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May June 2020 Marina World

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  • Lindley
  • Pandemic
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The magazine for the marina industry

PROUD TO BE MADE IN

PROUD TO BE MADE IN AMERICA AUSTRALIA DOHA, QATAR Up to 25,000 lb. lifting capacity available • User friendly operation • Expandable capacity (lift can add capacity at later time) • Simply tie to a dock/piling • Easily moveable in areas prone to hurricanes or flooding Dealership Opportunities Available www.boatlift.com/ become-a-dealer 1.800.825.3379 | boatlift.com sales1@boatlift.com HH_Ad_MarinaWorld_5.1x7.1.indd 6 World news World features World readership 12/1/19 2:31 PM Contact Julia Hallam +44(0) 1621 855890 juliahallam@marinaworld.co.uk To be seen in the world of marinas you need to be seen in Marina World

INTELLIGENT MARINA SYSTEMS The test of time - when to revamp your MMS or install a new system by Chris Thomas Computer software systems, e.g. marina and boatyard management systems (MMS), like any business asset, need maintenance to deliver optimum functionality. Internal and external change can impact the operation of a business, and these changes should be reflected in your management systems to ensure your business can grow and develop in tune with the needs of the end-user. What drives a need to change your system? One important driver of change is managing risks to the business. Unfortunately, in today’s business environment there is an array of bad actors and criminals with everincreasing skill sets to penetrate your business and systems to obtain data. Couple this with the need to open system access to staff, customers and the public; and with more sensitive information available in your databases - e.g. payments, credit card and personal bank details - regular updates and maintenance are critical. This creates an ever-increasing need to ensure your computer systems are updated with the latest Microsoft system software, security controls and patches. Your MMS vendor must provide new releases to support such updates. Over time, all software develops to be able to ‘provide more functionality’, requiring more computing power to maintain system performance. Eventually, such upgrades will mean you need faster computers. This, in turn, will mean updated system software which your existing MMS may not support. There are many contributing factors that could become reasons for reviewing your current MMS software. One of these is ongoing MMS problems and the continual need for costly support. Consumer behaviour has changed and, as staff and customers are becoming more familiar with technology, they have higher expectations of business anywhere, ‘do it now’ and ‘do it here’. Your business will need to provide more responsive services to your customers. MMS software vendors should be providing continual updates to meet such changes. Increased regulatory compliance can require improvements in your MMS system. Recently we have all suffered a massive life and business change with COVID-19 forcing new business practices and new compliance issues. Internet access is becoming more extensive, and more boaties have access from their boats and are looking for reservation and payment options remotely. A good MMS system will have the capacity to meet and support changes in your business. But perhaps the most important factor for change is complacency: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Complacency can result in inefficient operations that could be better served by a better MMS solution and vendor. Good practice is to be constantly looking for changes to improve operations and customer service, working with your MMS vendor on ideas and reviewing new features in the vendor release to see if they can help improve your business. Regular review and understanding of the full features and capabilities of your MMS and comparing it to a quality MMS solution is good business practice. Examples of a quality MMS solution are: • Removing the need for manual pricing and calculations by staff • Ability to audit and log vessel arrivals (or parts used in the boatyard etc.) and have complete confidence that all revenue is captured and passed through to your Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet Could you be getting better information, increased staff productivity and enhanced customer services with a different MMS system vendor? Chris Thomas is general manager of Pacsoft International. Pacsoft has been providing innovative marina-specific software solutions for over 22 years www.pacsoftmms.com. www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2020 43

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