With a 200-year heritage behind them and having recently acquired technology company NowBoat, Camper & Nicholsons are making big moves to uplift their image as a traditional brokerage house. As the NowBoat technology team is now fully integrated in-house, Camper & Nicholsons has spent the summer making fast progress advancing their new website and intelligence platform. The acquisition of NowBoat has allowed Camper & Nicholsons to secure a new team of five in-house developers who are supported by their existing IT department of 10 - a decision which was already in discussion some time ago. Photo: SuperYacht Times“Two years ago, we decided that the best way to manage the future was to bring our infrastructure in-house and not to buy or rely on other third-party suppliers as our competitors do,” explains Paolo Casani, Camper & Nicholsons Chief Executive Officer. “This is a big step,” adds Giovanni Alessi Anghin, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer. “There is no one else, as far as I know, that is seriously investing in technology, but Camper & Nicholsons have brought new knowledge in-house to create a digital environment for a digital generation.”So far, the move has been a success for the group: since the launch of the new website at the beginning of June 2019, they have received triple the number of enquiries for both sales and charter. “We thought the new platform would give us some good figures, but we hadn’t predicted it would be quite this much!” says Casani. “We think that because of this new tool we have been able to reach a new generation of potential clients who focus more on charter.” In further discussion, Casani shares more trends that have been identified so far during 2019: “After the crisis, new construction was growing by three to five per cent and remains slightly increased. What is declining is the brokerage sector, and this can depend on so many factors such as the economy and major global politics. We see an interesting increase in charters which we need to understand and observe as it represents a change in clients’ attitudes.”These changes in the market and the needs of yachting have not gone unnoticed, and Camper & Nicholsons are creating strategies to reach the new generation of clients. “The needs of the industry have changed a lot, I can speak for charter, sales and services related to yachting, and professionalism is becoming more important than ever. The broker’s role is evolving into a more technical person who can talk about yachts in all areas. It’s not enough to just talk about sales, you must support the client’s whole experience,” explains Casani. In recognition of this, the brokers at Camper & Nicholsons are trained to use the new platform, but it is also enforced that the new platform is not to replace human interaction as 80% of Camper & Nicholsons’ clients still prefer speaking directly to their broker the other 20% choosing to make first contact via digital or alternative methods. “It is a beautiful tool, but still a tool, so we still need to experience our people as we have done in the last 200 years of business. We are simply giving our heritage a secure future as a complete digital-friendly luxury service provider - as we are now not just a brokerage house,” Casani adds.
Photo: C&NTo support their brokers, one of the innovations curated by Giovanni Alessi Anghini and his team includes a yacht fleet app that is linked to the Camper & Nicholsons’ database. Yacht specifications and brochures are available on the app, but the broker can go further and create unique notes to share intelligence with the database. “It’s little and easy developments like this that lets us add value to our clients which is exciting for us developers because we are innovating new technology for every unique user, whether that be the media, shipyards, brokers or clients,” explains Alessi Anghini. The app development supports the notion that “we need more official intelligence and not just feelings” - something which Camper & Nicholsons’ CEO would like to make a standard to “help move the industry forward.”
Such innovations are powered by Camper & Nicholsons’ market predictions for the future, which, according to Casani, include a heightened interest in charter. “For me, charter will continue to increase due to a new generation approaching the charter world who want to try before they buy. The charter market won’t change so much in numbers, but in trends for day and short charters. Thanks to the technology we have now put in place, Camper & Nicholsons can mould its services quickly to meet our predictions for the future.” Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesGiovanni Alessi Anghini and Paolo Casani have an unquestionable passion for the future of the company and yachting, and after having shared a unique insight into what goes on behind the scenes, the mission of evolving Camper & Nicholsons from the oldest brokerage house to a hub of technology and innovation to better serve the industry looks to be a success so far. “Three years ago, Camper & Nicholsons was 90% brokerage and now it is 70% services for all yachting needs. Our portfolio of services is continuing to grow: we are adding value to our customers and connecting them, all thanks to our in-house teams,” comments Casani. “We can use technology to empower the yachting industry and every day we are looking at and understanding what we have done so far, and what we can do better.”
Camper & Nicholsons International
Gildo Pastor Center
7 rue du Gabian
98000 - Monaco
T : +377 97 97 77 00
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2020
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