tweets & shouts

  • For every amazing product, there is and always will be a few (or, ok, a lot of) mediocre ones: http://ow.ly/2y18O

    about 3 hours ago via HootSuite
  • For every amazing product, there is and always will be a few (or, ok, a lot of) mediocre ones: http://ow.ly/2y18O

    about 3 hours ago via HootSuite
  • For every amazing product, there is and always will be a few (or, ok, a lot of) mediocre ones: http://ow.ly/2y18O

    about 3 hours ago via HootSuite

How I get things done


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Today, yesterday, and tomorrow words on blackboard

Like most people I struggle with time management.  I’ve read lots of different books and techniques on how to find more time, be more effective and how to incorporate a system to manage time.  It wasn’t until I read Getting Things Done by David Allen that I think I finally made some sense of it all.  That’s because Allen comes right out and says “you can’t manage time”.  Time is going to march on, with or without you.  What you can manage is your inbox.  All of the crap thats in your head, on your desk, stuffed in draws, in your email inbox, on your phone, files on your computer, etc, etc.  This is the only thing you can manage.  Are you letting crap stack up that is getting unattended to, or do you have a process for managing all of the stuff that comes to you.

The second aha moment for me was Evernote.  I have had an Evernote account for a while but I never really used it effectively.  But when I stumbled across a series of videos called The Secret Weapon   These videos show you how to use Evernote to manage your inbox and actions in accordance to the GTD principles.  I have modified and extended some of these ideas to a process that works well for me.  For instance, I did not like the way they diverged from GTD in terms of how they file actions.  I have adapted my process more closely to the one recommended by Allen.

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Top five things to consider before building a mobile app for your business


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building a mobile app

Lightning struck close to our house the other day and our internet went out. When AT&T arrived the service tech pulled out his iPad, plugged it into the cable box and started running diagnostics tests on our system. Five years ago mobile apps consisted of Emojicons and simple games, today mobile apps are becoming ubiquitous business tools that help organizations stay connected and productive regardless of location.  Getting our first app in Apple’s AppStore was a learning experience for us in terms of working with remote developers and patiently working through the app submittal process. We are proud to be the first company to make a mobile app available in the AppStore that is completely dedicated to marina operators. But as I reflect back on the experience, I thought it might be useful to consider whether a mobile app is really for every business, all the time.

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Going native: How experimental learning drove us to the App Store


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App Store and Google Play

Today software products are marketed very differently than they were in the grand old days of main frames and mini-computers. Rather than spending years building a product in secrecy followed by a grand unveiling, apps are built more out in the open. This is typically broken down into the three promotional phases: Seeding, Preview and Launch. In the seeding stage, the apps logo, main features and basic principles are discussed in a blog post like this one. We announced our entrance in the mobile market with these two posts.

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Should you put prices of your products on your website?


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Online Price Strategy for a Boat Dealership

I recently had the age-old discussion with a client about whether in today’s online environment a marine or RV dealership should advertise prices on their website.  We have previously discussed this topic regarding marine management software pricing and the strategy we use to show potential customers our pricing at Exuma Technologies, but never regarding our customers’ practices.  Since this debate has been going on for ages, I’m not attempting to solve it now. Instead, let’s review the pros and cons of both sides of the argument and let you decide what is best for your store.

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Parts and Service Management on the go…


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In my last post I wrote about the new DockMaster Mobile app we are building and introduced basic concepts, such as adding customers and retrieving customer info from your smartphone. As I mentioned before we believe that a mobile business app shouldn’t do everything that the desktop application can do. We are aiming for efficiency and ease of use. We want to uncover the routine tasks our customer perform daily when they are on the move and away from a computer. In this post we will dive more deeply into some of the Parts Inventory functionality.

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Marine Management Software from your mobile device


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DockMaster Mobile iPhone Icons

We’ve been talking about mobile for a while. People are asking “so where is it?” I’ll get to that. But first lets talk about the goals of our mobile product. We surveyed our customers and what they asked for was a way to unhook themselves from their computers so they can spend more time interacting with customers or doing their job whether that be repairing RVs, building boats or walking the docks. Our survey revealed that “customer service” and “convenience” were the two primary factors in evaluating mobile platforms.

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11 Ways to Increase Your Warranty Department Revenue


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Warranty Processing for boat and RV dealershipsDoes warranty processing have your service department bogged down?  Do you have tons of claims just sitting there waiting to be filed?  Are they gathering dust because you don’t have the proper information to file the claim?  Warranty repair can be a significant part of your business, especially if you are a dealership offering full service.

Warranty processing begins when the service work order is written, whether it is a manufacturer’s warranty or an extended service contract, and it ends when the claim is paid.

Even if you have a dedicated warranty administrator, the process is a team effort.
It is very important for service writers, parts people, and technicians to understand the warranty requirements for each vendor and for all to handle the repair accordingly.  Warranty policies vary from vendor to vendor, and need to be communicated to the folks that are involved in writing the work order, ordering the parts for the repair, making the actual repair and filing the claim.

Here are some tips that can help…

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Is your store set up to sell the most products to the most customers?


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rv parts accessory store business management

Most of our customers are retail, business to consumer organizations such as Marinas and Boatyards. While they may generate leads and traffic from their website and online presence, the final sale happens at their brick and mortar establishment, face to face.  The way a store looks is important to the consumer.  The cleanliness, organization and layout can induce feelings of trust and professionalism or mistrust and skepticism.

Is your store designed and organized to help your customer through the buying process efficiently?  Take a tour through your store as if you are a customer.  What do you notice?  Below are a few ideas and areas to check in your business.

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Look back quickly then look forward: Our vision for 2012


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Windshield and Rearview MirrorThe new year can be both exhilarating and depressing. We can look forward to what’s to come with great anticipation. But the past can haunt us. “I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted”. “I wasn’t as profitable as I could have been”. “I didn’t spend enough time with the kids”. What it is for you I don’t know but I think the problem is, we attach too much emotion to the past (what didn’t happen) instead of focusing on the road ahead (what can be). We’ve all made bad decisions. But hindsight is 20/20. All you can do now is make adjustments and focus on the journey. Your “vision” for your company, product or non-profit is what you should get emotional and passionate about. “No time like the present” rings as true today as it did when those words were first uttered centuries ago.

Let’s use driving a car as an analogy. I think we can all agree that it’s a good idea to look ahead and keep your eyes on the road when driving. When you are changing lanes looking back is good. But you do it quickly (“one thousand one”) then your eyes are back on the road ahead. Checking for other cars to your side or behind that may be tailgating is also good. But do it quickly (“one thousand two”) then look ahead. Adjust the radio (“one thousand three”) and then its back on the road ahead. Many people attach tons of emotion to what could have been and not enough commitment and passion to what can be.

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Dreading your physical inventory? Tips for making it smooth this year


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Parts inventory management for RV Dealerships

Last week in our Parts Inventory series we talked about the value of your parts and accessories. We also discussed what to do with those pesky obsolete parts. This week we will discuss the nuts and bolts of performing a physical inventory. In this post we discuss the tools needed to conduct an accurate and efficient parts count.

A physical inventory or parts count is a laborious process and can easily become ineffective if you are not prepared.  Having the right process designed before you ever start counting is key. In other words, just don’t go through the motions. You need a plan before you start your counts and in this post we discuss some ideas to help you prepare.

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