One of the best ways to escape warm summer temperatures is to get your sea legs and spend some time on the water. But buying a boat is not only expensive but also a huge investment of time, maintenance, and training. For those looking to cool down and get their feet wet, Boatsetter—a sort of Airbnb for boats—turns the ocean into everyone’s backyard by connecting private boat owners to people who want to go boating.
Based in Miami, Boatsetter has a fleet of boats worldwide and a network of captains licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure a fun and safe boating experience for their customers. This summer, they’re launching Boatsetter Experiences, which allows their guests to plan everything from an afternoon out on the water to parties, fishing excursions, or gourmet meals aboard their boats.
Managing a large, growing fleet of boats—and a growing team of people—requires all hands on deck. On top of that, Boatsetter’s team is mostly remote and their boats are all over the world. They work in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines and need to keep their whole fleet on the same page in order to provide safe, quality experiences for their guests.
When Boatsetter first launched, they unfortunately didn’t have a process in place to provide the best experience for their customers. They relied on a “harried approach of working—which included email overload,” says Pablo Vidal Arean, Boatsetter’s Chief Marketing Officer. Two years ago, Boatsetter switched to Asana. They use it as a project manager to set and track goals, and as a task manager to break down their work into actionable steps and store information in one place. It’s been smooth sailing ever since. Here are their top tips for managing a distributed team and fleet:
1. Set goals—and achieve them
Boatsetter maintains a clear overview of their biggest goals and how they’re tracking towards them using Asana. With large, cross-company efforts, they’re able to track projects from the concept to completion. For example, they recently migrated to an entirely new email system, which included over 100 different email formats—transactional, promotional, newsletters, and more—and they tracked the whole process from the initial brief to the completion of the migration.
- Tip: Rely on dashboards to get a snapshot of the bigger picture and celebrate your progress.
2. Stick to a tight timeline
When providing a superior guest experience, being on time is crucial to leaving a lasting, positive impression for Boatsetter. The team outlines every tiny detail—from tasks to subtasks and everything that needs to be completed across departments—so that nothing falls through the cracks. Assigning due dates and assignees establishes clarity of ownership and timelines, so that nobody is left ashore when the ship sets sail.
- Tip: Once your project is broken out into tasks with due dates, use calendar view for a bird’s-eye picture of how you’re tracking towards your deadline.
3. Be transparent, so everything is clear for everyone
When working across a remote team (Boatsetter’s team is 50% in house and 50% remote) transparency is key to keeping everyone on the same page. Boatsetter is able to assign clear responsibilities to team members and keep all the relevant information in one place with Asana. They rely on comments instead of emails, and attach documents to tasks so that everyone on their team can access the information they need—anytime, any place.
- Tip: Make sure team members have access to relevant projects and tasks so that they’re always in the loop, even if they’re not in the same timezone.
4. Streamline the iteration process
As a growing startup, Boatsetter needs to find ways to streamline their processes and work faster, in addition to finding ways to work smarter. By repurposing tasks and projects with templates, as well as searching for past projects for reference, they’ve iterated on their processes and been able to rollout changes faster than ever before.
- Tip: Use templates to recreate processes that work for your team, tweaking them as you learn new things or find better ways to streamline your workflows
Providing a great customer experience while managing a remote team and fleet of boats around the world is no small feat, especially during the summer when people flock to beaches and the water. With Asana, everyone at Boatsetter has a clear understanding of goals and their responsibilities, allowing the company to continually streamline their processes and focus on what they really want to do: provide extraordinary boating experienced for their customers. To learn more about Asana customers who are doing great things together, visit our customers page.