DockMaster thinks small

DockMaster maker Exuma Technologies, Inc. is looking toward the future and reaching out to a wider dealer base with products it will be offering through a new partnership with Assurant Solutions.
The two companies signed a letter of intent in September for Exuma Technologies to be the exclusive marine industry distributor for Assurant Solutions’ Web-based dealer management system, DealerLinx Marine. In addition, Assurant’s DealerLinx F&I will be integrated with the new DockMaster Windows Boat Sales module. The two companies unveiled details at IBEX.
“What we’d like to do is be able to offer a Web-based platform that will give dealers access to a full blown management system who don’t really need all the breadth and depth of a product like DockMaster,” said Cam Collins, Exuma president and CEO.
The scaled-down dealer management system will likely be geared toward dealers bringing in $500,000 to $2 million in revenues and either don’t have a DMS or are using a product such as QuickBooks to manage their business. It will have many of the same components as DockMaster’s software for larger dealers including boat sales, services, parts and inventory, but DealerLinx Marine will not have a storage management option and is not intended at this time for multi-location dealerships.
The Internet-based system — $7,500 initial start-up fee and $99 per user per month — doesn’t require dealers to invest in the cost and support structure of buying a server and installing the software onsite. As a comparison, an average-size dealer spends $50,000 or more for DockMaster, which includes installation, set-up and data conversions, as well as on-site consulting and training. What services, from training to data conversion, are included with the DealerLinx Marine start-up fee are yet to be determined.
“The whole concept here is that it’s going to be a portal whereby all these transactions can take place over the Web,” Collins said. “As this technology evolves, the goal is to give consumers more access to dealer services online. This may include things like checking the status of a work order or paying invoices online. Dealers will also be able to order boats and order parts through the portal.”
Dennis Hamilton, Assurant Solutions’ vice president of strategic sales, and his team have been working on DealerLinx for three years. “We’re consolidating industry relationships to make it easier to get products and services,” Hamilton says. “Those dealerships that have never been able to afford a robust management solution will be able to. Larger dealers will be able to use the product to consolidate multiple locations and entities.”
DockMaster will also private label Assurant’s stand-alone finance and insurance module, DealerLinx F&I, as a second component to their partnership. The Web-based module will be integrated with the new DockMaster Boat Sales module and will allow dealers access to online credit bureaus, direct links for financial institutions to speed the loan approval process and insurance product offerings. The module will have a $499 start-up fee per dealer location and a $99 per location per month service fee. — Lisa Young

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