Nice article about Budget marine in St.Maarten's newspaper The Daily Herald - Weekender Edition:
Here's the full article:
Most successful companies evolve from humbling beginnings and as they grow they need to continually enhance their services. Needless to say this also involves investing in the latest software. Robbie Ferron, Founder of Budget Marine, reports: “There comes a time in every company when you have to make some huge changes if it wishes to compete in the new era. Budget Marine identified the need for new software and the fundamental change in business processes to make that happen. During the period June 2015 to April 2016, we struggled to make the transition from dated processes and software to new and more advanced processes and software.”
Budget Marine’s inventory in St.Maarten stands at 15,500 skus (stock keeping units) of committed stock in 40,000 sq feet of warehouse space although 47,000 products are listed on computers. With so many skus to manage regular software upgrades are necessary to make the processes in-store work seamlessly. Angus Hodge, Supply Chain Manager, came in about the same time the new system was launched. He smiles while he mentions that may have been a good thing as he could concentrate on a new system without the knowledge of the old system as many around him tried to understand the different workings of the new system compared to the old. “Business processes were changed to make a clearer distinction between stock reserved for the Budget Marine St. Maarten store and the Distribution Centre. We have also reorganized our warehouse to create even more space for the large amount of products we have on hand. This has made it easier to track products and helped secure the stock located in the store for the St. Maarten market. As we’re involved in virtually every kind of activity in and around the water, a large product assortment and a good stock level is needed, not only is this important for business, it also helps keep everybody up and running and operating at their max.”
The store also got new management at the same time. Paige Passano took on the role of General Manager of Budget Marine St.Maarten and recently Loek Lemmens took on the role of Operational Sales manager. “While the new software system was a large project to take on, we did not stop there.” Loek adds. “We have also assigned staff to be dedicated to specific target groups: Salma Ahmed is our Mega Yacht Manager and Thierry Vigneron is our Regional Sales Manager. Our Service department is already outfitted with a large workshop with facilities for lifting engines as we service all outboard engines. We also have trained technicians for inflatable repairs. The store itself has also undergone changes where we presented the products more logical and visible to our customers. We will continue to make these changes on an ongoing basis. Having the new system in place we have made little changes such as adding a new price label design which is more customer friendly as well as bigger changes such as using the system to take a good look at our assortment. Although many of our core products are needed to provide the necessities to the large number of target groups we serve, we have been able to take a closer look at some of our product selections that needed some extra attention. This is why in December, in time for the Christmas season, we will be getting a new collection of clothes and shoes in our Nautique section, among others.”
The changes in software and processes as well as the reorganization of the Budget Marine St.Maarten store comes at a time with many global happenings which have influenced the world economy and also has been noticed it in the Caribbean. For many, cruising around the Caribbean or having the enjoyments of a power boat is a luxury. However when it’s time, it’s time and investing in the latest technology and making the necessary changes to compete are one of the necessities to stay the leader of the pack.
Robbie Ferron summarizes: “There is always talk of recession in the world economy and, unfortunately, quite often in recent years it has been the case. We have noticed over the years that in recession years, there are those that have the funds to “cool out” and “lay back” in the Caribbean whilst things stall elsewhere. We would like to welcome those smart well prepared people back to the Caribbean this season. It might well be a year in which the rest of the world stalls and those with the resources can enjoy the Caribbean yachting scene.
The launch of the 2016-2017 season is going to see Budget Marine well prepared and very well organized in respect to having the product you need, and having it in the many locations all through the Caribbean at optimum levels. You will find our systems ready to provide you with best support, best information and, finally, best delivery from the biggest stock in the Caribbean. It will be the beginning of a new era with improved availability throughout the Budget Marine system in the Caribbean.”