A Database in the Water


You know how important a database can be for your business. Allowing you to keep better records of customers, inventory, product, send customized letters and email and so much more.
It’s always good, however, to read of how others are using technology to give you ideas in how to use technology even better in your business.
Crew placement agencies aren’t a new idea — a hotbed of yachting
activity like Fort Lauderdale, Florida has hundreds of them,
paper-and-file-cabinet operations run out of offices all over the city. But YachtCrews is different. It’s the brainchild of Captain David Cook — a veteran of the yachting business who wanted to bring a new approach to the business. David’s title isn’t just for show — he’s an active captain who spends much of his time on the high seas. And he wanted a business that would go with him wherever he went ó while still providing consistent and reliable service to his clients.

The solution? A web-based company powered by a FileMaker Pro database, serving both crew members and yacht owners. Crew members submit their resumes and photos, which are stored in the online database. When yacht owners need to assemble a crew, they
can browse the listings and pick exactly the right personnel for the upcoming voyage. All crew are classified by specialty, from cooks to captains. ‘I charge $30 for crew to register,’ explains David, ‘then I charge the owners two per cent of the crew’s first month’s salary.’ It’s as simple as that.
The database is hosted and maintained by digital.forest, leaving David free to focus on his own seagoing activities — but web access means he’s never far away from YachtCrews.com, and he takes an active interest in serving his clients. ‘My motto was ‘your resume will NEVER be in a closed filing cabinet.’
YachtCrews.com now serves hundreds of clients in its single database — but David says there’s room for thousands more and he’s confident his business will continue to grow. ‘Seems once the word gets out even a little, I start getting busy,’ he observes. ‘I have placed several clients just this month — nice to know I’m part of the future of someone’s life. It has taken time, but I feel the site will only improve. The other agencies are not even close to what I’m doing to make it easy for crew as well as owners to use the site. The owners like my solution because it is fast and they can see what a crew member looks like in a matter of seconds. The crew members love it because now their resumes are seen 24/7 ≠ knowing that their password protected information is safe and secure.’ And they can update their resumes anytime, from any port, over the web.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook