2021 Best in Class: Best New Idea

Shipyard Marine
Green Bay & Oshkosh, Wis.

Marine 365 – the Lifestyle Without Limits dealership – is a complete sales, service, marina, and dry stack operation with three locations.

Shipyard Marine in Green Bay is sited on three-and-a-half acres on the water on Green Bay’s west shore. It features a marina and 27,000 square-foot dry rack facility with over 130 wet and dry slips. This location also sells and services boats, engines, trailers, and boating accessories and is home to the Lifestyle Boat Club.

Shipyard Marine in Oshkosh is on five acres and is in a new industrial park. This location is a 10,000 square-foot sales and service facility, selling and servicing boats, engines, trailers, and carries a small inventory of parts and boating accessories. This site is utilized as a Marine 365, 24/7 unmanned sales showroom site for customer convenience during non-business hours when staff is not available.

Shipyard Marine acquired its third location in 2019. This site is also in Green Bay, just a short distance off I-41. The 18,000 square-foot building is used as a showroom/sales facility for new and pre-owned boat sales in the summer, as well as a sold-boat staging area and a detailing center, and then for indoor heated storage in the winter. This location is also their latest Marine 365, 24/7 unmanned sales showroom site.

So what is Lifestyle Without Limits all about? Shipyard Marine President Andy Howitt says, “Marine 365 specializes in knowing how to make having a good time… more fun!”

He said they do this by:

  • Taking care of all of the things that really matter to customers
  • Demonstrating a willingness to be available 365 days a year
  • Delivering fun with a tad bit of quirkiness
  • Promising to be relationship-focused, not volume-driven
  • Committing to offering only high-quality products that stand the test of time
  • Remaining true to a performance heritage, while continuing to adapt to the latest boating trends

The Marine 365 team also has some rules they say they live by:

  • Instill passion
  • Be adaptable
  • Take ownership
  • Create alignment
  • Be better every day

While boat clubs might be a relatively new concept to many members of the boating public, Shipyard Marine’s Lifestyle Boat Club is an integral part of Marine 365 and has been around since 1985. Their membership to boat ratio is usually at four to one, and they adhere to a strict maintenance schedule to ensure boats are always in top condition. Their stated goal is to provide members with the highest quality boating experience, a safe and easy introduction to boating and the best variety of boats and ports possible.

Also a part of Marine 365 is Marine Care 365, a maintenance program that allows customers to pay upfront at today’s prices for services up to three years in advance. They call it the “peace of mind” package.

Although it’s obvious Shipyard Marine is very customer-centric and has lots of good marketing ideas, they also work really hard at employee engagement and development.

“People need training and support throughout their careers, both as individuals and as teams, to develop their skills and continue to work effectively,” stated Andy Howitt in their Top 100 application. “We have a great team right now, but we want to have an AMAZING team. A team that works at the highest level of efficiency and reacts responsively at lightning speed in every situation.”

He added that they are also working on some long-term strategies to retain key people they believe will pay off with increased performance, improved productivity, higher employee morale and a reduction in turnover.

“Our above-average ability to innovate and develop solutions to remedy whatever pains us and/or our customers sets us apart from other dealers,” added Howitt in closing. “Through our collaborative efforts, collective wisdom, and willingness to work together as a TEAM 365 days a year, if necessary, we are able to overcome whatever challenge presents itself.”

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