Triton Networking returns on Nov. 15 to Longbow Marine, an engineering-focused chandlery in Fort Lauderdale. Captains, crew and industry professionals are invited to join us for Longbow’s version of Southern hospitality, including fried chicken and banana pudding.
Until then, learn more about Longbow from its owners, Simon and Jodi Addrison.
Tell us about Longbow Marine. What do you do?
Longbow Marine is a marine chandlery heavy on the engineering side although we work with all departments on board. We can source and locate most any part or product needed on a yacht. In the past year, we’ve done more global shipping than ever, mainly an uptick to the Pacific. We’ve really fine-tuned our routes for getting parts to the outer reaches, to all the weird and wonderful places yachts travel.
You started in 2014. They say the first few years of a small business are the hardest. Congrats on getting through it. Has it gotten easier?
Moving into this location in July 2015 was the best thing we did. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. Every time a little more space opens up in this complex, we take it, so we have more storage and inventory than we thought we would be able to have.
Have you tweaked your focus?
We are still heavy on the engineering side. We feel very strongly that we want to do one thing and do it well. We’re not trying to get into the provisioning business or the uniform business. We have a great network of people we work with. If any of my customers need those services, I can give them a list of reliable people they can choose from.
When we do our Triton event, we always try to invite two or three of our unique vendors to exhibit. By showing people we have that umbrella of resources, it compliments the spare parts business we do.
You said last year that you handle every call. Do you still?
I may not be the first person a customer reaches but I still handle every customer. If I don’t have that kind of overview, it’s hard to keep tabs on what’s what. We deal with parts that may have a long lead time, so at any given moment, I need to be able to see what’s pending, what’s being worked on, and what’s completed.
Jodi: We handle every customer personally. I hate calling somewhere and getting an automated system. When anyone calls, they are the only customer on our mind. They get our undivided attention. They are the most important thing that I have to do at that moment.
Have you hired any new staff?
Our inside core guys are all still here; people come and they don’t want to go. Phillip, Hunter and Isvy, who has been with us all three years and I think she’s taken like two days off. TeRess joined us last year to help us with the boat show, and her part time hours turned into full time. She has a great background working on yachts.
Jodi: When we started Longbow, Simon and I wanted to surround ourselves with nice people. Who wants to sit in an office all day with jerks? There’s a lot of logistics and it can stress you out. You don’t need bad attitudes on top of that.
What do you have planned for 2018?
More of the same, I hope. We’ve been lucky. As the company has grown, we’ve been ready for it. We’re making adjustments now so we’re ready to handle the growth we expect to come next year.
We’re not trying to reinvent ourselves. We want to meet the demands of whatever captains, engineers and deck crew need.
Join us for Triton Networking on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 6-8 p.m. at Longbow Marine, 1305 S.W. First Ave. in Fort Lauderdale (33315), about a block north of Tap 42 bar and restaurant, just west of Andrews Avenue. For more information, visit www.longbowmarine.com or contact the company through email@example.com and +1 954-616-5737.