Pick a Pier previews innovative new services, including AI-based technology and instant berth-pricing for visitors.
Boaters familiar with the potential stress of berthing in a new marina, will greet a new arrival on the pontoon not with the phrase “Can I help?” but rather “How can I help”? Skippers generally have a clear idea of what works for them and know that over-eager hands can contribute to the chaos.
Over the last year, as TransEurope Marinas move to a now completely digital membership platform, the Pick a Pier team have been chatting to marina managers to see how best they can help. The nautical sector has been comparatively slow to catch up with the digital innovation now common in other leisure industries, and with managers saturated with a full daily workload, there’s often a practical “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach, that may not lend itself too willingly to a dramatic revolution of operational practices.
Pick a Pier co-founder, Asaf Cohen, commented:
Being able to have these discussions directly with TransEurope managers is incredibly helpful. Their considerable experience gives them a really clear perspective, and due to a huge diversity in terms of location and model, we’ve gained some excellent insights allowing us to determine the types of tools and practices that would genuinely make a difference. Finally, there’s also a level of honesty and sincerity that is really rewarding – it’s a great sector to be working in.
Listening hard, the Pick a Pier team have been able to identify three main areas where advances would be beneficial and respond to easier assimilation. These include facilitating key communication between marinas and boaters, reducing time-costly administration practices, and optimising potential revenue from berths via more intelligent planning. Importantly, these functions are focussed on mostly behind-the-scenes tasks that would benefit greatly from automisation, leaving marina staff more time to attend to visitors.
Increased arrivals during high season often means juggling dates and availability. Decisions made under stress serve to provide the quickest acceptable solution, but don’t necessarily ensure that the best option is found. Using AI, Pick a Pier are about to launch a suite of new services, freely available to TransEurope Marinas, that include predicting traffic and selecting optimum berthing options for new arrivals.
Marinas can be advised by their berth-holders about an imminent departure in a quick and easy message, and alerted to their return, ensuring their berth is available upon arrival. Where a simple one-click answer will suffice, enquiring new visitors can be informed about availability and the all-important pricing of berths, including how many nights they have left to redeem using their TransEurope Marinas discount.
As she assists managers with using the platform, Yuli Zingerman, Head of Customer Success explained part of her role:
The initial diagnostic is only part of the process; implementing the platform’s features with marinas is also mutual learning experience. As we guide marina staff around the platform and help them become comfortable with it, the process also reveals ways in which we can improve and simplify their experience, leading to a more seamless and effective service.
Alison Wakelin, Managing Director of award-winning Emsworth Yacht Harbour, expressed her satisfaction:
Pick a Pier have been great to work with. They are full of ideas and enthusiasm and listen attentively to the daily issues and frustrations we encounter in running our marina. They are developing solutions that will make life easier for us and for our berth holders and visitors; communication tools that allow our customers to let us know their movements at the click of a button will help us to manage our berths more effectively and accommodate visitors without inconveniencing our berth holders. We were early adopters of the digital membership platform and Pick a Pier have always been available to offer support and guidance and keen to learn from our experiences to continue improving their products.
With plenty of exciting new functionalities in the pipeline, Pick a Pier is also working on creating environmental standards that promote sustainable boating and responsible practices.
It’s looking to be an interesting year!
To learn more about Pick a Pier, visit their website: www.pickapier.com