Partnering for the Future: How Integration Partners Save Time and Money
In 2010, boat sales had hit rock bottom, a result of the greatest recessions in modern history. As the economy began to recover, we noticed an increase in the number of feature requests we received from clients looking for better ways of doing business. Looking back at it now, this was a great indicator that things were improving in our industry. During this time, we received requests to support e-commerce storefronts and mobile lead management systems. Our expertise was in building feature rich Windows-based business management systems for marinas, boatyards and boat dealers. But we did not have the staff nor the bandwidth to build everything our customers were requesting.
During this time one of our Sr. Developers came to me with a proposal. “Why don’t we give 3rd party applications a way to get access to DockMaster over the Internet?” At that moment, I realized we can’t be “best in class” at everything. So we decided to partner with companies that can deliver these services to our clients more quickly and seamlessly. Our “best in class” strategy was officially launched in February of 2011 and we haven’t looked back since. One of the first customers to benefit was Merritt Marine Supply. They were one of the first marine distributors to sell part and supplies online. Merritt uses DockMaster at both their boatyard and their supply business. Today, DockMaster manages the inventory being sold on their website. To do this, we built an Application Programming Interface (API). It allows their website to request inventory quantities, SKUs and prices at various price-levels. When an item is sold, the quantity on hand is reduced in DockMaster and the order is submitted automatically to our Order Entry module.
Today we have over 16 DockMaster Integration Partners that range from mobile apps to custom websites. For marinas, we integrate with Boat Cloud’s Stack Track application. This app allows boaters to book a haul-out at a marina in the same way a golfer can book a tee time. They can also request supplies from the app that are provisioned and then submitted to our POS application for check-out.
For marine dealers, we have an integration with Dealer Spike that allows boat dealers to auto-populate their boat inventory on their website. In addition, our integration with teamMarine allows dealers to create and track leads using the popular Salesforce® CRM solution. Salesforce also has a powerful mobile app allowing dealers to see, call or email their leads right from their phone. This information, along with their boat inventory, is available in teamMarine and then automatically submitted to DockMaster to create a contract.
On the Service and Boatyard side, we have an integration with MyTaskit, the leading task coordination application in the marine industry. In DockMaster, estimates are converted to work orders with just a few clicks. The tasks in those work orders are then assigned to technicians using the MyTaskit Pro app. Techs take photos/videos of the job they are working on, track their time on each task and add comments. The phone’s speech to text feature eliminates the need for typing. The techs’ time and comments are then automatically sent to DockMaster for billing purposes.
DockMaster’s Integration Partners give our clients ways to be more efficient, cut down on double entry and reduce mistakes. Clerical errors occur when information is handwritten on paper and then re-keyed into a computer. These processes are inefficient and our goal with these partnerships is to move marine businesses closer to operating an efficient and organized operation.