Insight: Camper & Nicholsons and the NowBoat merge

Written by Laura Nicholls

In early June, it was announced that Camper & Nicholsons International had merged their technology capabilities with the Hong-Kong based company, NowBoat. Together the two firms have since relaunched the Camper & Nicholsons website and released plans for a new yacht intelligence platform to further establish and future-proof Camper & Nicholsons as a provider of 360-degree luxury services, including insurance, yacht management and new-build operations. These services are still greatly appreciated by both existing and new clients of Camper & Nicholsons, especially now these tailor-made services benefit from the new platform and upgraded company working tools and systems.C&N new platformPhoto: C&NNow working in anticipation of their new platform - which is expected to be available by the fourth quarter of this year - Camper & Nicholsons want all those in the industry to be able to easily access every item of yacht intelligence. The platform will provide information on fuel usage, travel itineraries, engineering upgrades, port history, marina logs, staff profiles, search history and social media. 

The merge has also allowed for Camper & Nicholsons to gain a dedicated team of software engineers, who are based in the company headquarters. Engineers, developers and project managers are able to work together in the tech and innovation hub to help satisfy the needs of the industry and ensure that all digital works are kept in-house. Many companies in the industry choose to outsource services such as web design and development, social media, SEO, SEM, digital PR and content production, however, together with NowBoat, Camper & Nicholsons are choosing to own and create their own tailor-made tech hub. 

Camper & Nicholsons Group CEO, Paolo Casani, is overseeing these new developments across the company’s 12 global offices. With a wealth of experience in the luxury goods sector and having previously been CEO of Azimut Yachts, Casani is invested in the idea that in order to keep up, company’s should look to expanding their digital strategy to create a new approach for a digital world. Keen to find out more about his ideas and the development of one of the industry’s key players, SuperYacht Times speaks with Paolo Casani ahead of the launch of their new intelligence platform. Paolo Casani, CEO, Camper & NicholsonsWhat do you think are the benefits of having NowBoat become part of Camper & Nicholsons?

We have been able to create a dedicated tech and innovation hub that is listening and reacting to the company's needs. This has enabled us to expand the services we provide but most importantly, create new strategies. 

Giovanni Alessi, who is now our Chief Technology Innovation Officer but also NowBoat's founder is able to sit next to our most successful sales and charter brokers and with the head of services to help design solutions. This means we are able to lead with tailored solutions and not having to rely on services from out-of-industry providers. It has also been able to strengthen our existing services, such as our new-build division, whereby we aim to provide a comprehensive advisory service for new build projects thanks to our long-standing experience in yacht building and shipyard management.Giovanni Alessi Anghini, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, Camper & NicholsonsIn September, the second phase for the new Camper & Nicholsons online intelligence platform will be in force. How did Camper & Nicholsons identify the gap in the market for this new intelligence platform? 

We believe digital technology is changing the world, and it's just a matter of understanding how this change affects and empowers clients, brokers and employees. We are very positive about taking the opportunity to understand and use new tools as we believe that success in the digital realm is not reliant on a digital strategy, but instead a strategy for a digital world. 

So far, we are very happy with the level of interaction with the new website. On the new website, clients are able to use a series of tools in order to ask for more information about the company and our services, such as organising tenders for new constructions, project management plans, customised central agency proposals, including tailor-made marketing plans or exclusive insurance solutions where a client has access to our fleet program managed by CNIS in partnership with major insurers and underwriting agencies. Users can also send job applications, ask to be called back, download brochures and live chat to our customer service team. We feel much more knowledgable and closer to our clients and stakeholders and we use this data to optimise and improve every day.Business meetingPhoto: Thomas DrouaultHow has the merge affected the Camper & Nicholsons company strategy? In addition to the new intelligence platform, are there any other plans for products that are a result of the new partnership?

Absolutely! Our new products will emerge from the newly established tech hub. Now that innovation and technology are becoming an organic part of the company, many changes, optimisations and actions are taking place on a daily basis. However, we have our reasons as to why we will not share these developments just yet. 

Our strategy and focus as a company will remain the same. Camper & Nicholsons is often referred to as the original yachting company and, in a way, we have contributed to the invention of the industry. From the beginning, we have always focussed on giving our clients the best service, regardless of whether they purchase a yacht or a yacht management contract. The new technology will allow the company to offer a better service and keep our customer relationships to the highest possible standards, we are keen on creating more and better ways to engage with our clients. Aurora Borealis yacht deckHow important do you think it is to have easily accessible information such as yacht intelligence in this industry? 

We think it's crucial. Intelligence and data are what helps us understand clients, the market and value. This is why after the website launch, which was our more customer-facing component, we are putting a lot of force behind our intelligence tool, which is a mine of treasures when it comes to data as we have applied and utilised decades of industry data and knowledge.Thumper exterior profileWhat do you think of the other digital intelligence platforms that already exist? 

Are there other digital platforms out there? Yes, there are plenty. Before choosing NowBoat, we audited and contacted several providers of digital platforms. The key differentiators of NowBoat, to list a few, where they were able to build an entirely custom platform with a very sophisticated back end that is not just a pretty front-facing website with big images and funky copy. We also liked the approach of the founders and their understanding of the industry and their stakeholders and not wishing to disrupt it. Also, from the very beginning, we were talking about customer experiences, live chat, CRM systems and lead management - which is exactly the open approach we desired. 

For more information about Camper & Nicholsons and their new intelligence platform, visit their website or contact them directly using the details found below.



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