



So, what if your business sells tours (e.g. wine-tasting afternoon with guide, on bikes) AND rents bikes.
You have shared inventory between your tours and rentals, this is the tricky bit, and is where BRM / RSM is unique because we work up from the inventory management layer.  It doesn't matter if you sell a tour or a rental it still tracks your inventory globally.

How do you use BRM for this?

Let's start with this diagram:





First of all what are the similarities:
  1. they both involve your inventory - say bikes.  You need to track them, and can't go over-booked.
  2. they both have a start time, duration etc.
  3. they both have customer(s)
  4. they both have prices
  5. they both need tracking.  This your rental lifecycle;  Booked?  Paid? Out? Returned?
  6. You may sell both in-store and online
  7. You are going to want to differentiate between Tours and Rentals (for accounting / management purposes)
  8. Both are going to need to generate paperwork (invoices / receipts / waivers etc)
Now the differences:

1. The key difference is how the pricing is calculated
- Tours are often based on a per person basis (with min. participants often) & set duration.
- Rentals are based on per bike /  variable duration basis

2. Tours may also require additional resources per tour - like a guide
3. Tours may have additional meta-data to help sell (e.g. images, description, times & durations)

Okay, so how do you actually do this with BRM / RSM ?

Starting with the similarities...
  • You sell / manage a tour just like any other rental ticket.
  • It has inventory, start times, duration, customer.
  • Lifecycle Tracking is normal
  • you can sell in-store and / or online.
  • you differentiate by creating a ReservationType for each type of tour.
Now the differences...
We have already discussed that the key difference is how Tours and Rentals are priced up.
So, you have a choice, depending on what is more important for you.
In either case you will create a Reservation Type to represent the type of tour you are selling.
  1. create 'dummy inventory' to represent how your tours are priced up.  E.g. 'wine tour'.  Perhaps you can take up to 10 people so create a product line with 10 items in.  Make them belong to a 'wine tour' price group.  This will cover your pricing, but won't adequately handle your inventory management where you have cross-over with your rental fleet (e.g. using bikes).  So you may have to then allocate inventory manually, or track externally.
  2. OR include actual inventory (e.g. bikes) in your rental tickets (ie your tours).  This will mean your inventory is looked after neatly, but you will have to override the price manually.
And what about the tour guide / minibus / etc ?

So imagine for each tour you sell you need to assign a tour guide to actually run the tour.  How do you manage that part?
Again you have a choice....

- You would assign the tour guide by checking a 'guide' extra checkbox - with the respective price
- OR you could create inventory items for each tour guide, and add them to a rental like any other resource.


In the future...



We will be re-visiting this during the 2018 winter to provide a better solution.
We will be creating a hybrid solution to model the selling of a tour more closely.
You will be able to create a special Reservation Type that prices like a tour, not based on individual items & duration.
this will mean you get the best of both worlds - pricing like tour, with the full power of BRM / RSM inventory tracking built in.