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2017 July August Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE The

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE The marina management software sector is fast paced. What changes do you think we will see in the near future and how can marina operators best future-proof the systems they run? “It’s all about the customer experience. Building the best software isn’t just about using the latest tech. It’s also about knowing how it’ll be used. I think it’s essential to keep one eye on the users and the emerging trends in their habits. For example, over the next ten years we firmly believe customers will increasingly opt for self-service solutions. Whether it’s pre-booking marina services or managing their own needs on-site, customers seem to want more control and less hassle. This has led to the development of fully-integrated solutions offering the simplest customer experience possible. One of the ways we can provide this experience is by giving customers more ways to interact with a marina. So you could have one customer who books a berth with a text message that feeds right into the booking system, another who manages their marina services online, and another who doesn’t even need to enter their details because the system remembers them from their first booking. As customers become more comfortable with these services, we’ll see new trends emerge. Already, features like live maps, real-time financial data and multisite systems have gone from experimental to essential. But staying ahead of these trends is a full-time job. So when it comes to future-proofing, the best solution will always be the system that moves with the times, keeping you up to date with the technology and the people who use it.” Graham Laidler, technology director, Harbour Assist, UK E:graham.laidler@harbourassist.com “We see a fast move towards interconnectivity in the marina management software space. It is no longer sustainable to have a point of sale system, a customer relationship management system and an accounting system that don’t talk to each other. In order for the software to deliver promised benefits, including increased revenue, lower administrative burden and better customer engagement, it needs to be connected. The marketing and social media needs to be connected to the marina management system, which needs to be connected to the inventory, point of sale and accounting systems. And all of these systems will ideally be web-based and accessed via web browser or mobile App.” Rocko Stojiljkovic, co-founder Molo, E:rocko@getmolo.com “We are living in extraordinary times. And these extraordinary times are offering tremendous opportunities for people who are ready to act on these opportunities. Take the Internet for example. The Internet has dramatically transformed the way we communicate, collaborate and do business. Marina operators need to make sure that their present (or future) management systems provide their customers with the flexibility to selfservice via the Internet on a 24/7 basis. Boaters are also consumers and, as consumers, most of them have already used the Internet to communicate, book air plane tickets, buy goods from eShops or manage their bank account. Soon, the majority of them will expect the same level of service from their marina. And this trend is something that marina operators must recognise and include in their planning. The automation provided by this opportunity will not IoT only increase customer satisfaction but also improve the bottom line of the business. This will happen for a number of reasons but mainly because common tasks that now require the exclusive attention of a (paid) marina employee, will be carried out by the customer and the machine, automatically. And this can easily happen, even during non-working hours while the customer is sailing towards your marina and you are doing something else. I find this really extraordinary.” John Barbanas, project manager Successful Software, E:ibarbanas@successful-soft.com “Marina management software as wearable technology is becoming a musthave. Marina staff should have ability to “take their office with them” when leaving for a dock walk, events etc. Customers also expect the ability to “take the marina with them” and want to communicate and order services from any mobile device. Forwardthinking marinas will have almost all processes and services automated to give marina staff more time for added value activities and to improve customer relationship. Security that is more accessible for marinas of all types will be a big differentiator for marina management software solutions in the future. The solution has to provide SSL/HTTPS certified connection, backup and UPS. CRM is the heart of a good marina management software solution. Software’s capability to deliver customer experience is requested by 94% of marina managers within our Marina Master database worldwide. Innovative marina managers should 46 www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2017

MIMO consider every experience and moment of truth with their customer as a gold mine for their strategy. Management reports and analytics will take centre stage enabling management to forecast marina situations, customer behaviour and more. Cloud adoption will continue to rise while enabling better data access, flexibility, security and lower infrastructure costs. The marina management solution that is flexible enough and develops continuously according to a marina’s needs and trends will win the battle in the rapidly evolving and maturing marina management sector.” Tone Britovšek, MSc, president, Marina Master, E:tone.britovsek@irm.si “Early internet pioneers toted that the “world wide web” would change the world forever, but I’m not sure they really understood the strength of their statement. Even in the last two years, the pace at which the use of modern web application technology has increased is off the charts. Marinas that are not focusing their attention on web-based solutions that deliver real-time communications between their employees and their clients could struggle to catch up with the early adopters. The evolution (and revolution) behind mobile device technology and the expectations carried by consumers is definitely something to pay attention to. While the marine industry as a whole has been slow to adopt modern technologies, those that already have are operating on a completely different plateau. When our clients ask if there is MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE any way that they can prevent their competitors from using our webbased technologies, 6G 5G we know we’ve provided them with a great service. While we appreciate their interests in protecting their turf, it is generally a short time before competitive marinas are forced to meet the level of service and customer expectations delivered by the early adopters. As more real-time web and mobile technologies come to fruition, we believe the nay-sayers will eventually toss their clipboards and dry-erase boards wayside. BoatCloud serves two very distinct segments of the industry with two specialised web and mobile applications. Today, BoatCloud is used by drystack storage marinas and boat club operators in seven countries – managing just over 250,000 reservation communications each month.” Todd Wagner, vice president Anderson Software, E:todd@andersoft.com www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2017 47

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