ABBRA – American Boat Builders & Repairers Association


ABBRA Business Conference

The ABBRA Business Conference….”Sharing Strategies for Success” will be held March 5-6, 2020 in Annapolis, MD, at the Eastport Yacht Club.

To register – please click the links above

The day-long Business Conference is designed for owners, operators, and managers of Boatbuilding and Repair Businesses. The format of this year’s conference will be roundtable discussions structured for the group to exchange information about best business practices, workplace frustrations, concerns, problems, and solutions. The objective is to do a deep dive into the following issues that we believe challenge all boatyard operators at one time or another. We encourage you to share lessons learned for the benefit of others and ask questions about the issues most important to you. A panel of industry experts will share thoughts on chosen topics, the moderator’s role is to get the related conversation started and facilitate participation.

Roundtable Discussions:

    1. Operational Management and Process

      a. Does your company have a defined process for opening a new customer through to the invoice Discussion: Process
      b. Lets talk rates, wages, percentages of billable hours, payroll, estimates, and inventory controls. Discussion: Profitability
      c. How is work assigned in your operation?
      d. Do you use project managers, and how?
      e. How is work quality ensured?
      f. How do your middle managers affect your bottom line?
      g. Do you use subcontractors and how?

    2. Communication, Accountability, and Culture….can make or break a business.

      a. How do you communicate the company’s strategic goals to your employees?
      b. How are labor hours recorded and verified?
      c. How do you communicate changes in daily priorities to your technical staff?
      d. Is your company culture aligned with your strategic goals?
      e. What is an “All-In” Culture and how to create it?
      f. Affordable Technology to enhance communications

    3. Hiring….Training….Retaining

      a. Do you have a 5-year plan for your business?
      b. What skills will you need to implement that plan?
      c. What makes your company attractive to potential employees?
      d. How is recruiting done in your company?
      e. What is your interviewing process?

    4. Leadership Trends

      a. How is leadership changing with the on-demand expectations created by technology?
      b. How do you approach knowledge transfer with many long-time employees getting ready to retire.