Before joining the diving industry I used to work for key IT companies in the world, Yahoo, HP/Compaq and Oracle, part of my job was to evaluate software application, test them and advice potential purchase and implementation of the tools in working environments. Well, today I will be doing the same with DiveShopManager (DSM). For the last 4 to 5 weeks, I have been submerged in the world of Dive Center management tools, analyzing mainly any software and application that can become a handy tool for dive centers managers to overcome the daily difficulties of keeping track of divers, inventory, accounts, sales and marketing.
I have to say that I tried a few software’s, my first one was EVE from PADI, with an awful customer service experience. So, after being disappointed by one of the Top Applications in the market, I decided to review the little “David’ of the David and Goliath of dive center management software. Dive Shop Manager.
The reason why I call DSM a little “David” is based on the reason that this application and it’s developers don’t have the budget of other applications in the market or the elegant endorsement of diving agencies. Dive Shop Manager doesn’t attend dive shows (yet) or provide training forums or aggressive sales pitch, but like in the biblical event, this “David” provides a victorious results vs. many Goliaths out there.
To start with this review, I have to explain that the main attractive point about Dive Shop Manager is the top asset of the company: The human factor behind the software. Dive Shop Manager has been developed by divers, submerged in the diving industry and VERY (and let me put this in Capital Letters), VERY interested in creating a strong relation between their users and clients. DiveShopManager is software in development and this means that the software is in constant improvement, and its creator are always open to discuss potential updates, and customization.
So, with this quick statement out the way, let’s explain what exactly DiveShopManager brings to the table.
Dive Shop Manager allows a dive center to control the daily operation of any dive centers.
It works in a modular way, and the learning process is easy. Contrary to its competitors, to operate DiveShopManager you need just 5 minutes of training. There is no need to do a PhD or to spend hours trying to customize 1000 features. It a few words: This is an easy software to use. As simple as that: easy and effective. It’s not a Formula 1 of Customer Service Applications, but you don’t drive a Ferrari every single day of your life…. do you? That’s why DiveShopManager is the perfect “working appliation” , it does the job in a friendly way, and once you learn to use it’s features and modules, you even enjoy updating your information and getting the software and your dive center data updated.
DSM gives you the change as a user to create and maintain your customer database, uploading personal details, financial information, diving history and to update contact info. Also DSM gives a very fast way to update inventory and products allowing a dive center to setup it’s store and operate the software in a matter of hours. Obviously this combines with a smart dive rental module and a resort overview feature that gives to the application an overall performance of a well tune software.
The other big plus of DSM is the cost and how easy is to install and run the application. Any normal PC can run the software and in fairness the cost of the software is affordable if you analyze the potential benefits this tool can bring to your dive center.
The software is orientated mainly to dive resorts more than dive clubs and dive resorts in busy areas of the world (Florida, Roatan & Utila, Sharm and Dahab, East and West Thailand, Malaysia and many resorts area of Europe) will enjoy many of the modules of the application.
DSM takes in consideration modules of each Diving Course, commission to freelance instructors, extra costs added to normal dive, accommodation, liveaboards and even adds a system for newsletters to keep in contact with your customer.
So what sort of dive center should try DiveShopManager? Any Dive Resort and dive center seeking a practical solution. Dive Centers who wants to spend more time diving and less time in front of the computer. DiveShopManager does the job, and the value for money is fair. You can download a Trial version of the software at
http://www.diveshopmanager.com , give it a try and let their creators know your feedback.