Ensphere go the extra mile for Gold Medal Travel


Gold Medal Travel Group plc (Gold Medal) is one of the UK’s leading independent travel companies. Launched over 40 years ago, today the company provides a full spectrum of services ranging from flight only to exclusive luxury holidays. Gold Medal offers over 1500 flight destinations from 130 of the world’s leading airlines and in excess of 30,000 hotels worldwide.

The company operates from its head office in Preston where it employs approximately 550 staff and supplies its services to 4,000 agents across the UK.  They have an enviable reputation within the travel industry for excellent customer service and a pioneering ethos.  Both of these attributes have helped GMT to achieve strong growth, particularly in recent years.


The key challenges that Gold Medal faces relate to the complexities of managing the reservations made by its 4000 agents and the end customer. The company operates in a demanding environment where the pricing of both airfares and hotels changes constantly and bookings can made directly by customers via the web or phone or indirectly via travel agents. Managing these demands efficiently is crucial to Gold Medal and fundamental to its operation.

Added to this are the ever changing pricing options and over 500,000 transactions that the business manages every year. Gold Medal also has to contend with penalties that the airlines pass on to them if customers change their booking after the initial 24 hour period. Simple changes such as a spelling mistake on the customer’s name are common and often occur when the customer books online. However, these minor changes result in additional fees being passed onto Gold Medal by the operators and can cost the company a significant amount of money each year.

In this incredibly complex environment which incorporates a multi-channel customer supply chain and significant web-based process requiring instantaneous transactions and confirmations, Gold Medal has to rely heavily on its infrastructure.

The Ensphere Solution

The progressive nature of Gold Medal also spans its approach to technology. As the web began to impact on its business processes, Gold Medal recognised that it could further improve the booking procedure by automating additional elements in the back office systems.

The company were a loyal Sage customer having used Sage Line 500 for over 10 years. They had confidence in the system and its 60 users enjoyed the familiarity. Gold Medal had no requirement to consider changing a solution that worked very well for them. It simply needed to add an additional layer of functionality that could link the industry standard agent reservations system with Line 500. This enhancement would enable full automation of the booking system from the web or call centre through to Line 500.

Gold Medal had a longstanding and trusting relationship with Wayne Nolan (Managing Director of Ensphere) and his team. They knew that the Ensphere team specialised in enhancing Sage solutions with tailored programmes and they already understood Gold Medal’s challenging business.

The Ensphere team developed two additional systems exclusively for Gold Medal. WSL was developed take the booking from the industry standard reservations system (used by all of Gold Medal’s 4000 agents and direct customers) and automatically processes it into Sage, raising and issuing invoices at the same time. Today over 300 users across Gold Medal rely on WSL.

Ensphere also developed the REX solution for Gold Medal. REX is responsible for removing the risk of changes to the booking being made after the initial 24 hour window when the customer can change their reservation without any charge being passed onto Gold Medal by the operators.

The REX system alerts Gold Medal staff of all bookings made within the most recent 24 hours. A team of 10 operators are responsible for confirming that all of the information given at the time of booking is correct. Ensphere have also worked with the REX users to impart their knowledge so that new rules can be managed directly by Gold Medal, helping them to react quickly and keep development costs to a minimum.

Both WSL and REX have been developed to integrate with the existing Sage Line 500 system which Ensphere also assists Gold Medal with. In doing so Ensphere have helped Gold Medal to enhance their core Sage solution and realise considerable additional benefits.

Andrew Morris, Financial Controller at Gold Medal comments:

“We’ve worked with Wayne and his team for over 10 years now. The nature of our business means that we have to have systems in place that are reliable and can be adapted quickly to the meet the changing demands of our suppliers whilst also ensuring that we provide first class levels of customer service.

Over the years the Ensphere team have gained a thorough understanding of our unique business needs and helped us to develop systems that enable us to simplify and automate our complex processes dramatically.

Ensphere work with us so seamlessly that we consider them part of the team these days! They are more than a supplier, they are a trusted partner and as a joint team we work incredibly well together. It is this partnership and their ability to adapt quickly and constantly develop our systems that helps us to continually drive our business forward and maintain competitive advantage. "

Ensphere and in particular their tailored solutions have helped Gold Medal to make significant financial savings over a number of years. As our business continues to grow and face new challenges we are confident that with Ensphere we have the right partner in place to support us.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to anyone.”