For most divers around the world, scuba diving is purely a recreational activity, something you do for fun. But for a great many people, scuba diving is also a business, an industry, a way of making a living. And just like any business, they need to manage their business’ finances and logistics.
Up until now, there hasn’t been many IT solutions that seeks to cater specifically to the dive industry’s needs, and most dive shops run a host of systems to meet their needs. And, generally speaking, IT systems isn’t a top priority for many dive shops. On one hand, most people in the dive industry are there because they have a love of diving. That means that going diving, teaching others to dive, and sharing their passion for diving is what they do, and what they want to do. Managing and selecting IT systems isn’t. On the other hand, the dive industry is generally very cost sensitive, as it is a highly competitive industry, with very price conscious customers. So large-scale investments in business tools, or the hiring of business managers to handle that side of the shop is not always an option.
So the ideal business management solution for the dive industry would be fairly low cost, and easy to implement, use, and maintain.
This is where Dive Centre HQ, or DCHQ for short, comes in. A UK-based business started by former dive professionals and business people, DCHQ is a cross-platform solution that seeks to be just what the dive industry needs: a timely, tailored, and above all, hassle-free business management tool.
Built by an experienced team, who have worked on multiple government contracts prior to making DCHQ, and headed up by André Tanguy, who himself is an experienced dive professional, having worked all over the world in the dive industry, it aims to fix what ails many a dive shop manager. It was while mr. Tanguy and his family ran a dive shop on the Spanish island of Mallorca that the idea for DCHQ was born out of looking for (and failing to find) a good digital program to handle the management of the shop. The basic idea behind the system is to enable a dive shop to conduct their business in a way that works for them. From selling dive trips and gear, to receiving bookings, and managing stock, everything is meant to happen in the same system, but across any platform they choose.
A typical user scenario for a dive shop could be creating a dive event, such as a day trip to a local dive site, or even a multi-day trip to a far-off destination in another country, handling all signups for that event, allocate rental gear and check the condition of it, and handle payments, both those made in advance and any that need to be handled on site during the dive, such as for walkins or for divers purchasing extra services, such as additional dives or a diver who suddenly need to rent a BCD due a fault in their own.
In the second installment of this series, we’ll dive deeper into the system and explore the features of it.