Features

From the Archives: 14 strategies to take your service department to the next level

As we head into the fall, it's a good time to revisit some best practices for the service department. This article, first published in 2012, has been one of our most popular stories on the subject: If you’ve survived this recession, you probably have a decent service department. You measure technician efficiency. You market your offerings here and there. Maybe ...

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7 ways to get out of your rut

You wake up, shower, brush your teeth and get dressed every morning. Grab some breakfast and out the door taking the same route to the dealership every morning. Five, six, even seven days a week. You open up the dealership, sit at your desk and I’d guess you do the same 11 tasks in the exact same order almost every ...

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Economic Snapshot: Builder confidence at highest level in 10 years

The housing market certainly looks positive this week, at least from a builder’s perspective. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reported that builder confidence rose this month to a decade high. Builder confidence increased one point to 62 in September, making this the highest reading for the index since October 2005. "NAHB is projecting about 1.1 ...

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Video: IBEX 2015: The Connected Boat

LOUISVILLE - One of the highlights of this year's IBEX show was The Connected Boat in the Electronics Pavilion. The interactive display features a demonstration of how various systems connect using existing network technologies. It is sponsored by Simrad and built in partnership with Chetco Digital. The display includes technology from a number of other companies including Cummins, Dometic, Faria Beede, ...

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Customer service +

CSI programs offer many benefits for improving business If there’s one thing most manufacturers and dealers can agree on, it’s the importance of delivering a good customer experience. Making boating easier is a constant mantra for the industry as it works to improve the experience of buying and owning a boat. We all know the “What are the two best ...

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Water sports attract young buyers and appeal to current consumers

It’s been another good year for the tow boat segment. According to data from Info-Link, sales of inboard boats were up over 10 percent year-over-year. Most manufacturers feel extremely confident about their future. And why shouldn’t they? They’ve been able to achieve something the whole industry is aiming to accomplish: attract Millennials. The average age of inboard boat buyers was ...

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Suppliers discuss how styling, comfort and quality drive boat interiors

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes several to appeal to con­sumers’ demands. As consumers continue to prioritize comfort and style and manufacturers work tirelessly to design vessels that meet those needs, the onus is on interiors suppliers to step up to the plate and create those products. “The consumer these days is very styled ...

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“Generation Why” … Tips for managing Millennials

Much has been written about what it takes to attract and retain Millennial customers, but what does it mean for dealers and manufacturers who manage employees ranging in age from 14 to 34? There’s no denying that they’re extremely important to everyday operations but effectively managing them calls for some extra finesse. The reality is you can’t treat everyone the ...

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Creating new customers through membership, ownership

Buying a boat is a big decision for many consumers, and a particularly intimidating one for new buyers. How do dealers help ease consumers’ fears and convince them to take that leap to ownership? Enter boat clubs. Dealer-owned boat clubs are a useful selling tool for a business to allow customers to test various vessels, discover different ways to boat ...

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