The idea of initiating digital marina management software can seem intimidating. But the good news is that Dockwa has already mastered the process.
Dockwa recently featured Jekyll Harbor Marina on Jekyll Island, Georgia, as a marina case study, showing the surprising ease with which marina owners Zac and Stephanie Gilbert transitioned a dated marina into a modern and efficient business powered by customer convenience and increased sales. While their path to marina ownership is unique to them, the benefits they’ve enjoyed by using a modern platform like Dockwa are accessible to all marina owners who are ready to live the technology without needing to invent it.
“Streamline” is a term woven into so many genres of business that one can become desensitized to the results of streamlining. A “streamlined” digital point-of-sale system leads to instant gratification for the customer and immediately pinpointed transactions for the formerly stressed marina manager.
A major benefit detailed by Zac and Stephanie at their location on Georgia’s Intracoastal Waterway was that when they modernized their business with Dockwa marina management software, they could manage reservations remotely in real-time. With in-person transactions no longer necessary, they were able to travel on their 37-foot Bertram yacht while keeping a literal finger on the pulse of their business.
Dockwa’s point-of-sale system automates a marina manager’s occupancy reporting. The boater makes a reservation through the Dockwa app or on their computer, the slip fills instantly, and the marina manager receives an updated digital report of who has reserved which slip and for how long.
The same concept applies to financial transactions, with the POS neatly cataloging inventory levels, sales patterns, and specific invoices and payments. Sales are processed wirelessly, so customers can reserve their credit card on file and swipe fuel sales from the pump rather than have to walk to an employee (like Zac or Stephanie) at the marina office 200 yards away.
Dockwa enables a marina to create a marina profile that’s visible to over a quarter million boaters actively searching Marinas.com or Dockwa.com for a local parking spot for their craft. In fact, Dockwa reports that five million nights a year are booked through their platform and more than 60 percent of all boats over 40 feet are Dockwa users.
The active nature of improving sales and opening chunks of free time with marina software is a passive activity for marina managers like the Gilberts at Jekyll Harbor. Templates are auto-prepared, billing is automatic, and tasks that once required an owner to sit and pore through a contract before attempting to reach a client by phone are now handled with a few button taps and an e-signature.
The marina owner using Dockwa’s marina management software sees a dashboard that looks like this:
A task that once took hours now takes minutes when a marina manager uploads their pre-arranged documents and batch-sends them to the client. This could include terms of service, storage parameters, and any standards related to marina amenities and services. The customer will review the documents and send back a digital signature. Any issues with the contracts can be resolved in-app through the Dockwa messaging function.
Marinas often miss a large chunk of unrealized income because they simply don’t have an organized method of backfilling while a customer is away long-term. Dockwa utilizes a marina occupancy calculator to help owners determine how many open slips they have and the potential profits by improving occupancy by just a few percentage points. The savvy manager can set up structured or unstructured backfill arrangements to maximize occupancy year-round.
Part of Zac and Stephanie’s adaptation to using Dockwa at Jekyll Harbor was the idea of “putting the marina to work for the customer.” The logistics of seeing this idea in action occur as the small everyday solutions are already built into the Dockwa platform.
To achieve that glorious balance of maximum time and sales means to be aware of any fluctuation that occurs within the marina ecosystem. Fuel is a frequently oscillating metric that can be tweaked directly from the Dockwa dashboard. A manager can update prices from the platform in five different fuel categories, and these prices are immediately reflected in the marina manager’s marinas.com profile.
Many viable marketing approaches exist for creating boater appeal but a successful backfilling program means sometimes running flash promotions when you have open transient slips. Dockwa marine management software is equipped with multiple step-by-step processes to help an assertive manager initiate sales and temporary rates. The manager can add discounts to service fees and reservations, and even create coupon codes to entice potential customers looking for a first-time marina experience.
Zac and Stephanie’s current Dockwa profile for Jekyll Harbor Marina shows a long list of five-star reviews with a common theme: The level of service from this rustic yet modernized marina is impeccable.
The idea of initiating digital marina management software can seem daunting. The good news is that Dockwa has already mastered the agriculture of managing a digital garden.
As Jekyll Harbor and thousands of other marinas have found out, marina management can be as easy as drifting away from the dock in a 37-foot yacht with nothing ahead but blue sky and a clear horizon.
Attend a demo by May 31, 2023 and we will waive your new Dockwa account setup fees.