Boating Industry

February 2016

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February 2016 | Boating Industry | 19 [ Service Success ] location) and it is also used for determining in-house needs such as pro- cesses for repair order completion, the sale of parts to service repair orders, special tools needs and purchases. Not one size fits all Even within a single dealership, the best solution may be multiple systems depending on the situation. Bosun's Marine uses three distinct scheduling and dispatching systems: one for spring deliveries, the second for the summer season, and the third for fall haul-outs, winterizing and storage. Like most Northern dealers, the Massachusetts-based Bosun's is faced with a major spring rush once the weather starts to turn. "To handle this, we have been refining and tweaking our scheduling and dispatching system for years to achieve the highest possible levels of efficiency and quality," said president Tim Leedham. Every winter, Bosun's sends a mailer to each of its customers contain- ing service menus and requested launch dates. The hundreds of returned launch requests are then grouped by location in the yard and by the nature of the work. "From this, we fill out a 'War Board' that covers two months at a time," Leedham said. "This War Board is mounted on the wall behind the service counter, and all our customers' names are entered on their assigned launch date, for everyone – both employees and all our customers – to see." By making the board visible to customers, it helps to keep overly demanding customers in check as they can see there is a full schedule of commitments. The War Board helps the parts department (which uses a "just-in- time" delivery system) know when it needs to have all supplies and parts for the technicians. The techs also get to see an entire month's schedule at a time and offer their input on potential problems. The same system continues into the summer, with the exception that the War Board has more sections of open time to make necessary war- ranty repairs, rush delivery of sold boats or any other last-minute needs. "We strive to visit, evaluate and, whenever possible, repair any war- ranty requests for non-running boats or important boat systems break- downs within 24 hours of notice," Leedham said. "We achieve this on about a 90 percent basis and, for four years now, we have done this within 48 hours 100 percent of the time." To prepare for the fall, Bosun's sends out a mailer to every customer in August with service menus for fall hauling, winterizing and storage, and asking for requested haul-out dates. Again, that information is used to group customers with like products for hauling dates and for space assignments in the six storage yards. "At this time we also ask for an estimate of when they want to launch the next spring," Leedham said. "With all this data, we place the boats in the yards so that they can be winterized in groups, by teams of techs and their assistants." Austin Boats & Motors uses a combination of paper and digital to manage scheduling.

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