A promotional piece for the upcoming MRA conference in October (we’ll be there
According to businessdictionary.com institutionalization means:
“Process which translates an organization's code of conduct, mission, policies, vision, and strategic plans into action guidelines applicable to the daily activities of its officers and other employees. It aims at integrating fundamental values and objectives into the organization's culture and structure.”
Mr. Underwood is talking about institutionalization from the understandable perspective of someone leading the consolidation that we’re seeing in the industry. However, there are a few other factors driving this professionalization of the marina industry.
For years most marinas have been run by a GM or dockmaster who keep
The competition for people’s time and attention is also forcing marinas to up their game and professionalize. Marinas are no longer competing with the marina across the bay, they’re competing with social media, video games, Netflix and a mix of other “experiences.” In order to provide an experience that meets the convenience and service expectations of people who live digital lives marinas need to rethink how they communicate with and provide value to customers.
Security has always been a focus of marinas given the value of not just the boats in the marina, but also what people have on their boats. In this
If consolidation, the fight for people’s attention, demographic turnover, a changing job market and data security concerns are driving the marina industry to professionalize, where can owners, GM’s and dockmasters start? Here are six things managers and owners should think about when starting the process of professionalizing your operations:
As customer service focused organizations marinas, waterfronts and boat clubs excel at hiring people with great attitudes, which is one of the things that make this such a great industry to service. Unfortunately nice isn’t enough
A good customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Swell’s help staff members quickly pull up relevant information and personalize the customer interaction. Can you give them a treat for their dog? Were they out fishing last week and can you ask them if they caught anything? Do they race most Wednesday nights and you can ask them how they did? A great CRM also lets you communicate with customers in different ways like through mobile apps or text, as well as e-mail.
As the promotional piece for Mr. Underwood’s talk states, diversification of services is part of institutionalizing. Ski hills “began bringing "
A lot of the progressive marina managers that we talk to are doing this by embracing things like in-house boat or ski doo rentals, concierge services that prep a customer’s boat before they arrive at the marina and are embracing new
Branding and Image
Branding starts with understanding positioning. Positioning is how you want people to think of your organization in relation to your competition and service offerings. A facility that is positioned as a
Regardless of how you’re positioning yourself, a new paint job, clean new(ish) uniforms, updated logo, updated website and a reasonable level of grounds and facility maintenance all convey a professionalized organization.
Sound Financial Management
As we’ve written about, there are a lot of opportunities in a marina to dig deep
There isn’t enough space here to go into full details on all of the things you can do to professionalize the financial side of the business, but the starting point is digging deep on what you’re doing today, understanding what you don’t know or track, and then making a plan on how you’ll make improvements based on clear financial data.
Organizational and Customer Knowledge
As discussed at the beginning, a lot of the operational and customer information in marinas and boat clubs is kept in employees heads. Finding a way to get that information in a codified, easily retrievable format is an important part of any organization’s professionalization efforts. Great marina management software with an attached CRM like Swell is the kind of tool you can use to move important customer and operational information from the individual to the organization.
In a digital
Another serious threat is ransomware or other malicious computer programs. Ransomware is when a virus is downloaded to your computer system locking you out until a ransom is paid. The majority of the software used in the marina industry is hosted on in-house
In conclusion, the marina industry is consolidating and institutionalizing. This is raising the bar across the industry. There are a lot of great consultants out there who can help you. There are also a few new software systems like Swell Advantage that can help you align your financial health, customer service, data security and operational flow towards a healthier, more sustainable organization.
We've built Swell Advantage not just based on countless hours spent in marinas and with the help of some of the top experts in the industry, but by copying