By Adam Quandt
Boating Industry Editor-in-chief & Top 100 Director
With three locations across eastern Wisconsin, Marine 365 – formerly known as Shipyard Marine – took an already big year in 2021 and blew it up even bigger in 2022. Marine 365 president Andy Howitt and his team took to 2022 with the mindset to “work smarter, not harder” and it paid off big time.
Marine 365’s main location, located in Green Bay, Wis., resides on 3.5 acres of water on Green Bay’s west shore. The location boasts a marina and 27,000-square-foot dry rack facility, offering sales and service, as well as over 130 wet and dry slips. This location is also home to Marine 365’s Lifestyle Boat Club, paired with a boater’s lounge and a variety of amenities for customers to enjoy.
In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Marine 365 sits on five acres in a new industrial park, right off of the main interstate in the area. Featuring a 10,000-square-foot sales and service facility, this operation operates very uniquely during non-business hours, when staff is not readily available. During off hours, Marine 365’s Oshkosh location operates as a 24/7 unmanned sales showroom site.
“Marine 365’s successful unmanned boat showroom strategy is one of the many innovations we offer as an industry leader, which allows our customers to view their preferred boat free from sales pressure, on their own terms, and on their own schedule with no salesperson present and no appointment to stress over,” Howitt said.
In March of 2019, Marine 365 acquired its third location, also located in Green Bay, Wis. The dealership’s newest location features a 18,000-square-foot facility, utilized for indoor heated storage in the winter and a showroom/sales facility for new and pre-owned units in the summer.
Since 1985, Marine 365 and its team have worked to provide consistency in aspects of its business.
“It is our consistency and our attributes the make us one of the best in our industry,” Howitt said. “Consistency builds trust. Trust builds customer loyalty. Trust also improves employee retention, which is essential to consistency and trust. And consistency is built by having a solid set of systems and processes that are supported by a high-impact team culture with the right attributes to ‘buy-in’ and follow them.”
Part of Marine 365’s consistency comes in the form of its team and the people that make it. In 2022, Howitt created and implemented a new employee retention program that includes profit sharing and loyalty, further creating a strong team bond across the business. As of 2023, the average tenure of a Marine 365 team member was around eight years.
And even with a strong tenure across the team already, team building remains a big focus for Marine 365’s long-term goals while heading into the future.
“We are continuing to work on a strategy to retain our key people,” Howitt explained. “Benefits of doing so include increased performance, improved productivity, higher employee morale, and improved quality of work, not to mention a reduction in turnover. We’re putting an extreme focus on developing a management team in order to build a ‘bullet proof’ business that runs on autopilot. 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.”
Across implementing new strategies, zeroing in focus on the dealership’s core business, building and retaining its team and so much more, Marine 365 found unprecedented success in 2022, with all of its efforts culminating in an almost 30% increase in year-over-year revenue and a variety of other accomplishments. And with equally impressive goals leading the business into the future, Marine 365 is sure to continue to find success at every turn.