Investment in software talent

Harbour Assist is developed entirely in-house by a team of three software specialists, led by Chief Technology Officer, Graham Laidler.

In the last twelve months, the development team has doubled in size, with first Dannii Senior joining Graham and Glenda Caine, and now Jon Lines coming onboard. Jon has a background in developing cutting-edge B2B web apps and backend integration platforms, which means he understands how to create user-friendly processes that integrate with other software.

Some software companies choose to grow by using subcontractors, often overseas. That isn’t our style. We like to nurture in-house talent who gain a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs so that we can react faster and with more insight.

Why invest now?

Making things easier for both staff and customers has always been central to the Harbour Assist ethos. Customer self-service is underway, starting with the Portal, and there’s lots more to come in the development roadmap.

Our ‘low customer touch’ vision has come into its own as marinas seek Covid-secure ways to service customers and to reduce contact points. Features like Quick Pay and pay by SMS were fast-tracked in the early days of the lockdown to facilitate marina cash flow.

Rather than taking our foot off the gas as the pandemic loomed, we decided to invest heavily to enable our users to excel in efficient operations and quality customer service, whatever the future holds.

Future developments

Graham and the team are already working on significant features for release in winter 2020 and spring 2021. Two connected areas for development are the Internet of Things (IoT) and workflow automation.

The IoT Hub will integrate Harbour Assist with physical marina hardware, such as electricity services or access gates. As the name suggests, workflow automation is all about removing manual input for marina processes.

“We want to eliminate the need for marina operatives to think ‘I must remember to do this’ by creating a completely fire-and-forget automation engine.” Graham Laidler

We’re starting with the integration of smart meters for electricity and water. The meters will automatically send consumption data to Harbour Assist, which will then generate and send invoices without input from the marina team. Eventually, all cloud-based services will integrate with Harbour Assist, creating a single platform for managing your marina.

Some of the automated processes we’re working on include:

  • Visitor departure – customer satisfaction SMS sent, and any outstanding electricity is invoiced.
  • Launch task completed – customer alerted that their boat is launched or lifted.
  • Debtors – automatically emailed a balance and payment reminder every month.

How can we help your business?

If you’d like to find out how Harbour Assist can help your business to be more resilient and fit for the future, email Nick Gill direct nick.gill@harbourassist.com