Proof Point - RCI
ProCo, helping to revitalise an old favourite
You may have read that back in 2018 Amazon successfully trialled a printed catalogue to promote toys in the run up to Christmas, well they are not the only world class business to see the benefit of catalogues and printed publications.
In 2019, following customer feedback RCI Europe, with the help of ProCo have brought back their printed Directory of resorts.
RCI stands for Resorts Condominiums International. In 1974, founders Jon and Christel DeHaan pioneered the concept of vacation exchange. The couple realised that swapping holiday homes offered greater choice and added value to the timeshare ownership experience. They developed a system to allow timeshare owners to exchange a holiday at their home resort for a stay of the same duration at other resorts which had joined RCI’s exchange programme. This gave timeshare owners all over the world a new level of flexibility and choice, revolutionising the holiday experience for millions of people.
Today they remain the global leaders in holiday exchange, with over 3.5 million members and the a network of over 4,000 resortsin more than 100 different
destinations. More resorts trust RCI to deliver a world-class holiday exchange membership journey to their valued owners than any other holiday exchange company in the world.
Eight years ago RCI published their last Resort Directory. A large publication showcasing their best resorts and properties to their membership. It typically took around 8-12months to put this publication together as it had to take the form of 16 language versions across two membership mechanism (points and weeks) and across up to 6 differing brands and therefore the number of end versions could be as many as 30 or more.
In 2018 RCI carried out detailed customer research, part of which was a survey to understand what influenced a member to choose properties and destinations for their next holiday. Insight revealed that the printed Directory was an overwhelmingly important influencer on those decisions and that it was indeed a catalyst for increased behaviour within their membership.
It was therefore decided to once again publish a new, dynamic version of the Directory which this time, with the support of ProCo had to fulfil three core objectives and be produced for three different uses:
RCI affiliated resorts – the direct sales channel for RCI membership (you cannot buy membership direct) – this has to deliver the WOW factor and be hard wearing
Existing RCI Members – any member could order one through their membership area on the RCI.com website
New RCI Members – New members receive a Welcome Pack, which contains a Directory, based on their chosen language, points or weeks scheme and brand (affiliate agent) that they signed up with
The solution was built considering the business challenges for each application.
Affiliates needed the WOW factor and to be hard wearing. ProCo suggested these be produced as Case Bound books with a matt laminated cover – 24 versions totalling 4,000 copies.
Initially the demand for these Perfect Bound books would be predictable however over time the differing versions can run low on stock and a solution was required if demand outstrip initial forecasts. ProCo built an automated ordering system linked to RCIs internal membership and website system via an API, so that ProCo could receive orders every weekday.
The system was configured that should stock be available it would send an order to the warehouse for a copy to be picked, packed and posted with 24/48hrs. Should stock not be available the system would find all of the separate elements of the artwork, combine them and submit automatically to ProCos live print queue to print, pack and dispatch.
New Members receive a copy of the Directory, a personalised letter and membership card. These requirements were complex as there was a need to accommodate language, brand and membership variants. There are over 150 possible variants of these packs and the challenge is not knowing how many new members will sign up through which brands, membership or language. Due to the high risk of producing volumes of stock, these are run via a personalised and on demand solution. Each piece carries a barcode which is used to scan and check items through the production process and then validate the personalised pieces. These are packed into a printed outer wrap with the personalised items.
What can we learn from this activity? Well its enlightening to see an industry leading business revitalising their printed publication to gain increased engagement and traction with their customers, but interestingly it’s the thought behind how they have also been able to offer personalisation at the same time as printing on demand to enable them to manage their expenditure in-line with demand dispelling the myth that producing publications of this type can be costly and restrictive.
To learn more about how you could transform your printed catalogues and directories using print on demand technology, give Matt at ProCo a call, he’ll be happy to work with you to scope out a solution for you.