Paul WilsonCan you remember what life was like before the internet?

It seems like I spend most days either receiving or responding to e-mails, and when not doing that, it’s the mobile phone that needs to be answered!

The other day I heard reference being made to the ‘Now Generation’ as in everything must be done now. There is no doubt that modern communication methods have turned the commercial world on its ear. Just try and keep up with the technology, it’s virtually impossible.

Just the other day the battery on my wife’s 18-month old mobile phone died. No problem, I’ll just buy another one, battery that is, but when I went to the local mobile phone outlet I discovered that it was far more cost effective to buy a whole new phone than to replace the battery! So now I have a perfectly good mobile phone (in need of a battery mind you) sitting in a kitchen draw that I just cannot bring myself to throw out.

My 18-year-old daughter said to me: “What are you keeping that for? You’ll never use it again.” And she’s right, but I just can’t bring myself to toss it out. Perhaps it’s the way I was brought up. You know what I’m talking about, that strange concept of valuing those things that you have worked hard to achieve and enjoy.

I really do struggle with this ‘throw-away’ mentality that seems to be a part of everyday life now.

But I digress and have wandered from the point I was seeking to make, and that is, if we have achieved anything in this revolution of communication and technology, it would be that of convenience.

And the internet would probably epitomize the whole concept of convenience as far as communication is concerned.

Take Club Marine for example. Five years ago we didn’t even have an internet site. Now we transact nearly 10 per cent of our entire account on-line, and we are looking to grow that figure dramatically. And I have no doubt that in another 12 to 18 months that figure will be closer to 25 per cent.

Why do I believe this? It’s simple; it boils down entirely to the convenience of carrying out transactions on-line. If you’re dealing with a company today that doesn’t or can’t offer you an on-line facility, then stop dealing with them. They don’t deserve your business.

Our figures show that more than 65 per cent of the on-line transactions that flow through our website are done outside of normal business hours. That means people are sitting down in the comfort of their homes, at a time that suits them, and either renewing their policy on-line or taking out a new policy. This can be done without the need to speak to a Club Marine representative or having to bother with writing a cheque and mailing it in to us. It’s just plain old convenience.

We have also adapted our website to include an on-line version of our very popular magazine. It is also a site where information relevant to coming boating events, boats for sale, dealer listings and even a listing of stolen boats among many other things can be found. In the New Year we are hoping to bring to you a very interesting concept in live weather information. Stay tuned!

One of the most popular sections is the Desktop Wallpaper gallery where unique and beautiful boating images can be downloaded directly onto your computer screen. Check them out, you’ll be impressed.

In this magazine you should find a copy of our latest and highly successful merchandise catalogue. On this occasion we have broadened the range and included more accessory type items, ideal as Christmas presents. We have also introduced an entirely new line of clothing called the Signature Range. With this range we have moved away from a corporate style of clothing into a more leisure-oriented style. I hope you like it. Orders received before the 16th of December can be assured of a pre-Christmas delivery.

We are also very proud of the recently published Club Marine Engines and Accessories Guide (see ad on page 139). It is destined to become the boat engine buyers Bible. This publication will be updated each year, with other similar styled publications to support it to be published soon.

Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety is our top priority.

Paul Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Club Marine Ltd.