St Mary's Harbour
England’s most westerly harbour
Located 28 miles south-west of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are the most westerly part of England. With a population of only 2,200 and around 200,000 visitors each year, tourism underpins the archipelago’s economy, alongside fishing and flower farming. St Mary’s is the main port for the islands, handling general cargo and passengers, fishing, cruise ships and recreational vessels.
The Duchy of Cornwall has owned the Isles of Scilly since the fourteenth century, and St Mary’s Harbour continues to be owned and managed by the Duchy. The Harbour provides commercial quayside with fuel, water and electricity hook-up, 228 resident’s moorings, 38 visitor moorings and a shoreside boat park. The Harbour Master also delivers the compulsory pilotage service for all vessels over 30m throughout the islands.
WE LIKE BEST
Ease of use
Virtual terminal payments
Instant access to information
WHY HARBOUR ASSIST
St Mary’s was using the same land management software as the Duchy’s farms and estates, all centrally managed from the mainland. This put the Harbour team at a remove from the data, only able to comment and request, rather than being hands-on. The smooth management of the Harbour was hampered by the lack of real-time data.
Harbour Master Dale Clark asked mainland harbour colleagues and contacts for software recommendations, receiving several positive accounts of Harbour Assist. “I went to see the Harbour Master in Fowey, who showed me through the system in the office and with the team out on the water” Dale explained.
“It is a world away from where we were”
IMPLEMENTATION & SUPPORT
Once the decision was taken to invest in Harbour Assist, the implementation smoothly followed an 11-week delivery plan, going live in early 2017. Dale and the Harbour team took the view that the short-term workload of cleaning and inputting data was a ‘do it once properly’ task, and a price worth paying.
Although the team only numbers four, plus seasonal and casual staff, Deputy Harbour Master Alan Hartwell is the appointed ‘Harbour Assist geek’. While everyone uses the system every day, having a designated local expert ensures consistency and reduces down-time. “Alan teaches us all of the nooks and crannies in the system”, said Dale Clark.
Three years in and Harbour Assist is in use daily at St Mary’s. The team now manage all invoicing direct, which has speeded up the process and eliminated aged debtors. The Duchy’s mainland accounting team can access Harbour Assist to check information, and export data for upload to the central accounting system.
“We’ve gone away from paper-based maintenance tracking”, said Dale Clark. “The asset maintenance module drives our weekly and monthly checks, with each inspection having a detailed briefing and checklist so that any team member can complete a relevant task”.
With 2,500 visiting yachts a year, speedy check-in and payments are vital for the team on the water. With all visitors on moorings or at anchor, using tablet computers and the virtual terminal has been “a real game-changer, reducing the number of people who come into the office”.
“Having instant access to the data has changed how we work dramatically”