MIAMI: My-Villages launches new product

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MIAMI BEACH — My-Villages, the web and mobile technology company supporting a marine industry collaborative, introduced its new service at the Miami International Boat Show.

Now available in its beta version, the product seeks to improve efficiency for boatyards and technicians while simultaneously helping owners simplify how they operate and maintain their boats.

My-Villages’ service is available for smartphones and iPads and provides boat owners and marine professionals with immediate access to a boat’s equipment inventory, service history, relevant manuals, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information. The service also supports automated service reminders, electronic service requests, real-time status reports on work in process and the ability to upload images and video to support an electronic service request, work estimate or shared expert advice.

The result is a system that helps streamline maintenance and repairs and gives yards and technicians new tools to build and operate their business.

My-Villages’ service also will soon allow service yards to integrate third-party billing systems currently used in the industry.

“Our new premium service is like having a customized operating manual and your favorite service technician’s advice right in your pocket — ready in an instant when you need it,” My-Villages founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson said in a statement. “Just as banks have automated online services, allowing customers to access everything associated with their accounts and transactions, our premium service allows boat owners and service providers to access all the boat information they need to get the job done.”

My-Villages announced the beta release of its free service, the boat village, at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. The company committed at that show to bring out its premium service in early 2013. The premium service builds upon the existing My-Villages digital platform, which allows individuals or businesses to create a profile with links to social media, blogs, websites or other online content and create specialized electronic communities to share expertise and advice.

More than two dozen brand-name marine companies now serve as My-Villages’ beta partners for the free service, helping to craft products that serve owners and the industry. Partners include Hinckley Yachts, Kadey-Krogen Yachts, Dometic, Cummins and Westerbeke.

“As My-Villages’ first Innovation Partner, we have been impressed by our experiences to date with My-Villages,” Hinckley CEO James McManus said in a statement. “We expect to fully integrate the My-Villages technology into our eight East Coast service operations. This online approach is now best in class. It will have a tremendous effect on how we communicate with and service our customers.”

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