Making Generic Bookings - overview
Generic Bookings (GBAL) is a powerful optional feature within BRM that lets you take bookings against your fleet without having to know which actual bike(s) you're going to assign until later. (we also call it 'just-in-time-allocation')
GBAL module is a premium feature.
It does this by organising your fleet into 'buckets' of identical bikes (Product Lines). It doesn't let you over-sell any of your buckets, for any given time-frame, by keeping track of the capacity of each bucket. It lets you defer the decision about exactly which bike until later.
By separating the actions of ALLOCATING bikes and TAKING RESERVATIONS in this way we enable two very useful features:
- with Generic Booking enabled you can support online booking. Online bookers don't care about specific bikes, but they do care about if you have a bike for them, on their chosen date(s). In other words they care about your Generic Availability, not your specific availability. So Generic Booking is a pre-requisite to being able to enable online booking
- logistically you don't necessarily want to take bookings for specific bikes. Imagine you have 100 bikes to rent. You have quite a few duplicates, like 15 Medium Hard Tail Mountain bikes, but you don't have the luxury of being able to access each individual bike on demand. You have a system of storage sheds outside and you hang your bikes in there. But if someone wants a medium mountain bike you get the one at the front of the shed, otherwise you'd have to to move 30 bikes out the way to find a specific one. Therefore Generic Booking and its ability to perform just-in-time-allocation of bikes is an operational enabler. Meaning it works the way you work, not forcing you to work differently.
Generic Booking (GBAL) is an extremely powerful feature, but it does add a certain level of complexity, so by default it is not enabled. But if appropriate for your business, its easy to turn on this feature.
Here is a diagram depicting this separation between taking reservations and allocating actual bikes: