Case studies: Castle Marinas, Dean & Reddyhoff and Quay Marinas

Open any marine trade magazine and there is news of marina mergers, acquisitions and changes of management contractors. Around the world, groups owning and operating marinas are expanding.

The process of transferring data from one system to another is a tiny but vital part of these multi-million-pound deals. Without up-to-date customer information, correctly allocated assets and access for marina staff, daily operations would grind to a halt and new owners would have no oversight.

So how does the process of data transfer work?

At Harbour Assist, we’ve recently helped with two major expansion projects in the UK – Castle Marina’s acquisition of two new sites, and the merger of Dean & Reddyhoff and Quay Marinas to create Boatfolk.

Case study: Two new sites

Castle Marinas acquired Cropredy and Crick marinas in 2019. At the time of the acquisition Castle had been using Harbour Assist for 18 months, while the new sites used in-house systems.

Bringing the two sites into Castle’s Harbour Assist account followed a similar process to a first-time customer installation. A datasheet was created for each site, listing assets, customers and users. The data was provided by the Castle team then checked and cleaned by Harbour Assist before being uploaded. At the same time, site maps were created and uploaded.

This was all achieved with no downtime for the existing seven Castle sites, who continued to use Harbour Assist and the customer portal throughout the process.

Down-time: 0 hours

“We’re happy with Harbour Assist, especially as we expand the group. We know we can have a new site up and running in a month or two.” Mike Braidley, Operations Director, Castle Marinas.

Case study: Merger of 11 marinas

Dean & Reddyhoff’s merger with Quay Marinas was the biggest announcement in the UK marina sector in 2019. Both companies were users of Harbour Assist, but with two systems set-up for different working practices, the merging of the data sets required careful planning.

The first step was to take a snapshot of the Quay Marina data, which was then cleaned of 10,000 duplicate and old accounts. The Dean & Reddyhoff system was taken offline for a couple of hours for the bulk upload of Quay data, logos, site maps, and user accounts. After 2.5 hours, 90 users on 11 sites were accessing the same data and working normally.

Quay’s existing Harbour Assist system was retained as a read-only archive to provide continuity at their sites.

Down-time: 2.5 hours

Business disruption was minimised. Boatfolk customers paid £11,000 through the portal during the 3 hours the system was off-line for staff.

Case study: Rebranding

The second stage of the Dean & Reddyhoff and Quay Marinas merger was the rebranding of the company under the new name of ‘boatfolk‘. This had to be completed for the new financial year.

Although rebranding sounds like simply changing a few logos, this instance was not quite so straightforward as a name change, new website, new email addresses, bank details, logos, and document templates were involved.

A new account was set-up on the Cloud and populated with the new logos and templates, and over 90 team log-ins were manually created. The existing system was then taken off-line while the data was migrated to the new account. This was done at the end of the working day to minimise disruption, and the new boatfolk system was up-and-running in just over 3 hours.

Business disruption was minimised. The online customer portal was available at all times, even when the system was off-line for boatfolk users.

Down-time: 3.15 hours

How can we help your business?

If you’d like to talk about how Harbour Assist can help your business to connect with your customers,  email Nick direct [email protected]