Software and web services strive for business efficiency
Like it or not, the digital age is here and it’s here to stay. As each day passes, digital resources become more and more an integral part of everything that we do from personal lives to professional.
Various software and web services have been taking aim at the marine industry for years, all striving to make tasks easier, streamline processes, and as a result, increase profit.
Whether they are teaming up with other developers to increase integration and compatibility, or making their programs a one stop shop in terms of services offered, with consistent and constant growth in the digital realm, software and web service developers and providers are pushing to help make your business more efficient and profitable.
From complete packages like the MasterTools software from Online Computing, to the web service providers like Dealer Spike, various programs and services offer dealers and manufacturers a versatile toolbox.
Online Computing — the author of MasterTools — is in its 49th year of business providing solutions to manufacturers across a variety of industries, including the marine industry.
“Our longevity definitely relates to our experience out there,” said Online Computing President Ted Murphy. “Being the authors of the software gives us a lot of flexibility in the software. We’re enhancing the product every day.”
Online Computing’s MasterTools offers users a variety of 25 to 30 modules, that help with everything from inventory control to accounting, and everything in between.
“Most of our clients are using MasterTools for the complete management system,” Murphy said. Every client doesn’t necessarily use every module, however most of MasterTools’ clients are using some form of combination of modules, Murphy said.
Murphy said that MasterTools clients in the marine industry are primarily in manufacturing, ranging from OEM boats to Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and some in the aftermarket parts market.
Right here, right now
In today’s world of everything “right now” manufacturers and businesses require access to information from almost any location at any time.
“Our whole philosophy is in real time, wireless connectivity,” Murphy said. For example, when using MasterTools’ inventory module paired with the TC70 portable terminal, all inventory is updated as you go.
Another aspect of the “right now” mentality in today’s software and web services include web-based products and/or cloud-based products.
Subscription-based MyTaskit takes out the need for brand new technological devices to run the applications. All the user needs is a device that supports the Internet and they are good to go.
“We’ve put a lot of focus on continued integration into other products,” said MyTaskit CEO and founder Kevin Hutchinson. “We’re involved in several negotiations to create a better experience for the user.” As of now, MyTaskit is highly integrated with programs such as QuickBooks and DockMaster.
MyTaskit currently offers users subscription-based work coordination software for service and repair. The software can be used to facilitate jobs for technicians, supervisors and subcontractors, and maintain customer information and interactions.
“The idea is that it replaces multiple lines of communication, like email, faxes and phone calls, and puts everything in one easily accessible place,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said he thinks the industry is headed toward a completely paperless solution. With a program like MyTaskit, paper work orders, job cards, timesheets and other various spreadsheets could be eliminated and updated in real time, anywhere in the field.
CDK Global Recreation Business Development Engineer Robert Grant also said he sees the industry and the CDK Global products going down the completely paperless route.
Hutchinson said that a recent study of a current client using MyTaskit showed that they were able to get bills 10 days faster, saved 40 minutes a day, per technician, and saved about three hours of administration time. “One thing that was especially surprising to me, was that the client saved two hours of overtime, per day,” Hutchinson added.
In the end, all of these aspects relate to creating a better experience for the customer, which in turn, result in better success for your business.
All about the customer
In the realm of the customer, programs and services such as Dealer Spike and CDK Global lead the pack.
It is Dealer Spike’s goal to create easy-to-navigate and intuitive websites for dealers across various industries, said Public Relations Manager Lauren Labunsky.
“All of the websites we create are definitely different, but signature Dealer Spike,” Labunsky said. “They’re edgier than most dealership websites in a good way.”
Labunsky added that those using Dealer Spike for web services see at least a 30 percent increase in online leads, usually even higher.
Dealer Spike also offers the perk of being Google Premiere partners, which in turn, offer clients more advanced services, making Dealer Spike a one-stop shop for a dealer’s web service needs. From web design to search engine optimization, and everything in between, Dealer Spike takes care of it all.
Where Dealer Spike looks to draw the customer in, CDK Global Recreation works to engage customers and keep them around, by making everything easier from managing documents to communication internally and externally.
Grant said there’s a lot on the horizon for CDK Global, with new text messaging and build a boat capabilities.
“We strive to keep things seamless for day-to-day operations,” Grant added.
In today’s world, technology is ever changing. The same is true for software and web-services available to today’s marine industry. Most web-service and software providers offer consistent updates as they become available, and sometimes offer a whole new version of software.
“We’re always adding a new update or two,” Murphy said. “We really look to continuously enhancing the products we have out right now.”
Grant said that CDK Global is focused on adding more manufacturer integrations to their program, by integrating service bulletins, warranty information and expanding more in the marine industry.
As mobile technologies continue to become more and more prominent, marine industry members can certainly expect to see more web services and software aim toward supporting the mobile market, if they don’t already.
“MyTaskit can run on anything,” Hutchinson said. “Work can be done on Apple, Android and Windows tablets, and the smartphone app allows technicians to work in a disconnected state, if need be, say down in the boat with weak cell coverage.”
According to Grant, mobile enhancement is also something on CDK Global’s radar, by offering enhanced mobile technology for technicians.
Dealer Spike is also looking to the future and planning for updates throughout 2018. Labunsky told Boating Industry that improvement updates for a dealer’s home page slideshow, improvements for lead management, a new finance application, and content marketing tools, are all on the horizon for Dealer Spike.
All in all, software and web services are here to stay, and they’re here to make you more successful.