Increase in demand for boat rentals imposes an ever-increasing volume of work on charter agencies. In order to properly devote themselves to clients and their boats, MMK Systems has created Booking Manager, a specialised platform that offers a complete solution for charter business and connects you with the whole world as a perfect distribution channel.
From idea to realization, a lot of effort, dedication and focusing on each individual client was needed. We asked Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK and founder of the Booking Manager platform, what it was like to follow that path
N: You are Celebrating your 20th anniversary this year. Can you go back to the beginning? How did you come up with the idea?
Time flies when you’re having fun! Looking back on initial versions of what is now known as the largest online distribution platform in the industry feels surreal. The idea came to me. Early in my career I got commissioned by a largest Croatian charter company to build them a website; they had the biggest fleet in the area and lots of data scattered across papers and notebooks. I knew the key to completing this project was organising and digitalising their data, so I did that. Soon I realised that what I built could be applied across the industry and help many other companies work faster and better. So I got to work, and I am still working on it, with the help of 40 team members.Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK
N: Were you expecting Booking Manager to storm the industry the way it did?
I was young and convinced I had just created a solution that would sell itself, so I was taken aback by the initial resistance. Although, to me, a young developer at the time, digitalisation seemed like a natural progression not everybody was convinced. It took years for some companies, even a decade, to be able to share the vision. Nowadays, there are almost 10000 yachts in the System from over 950 charter companies getting daily bookings from 5000 active agents that use Booking Manager, so It’s safe to say it got to a point I envisioned initially.Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK
N: What do you consider to be your main advantage in the industry?
It’s hard to name just one as we continuously work on being a few steps ahead. Being the largest Global Distribution System is a big one, but I believe the scope of services we provide got us to that point. Having one robust solution to run all of your operations, from tracking inventory to accounting integration, means the entire charter business is supported by and running on Booking Manager. Being independent is another huge advantage. Having no investment ties to one charter company allows us to provide a fair game to every client regardless of their fleet size.Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK
N: Booking Manager is your biggest product, but there are others you are offering. What is it about?
Booking Manager System for Charter Operators and Agents is the core of our business. Still, several other products are game changers for our clients, such as Booking Manager Widget, a quick and straightforward solution that allows anyone to display real-time availability on their website. The API data connection allows clients to present the fleet availability however they prefer. And then there are Booking Manager Websites, a service we offer to clients who want their websites built by a team that understands the principles of charter business.Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK
As a market leader, MMK focuses on innovation and providing the best user experience and customer care
N: With 20 successful years of business behind you, where do you see Booking Manager in 20 years?
I wish I had a crystal ball to be able to tell you for sure, but the plan is to expand even further. There are always new challenges that need solutions, and I hope we continue to be just that to our current and future clients. There are markets we have yet to reach and upgrades we want to do. Some are still in my head, and some big ones are coming out this fall.Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK
N: What about Booking Manager Summit?
Our “little passion project” grew into the leading educational event in the industry, and we are incredibly proud of that as firm believers in the fact that knowledge is power. The fourth edition of Booking Manager Summit is in Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Zagreb from the 9th to the 11th of November. We are taking it up a notch, bringing 30 world-leading experts to share their knowledge and experience applicable in the charter industry, in sales, marketing, social media, customer relationships, finance and many more. The annual Charter and Agency Panels will gather industry representatives to discuss the burning issues and offer their perspectives on the solutions. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn but also to network with peers and have some fun at our 20-year party!Marko Gnjidic, CEO of MMK