By Adam Quandt
Managing Editor & Top 100 Program Director
Off Shore Marine
As a single-location dealership located about 12 miles away from one of only two lakes in New Jersey, with 14 marinas all competing for the same business, Off Shore Marine is sure to set itself well above the rest of the pack.
“Our business has been built the hard way,” owner and general manager Sherri Cecchini said. “With integrity and persistence and not because there is an abundance of customers, with no choice with whom to do business.”
While in their 20s, Sherri and her husband Lou, opened the doors of Off Shore Marine in a rented shop about 900 square-feet big, which housed the retail store, repair shop and office.
Now on a five-acre parcel in New Jersey, Off Shore Marine features just over 7,500 square-feet of space between its showroom, service shop and offices. The dealership also operates a 27,000 square-foot off-site storage space. All of this and Off Shore Marine is still looking to expand.
“Our reputation is traveling far,” Cecchini said. “We presently draw customers from as far as 100 miles away, as we’ve become known for exception service and as specialists in inboard repair. Substantial business growth has maxed out our facility and we are actively looking for expansion options.”
In 2020 alone, Off Shore Marine completed renovations of a new upstairs administration office and made some additional facility updates to its service area to create a cohesive look throughout the dealership.
“Regarding 2020 business development, the big picture focus was on the expansion of the facility, property and staff,” Cecchini said.
On the personnel side, Off Shore Marine implemented a new service apprentice program in 2020, which has already helped find the dealership new young talent with special interests in the marine industry.
“Off Shore Marine considers mentoring youth an important part of our culture,” Cecchini said. “Over the years, we have hired many young men and women, most often in their first experience of employment. We take our role as mentor and advisor very seriously and provide a host of learning opportunities in work ethics, work relationships and communication skills.”
On top of apprenticeships in 2020, Off Shore Marine also hired two experienced automotive technicians and began the process of converting them to the marine technician field.
To increase efficiency in the update service shop, Off Shore purchased new laptops for technicians, each equipped with scanner tools for diagnostics, as well as a new PC setup in the shop as a desktop workstation and extra access point for the DMS.
In an effort to recognize its hard working team members, Off Shore implemented a pair of new reward and recognition programs in 2020 — “Catching Great Work” and the “Rock Star Recognition” program.
“Catching Great Work” is used to spotlight exceptional effort and acknowledge that these acts are both noticed, and appreciated, by Off Shore management. All nominees are read aloud so that all are acknowledged. A name is pulled and the winner gets a spin of a prize wheel. A certificate is hung and a reward is presented in the form of a free lunch, a $20.00 Visa gift card, movie tickets, a scratch off or leaving work an hour early with pay.
The “Rock Star Recognition“ Program was created to acknowledge any employee who has been complimented by a customer for a job well done. Again, nominees are read aloud and a name is drawn for a spin on the prize wheel.
“At Off Shore we understand the value of exception employees and know that we are successful because of their commitment to our company principles,” Cecchini said.
With its efforts into building a strong team to treat customers with the ultimate boat-buying experience and strong customer service, Off Shore Marine worked its way to an average CSI score of 99.2%, making it easy to understand why customers are catching wind of their reputation and making the trip to do business with the team.
All of the dealership’s efforts helped bring Off Shore’s revenue to a 31.6% increase in 2020 over its 2019 numbers, while still providing every aspect of the dealership’s customer service strategy.
Off Shore Marine will surely be a dealership to watch as it continues to expand into the future and we at Boating Industry look forward to following its journey.