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Bayliss Boats

Bayliss Boats _ dock management software

With success and growth comes the need for a more sophisticated marine management software solution.

That’s just what happened at Bayliss Boats, based in Wanchese, N.C., in the picturesque Outer Banks. Founded in 2002 as a custom builder of high-quality sportfishing boats for the serious enthusiast, the company operated just fine for the first few years using QuickBooks software to track accounting and business processes.

But that all changed as Bayliss Boats’ business expanded and diversified. Its executives added to the product mix, hired more employees and then expanded the business with the addition in 2007 of a full-service boatyard and ship’s store. That really added some complexity to the business model, since the yard services not only Bayliss boat-buying customers but also boaters up and down the East Coast.

Bayliss now needed a full service marine facility software solution that could embrace the company’s current needs and also track all aspects of its increasingly diversified operations. The company also wanted a solution that would adapt to the business at it grew.

“QuickBooks worked pretty well for us for a while, but we just grew out of it,” said Erin Beatty, Office Manager. “There were a lot of things we needed to be able to break out – especially details on the boatyard’s operation – that QuickBooks couldn’t do for us.”

Adding a boatyard is a big step for any boat builder. “We needed a software solution that could better handle our inventory and especially the billing for the yard,” Beatty said. “We try to give our customers a lot of detail on their bills and we needed something that could help us do that.”

Clearly, Bayliss needed a business software solution that could track its various cost and profit centers and could be integrated seamlessly into its operation. Once the need was identified, the next step was to find the appropriate software provider. That could have been a challenge, since not all marine management software systems are created equally.

DockMaster is the leader in the market, with more than 25 years of experience providing marine customers with scalable, customizable management solutions that meet or exceed their individual needs.

“We’re delivering the most functional, complete and usable system on the market,” said Clark Beaty, DockMaster Vice President of Sales. “That’s what a singular focus on marine applications and being dedicated to providing the best possible products for our customers can do.”

It didn’t take the Bayliss team long to decide on DockMaster’s marine management software system.

“It was the one software system we had heard a lot of very positive things about,” Beatty said. “We got some references, checked around and talked to people in the industry and made our decision from there.”

DockMaster Sales Representative Art Peacock was invited in to give the Bayliss team an online overview of DockMaster and explain how it offers seamlessly integrated modules tailored to meet the company’s unique needs. He also explained that as the only complete marine management solution running on Microsoft Windows, DockMaster could be used without the need for third-party plug-ins.

“He showed us online what the program could do,” Beatty said. “Then he took us through a tutorial and went over some key points of DockMaster and what it was capable of doing.”

Beatty said the Bayliss management team immediately saw how it could help streamline operations.

“The number one thing we really liked about it was the diversity of what DockMaster could do in terms of billing,” Beatty said. “We especially liked how it could help us better manage our inventory and, of course, we liked how it could help us generate more detailed work orders.”

Beatty also appreciated the scheduling feature, which allows the company to better track work in process as it moves through the plant and of course, the new boatyard.

“In the boatyard, it allows us to monitor work flow, identify bottlenecks and prioritize tasks,” Beatty said. “We’re still learning about all the things it can do, but we think the scheduling feature will be very beneficial to us, as well.”

The biggest challenge Bayliss faced after going “live” with DockMaster in June was transitioning to the new system. “We were using different programs for different parts of the company, so none of our systems were integrated at that point,” Beatty said.

But, Beatty said, the DockMaster team made the process almost seamless.

“Our trainer was really great,” Beatty said. “She was here three or four times prior to going live showing us how to use the system. After the system was up, she spent the whole week with us to making that everything was running and functioning properly and helping us with the system.”

Bayliss acquired eight DockMaster licenses, which Beatty said are being used by various departments, including the stock room, accounting, boatyard manager and the service writer. “Our supervisors aren’t on it yet, but in the future we may end up putting monitors where they can access the work orders,” she said.

It’s been barely five months since DockMaster was installed at Bayliss, and already the company is seeing positive results.

“One nice feature is the custom reports you can do. I mean you can generate a report on just about anything in the system, which is nice,” Beatty said. “And, we’re tracking our different departments to see how they’re doing in terms of job-costing and work flow and other things. All that has been very important to us.”

Now it’s time for the big question: Is DockMaster worth the cost?

While it was a bit early to give a definitive answer, Beatty said the company already is seeing improvements in terms of time and work-flow management, order tracking and increased worker productivity.

“It’ll pay for itself in the long run just on the time we save in billing,” Beatty said. “It has really pulled our systems together and helped us integrate everything, which is great.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Beatty has already recommended DockMaster to others.

“We’ve had a few businesses contact us who are very interested in DockMaster,” she said. “I would recommend it to any size business.”