New app moves marina management online
In the fast-moving world of dry-stack marinas, one company is seeking to do away with the clipboards and handwritten notes used to track boat reservations in exchange for tablets and smartphones.
BoatCloud is a provider of interactive marina management solutions that created a cloud-based scheduling system to streamline marina operations for both employees responsible for prepping boats and the customer who is making the reservation.
Todd Wagner, vice president of BoatCloud, said the program was originally developed for customers looking for an easier way to make a reservation at their dry-stack marina. With BoatCloud’s app, customers can make their reservation, as well as order refreshments or food for the boat, directly from their smartphones. Customers receive confirmation on their reservation and order via text and email.
However, Wagner said the most excitement generated from the product so far came from marina operators, who use it as a back-end management solution. Reservations are flowed into the program from customers, followed by each movement of and service to the boat by the marina staff being recorded.
“It increases efficiency and accountability,” Wagner said. “The old process flow, especially with dry-stack marinas, was a nightmare.”
Now, Wagner said one person is often on a computer monitoring incoming reservations using BoatCloud’s app, while forklift operators use a tablet and the same app to monitor where their services are needed and other staff use smartphones to also follow along.
“Everyone is in sync now; people no longer have to ask, ‘What do you know about this?’” Wagner said.
At its inception, BoatCloud was specific to the dry-stack industry – a small niche already within a small boating industry, according to Wagner. But today, BoatCloud offers a similar app for wet-slip marinas where concierge services and other staff functions can be tracked as customer requests come in.
“More wet-slip marinas are beginning to offer these services to its customers when in the past many were simply treated like storage customers,” Wagner said.
The name of the app dry-stack marina operators use to monitor the services done to a boat is called StackTrack. Customers can download BoatCloud, which is available for both Android and iOS platforms, to make reservations.
Wagner said the app is currently growing stateside in coastal regions. However, it has also received international interest from the Middle East and Europe.
For more information on the BoatCloud app, check out Boating Industry’s App Directory.