THE MEDIA VOICE OF THE GLOBAL MARINA INDUSTRY

Smarter management, happier customers

Implementing smart technology is usually a gradual process that delivers positives along the journey. Matt OíHara, Kevin Lussier, Darrell Barnett and Mark Jaraczewski give operator feedback for Molo, Marina Master and Stellar software systems. Each was asked about how they implemented smart technology; the benefits and problems; customer response; and plans for future smart initiatives.

The operations system at Queen Boat Co has moved from pen and paper to single-system management and communications.

The operations system at Queen Boat Co has moved from pen and paper to single-system management and communications.

Matt OíHara, owner, Queen Boat Co Ė Freedom Boat Club Lake George, USA
We bought the marina in 2018 and when we bought it, the former owner did everything very old school: pen, paper and file folders. We were lucky to even have contact info for some customers, let alone service records and work orders. The first thing we decided we needed to change when we got here was that we needed a real system of being able to keep track of customers and of the work weíre doing on boats, while having it all in one software system, including inventory and all. We shopped around and found Molo and were happy with what their system was and how easy it was to use. Then we implemented that to handle all our service work orders, all our parts and customer billing, customer interactions, loading insurance and customer vessels.
Matt OíHara

Matt OíHara

Benefits include all the communication with members; sending invoices and allowing them to pay online. Itís really streamlining these things that have been the benefit. These things were happening before but through multiple different software systems and multiple people. With Molo, we can do all these things internally and customer-facing in one spot.
Itís been a big improvement. Any time customers call, we can pull up the service history for their boat in two seconds and let them know what we did and when. Itís been a huge help for our customers to offer them online billings. Sending invoices to customersí emails, which is what everyone wants now, gives them the ability to pay online versus calling to get credit card numbers. Itís much more streamlined for payments and itís a much more frictionless experience.
The customer interaction with us is just easy and smooth and quick so itís just made their overall experience with us great.
The next smart initiative we are adding is putting in charging stations at our dock to give electric boats the ability to come and charge up at our marina. The smart part of that is that the company has an app, enabling customers to find marinas that have superpower chargers. They then find all their information already loaded into the app, and can make payment through it.
We are really excited about this as we will be the first marina with this charger in the northeast and I think the third in the United States. I think in the next few years we are going to see a lot more of these superchargers, but we are really happy to be piloting this in the region.
Kevin Lussier CMM, director of operations, Ocean Havens LLC, USA
All of our marinas have implemented Marina Master software to streamline the reservation process, send automated emails, build seasonal dockage contracts, and more, with ease. Marina Master software is integrated into our website to enhance the user experience. We even developed a loyalty programme to give back to our customers with discounts on fuel, dockage, and more.
Kevin Lussier

Kevin Lussier

We use other forms of smart technology beyond our reservation and communication system. To create better security at our facility, we give each customer a key fob that allows them access onto their dock and keeps unauthorised individuals from entering the marina. Our parking lots also use technology to keep record of available spaces and allow our customers into the lots with their key fobs.
Our marina staff have seen an increase in efficiency, knowing technology has automated processes that previously took away from other responsibilities.
Charleston Marina, an Ocean Havens marina, uses wide-ranging smart technology. The team is always thinking of new ways to use its software and leverage automation to best advantage.

Charleston Marina, an Ocean Havens marina, uses wide-ranging smart technology. The team is always thinking of new ways to use its software and leverage automation to best advantage.

The team at Marina Master is knowledgeable and quick to resolve any problems that arise. For example, when we noticed customers signing up for the loyalty programme multiple times, Marina Master quickly adjusted the contract automation to only display the sign-up form for those not already in the programme to prevent duplicate records from being created.
Customers respond very well to the loyalty programme. Marina Masterís software helps determine the status level for a customer, and applies their benefits to applicable transactions. Being rewarded with savings is incredibly valuable to our boaters.
Our team is always thinking of new ways we can use the software and leverage automation to our advantage. Something on deck at Charlestown Marina is creating a scheduled pump-out form through Marina Master to make this amenity at the marina more efficient.
Darrell Barnett CMM general manager, Soldiers Point Marina, Australia
We implemented the smart Marina Master solution step by step, focusing on CRM smart technology that enables us to offer our guests unique customer experience.†The best thing is how versatile the system is and how cooperative and diversified the owners are in being willing to customise to our needs. Nothing is too hard Ė everything is prioritised and to date they have met all expectations.
Darrell Barnett

Darrell Barnett

The software enables a lot of flexibility in customising solutions according to our requirements and ever evolving customer services. It not only improves the day-to-day operations but is saving me thousands of dollars a year in operational costs. Marina Master has managed to integrate with MYOB.
As for customer response, clients who try our marina services and facilities are returning and becoming long-term loyal customers. myMarina enables them to make restaurant reservations, call for assistance by boat or car and have quick access to marina business offers from tenants and more.
Implementing smart software at Soldiers Point in Australia has improved day-to-day operations and saves thousands of dollars per year in operational costs.

Implementing smart software at Soldiers Point in Australia has improved day-to-day operations and saves thousands of dollars per year in operational costs.

Smart initiatives are part of our future strategy in updating and upgrading luxury facilities and services for our guests according to latest marina industry trends. Customer and marina requirements are constantly developing according to the rapidly changing environment in the marina industry.
Mark Jaraczewski, vice president, Circle Boating, Suntex Marinas, USA
When implementing Stellar as online booking software, the customer experience is very easy and simple. We use Stellar for all our boat clubs and boat rentals, and we have been with them for six or seven years. We are currently operating 20 boat clubs across the United States, and we have 29 properties that use Stellar for rentals on The Circle of Boating that handles our division. Itís been a great system for us as we can target key areas with certain pricing structures as well as get the report for things that we need. Itís a very good system for the boat rental market and the boat club market.
Mark Jaraczewski

Mark Jaraczewski

A lot of the advantages we see lie in how booking grids work and how you arrange the booking grids. The willingness to design the platform and make it more appealing for the front-end user for our operations is big and we run a big operation here.
I think the future advancement in dashboards and creating different structures for dashboards will make a difference. For example, having revenue for my division for the boat rental market in the cloud. Itís been a seamless and easy system to navigate and operate. Iím boarding new properties and itís pretty easy for us to do that, so I think that is an advantage and it would be different if you didnít have this technology behind you.
The Circle of Boating division at Suntex Marinas runs smoothly, and enjoys multiple benefits, using online booking software for its boat clubs and boat rentals.

The Circle of Boating division at Suntex Marinas runs smoothly, and enjoys multiple benefits, using online booking software for its boat clubs and boat rentals.

The understanding of the system as we grow means we know the system inside and out now. Itís really been that easy for us to install at the properties and move to a more positive direction so I think that the install and learning the system is very simple.
And the customer experience has been a huge advantage for the business. Having the online booking experience is very easy and simple to utilise which has allowed for a better experience for the customers.
In the future, we want to move forward with some other changes when it comes to booking windows: how can we increase our booking window times and make sure a person books more effectively? I think youíll see us in the future looking at our operating system as we advance with our marinas. Weíre going to be working on some future designs and how we can enable the customer to book more quickly and easily.

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