Connect with us

Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pool and Spa: A Company’s Response to the COVID – 19 Pandemic

Published

on

Pool and spa: A Company's Response to the COVID – 19 Pandemic

Today, the pool and spa industry in the United States continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic burden posed by the lockdown. The crisis has hit the pool and spa companies across various geographical regions in different ways. The epidemic has hardest hit these companies, although those in profoundly affected areas are more likely to encounter huge losses than those in less affected areas. Conversely, the service sector is somewhat secure compared to the retail industry; organizations capable of selling their services or products online are better off compared to companies that require human contact. Building contracts, however, seem to continue as planned. In the long run, there is a high probability that all industries will be at risk; however, these ramifications currently remain unknown.

Pool and spa: A Company's Response to the COVID – 19 Pandemic

Like most companies, the goals for pools and spa businesses have been redefined. For survival during this global pandemic, they sought to take care of service and construction. This alleviates any adverse effects of retail, while maintaining resourceful employees and implementing practical financial management skills. All Seasons Pools and Spas, in Chicago, came up with an action plan on how to deal with this crisis in the industry. Dan Lenz, the company’s vice president, informed AQUA of the scheme on the 19th of March, 2020. He said,” After almost four hours of discussion, we resolved to create a strategic plan and put it to action.

Considering our retail store is no longer in function, we opted to send a large percentage of our employees working in the retail sector home, except the manager and myself.” He notes that the crisis significantly affected their chemical sales even though most of the purchases are online. “Normally, the company receives over $100,000 chemical sales, but this has tremendously dropped this year due to the pandemic.” Additionally, we don’t have any traffic, so our retail store is closed due to restricted movement. Nonetheless, if we have a willing customer, we are determined to satisfy their needs.

Battling covid, hand-to-hand

Unfortunately, commercial sanitizers are sold out in most cities, including Chicago. Quite the contrary, pool and spa companies have their unlimited supply of commercial sanitizers. I passed by Loews and purchased several chemical-resistant spray bottles and added a mixture of chlorine and water in the bottle. The combination serves as a strong disinfectant like Lysol, we, therefore, use it to disinfect all items in our store. We sanitize everything in our store, the washrooms, all rooms, furniture, office equipment, electronic equipment, and our gadgets. Besides, we ensure our employees maintain distance; there are two employees in the service and construction department, unlike our usual five, who sit two meters away from each other.

During a typical working day, our service and construction team report early in the morning to complete their paperwork, submitting the work before the day ends. We have implemented various measures to prevent the spread of the disease within work premises. Consequently, we transferred the team’s paperwork to the storehouse and ensured the area is adequately disinfected to avoid transmission.

Service and construction holding up

We are almost at the end of the spring opening season and currently have our crew of technicians on board. Regularly, at this time of the year, we bring in a lot of people using our customer service skills before our sales begin to peak. Sadly, this is not happening now because everything seems unpredictable. Before the crisis, we did not worry about whoever was in the field and their respective interactions. It’s all different now; we have to keep records of everyone in the area to prevent any transmission of the virus and deal effectively with whoever is infected. Fortunately, even with the separation of different teams, everyone is still working efficiently, and we feel lucky to have such an understanding, reliable, and responsible personnel that foster our expansion as a company.

Staying afloat

Additionally, our sales team is working from home using their computers. We sent our other employees’ home until the end of next week before we strategize on the way forward; we resolved to be paying them for 30 hours. After proper evaluation, we realized we have to be careful about how we spend our finances because our revenues are reducing by the day. Furthermore, we are unsure of what the future holds for us. It is unfortunate how this present situation is amending our employment contracts and increasing the state of unemployment. The government is talking about providing relief for businesses, but as of now, nothing is guaranteed. Despite this, we are doing our best to encourage a positive cash flow by securing our spring openings and continue with online selling and deliveries.

Keep pushing

Ultimately, no one saw this coming, so we have to keep going no matter the situation. We are still responsible for taking care of our pools and ensuring they remain safe for human use. Honestly, we desire for pools to be reopened so that all our customers who are at home find something to keep their minds busy.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Latham Pool Products Hires New Chief Information Officer

Kaushal Dhruv joins Latham Pool Products as new CIO.

Published

on

Kaushal Dhruv named new CIO of Latham Pool Products
Photo: Latham Pool Products

Fiberglass pool and vinyl liner maker Latham Pool Products has decided to hire a new Chief Information Officer for their corporation.

Kaushal Dhruv the new CIO will provide support and leadership to both the IT (Information Technology) team as well as the project management staff. Latham President/CEO Scott Rajeski is Kaushal’s direct report.

“We are on an exciting growth journey, complete with changes that will continue to propel Latham’s position …”

Kaushal Dhruv new CIO for Latham Pool Products

Kaushal comes from a diverse background in technology where he had 16 years of experience consulting with CIO and CTOs of Fortune 500 Companies. Kaushal was also Director of Technology for KPMG. Kaushal is extremely well educated. He has a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the University at Mumbai, a Masters in Information Management from Syracuse University as well as a Masters in Engineering Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Pune Institute of Computer Technology.

Said Latham Pool Products CEO, Scott Rajeski:

“[Kaushal’s] extensive experience and knowledge provide Latham with the proper leadership to continue driving our progress in North America and abroad.”

More about Latham Pool Products
Find products, contact information and articles about Latham Pool Products

Continue Reading

Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation

Published

on

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Reports indicate that the pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation experience in their staycation. Consumers demand on pool maintenance products and services, renovations, new structures is on the rise. Social distancing rules affected so many businesses in their sales, but not all industries felt the wrath. The pool and spa industry survived the heat due to the following factors;

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

1.  New pool installation

The demand is high because it is the only option to enjoy summer. Most clients are contacting contractors to have pools installed in their backyard.

2.  Existing pools

Homeowners want to bring the summer experience closer by improving their backyard experience. This is because they have to stay indoors and have no other option. Maintaining their pool throughout summer created a niche that the professionals in this industry took advantage of.

High loan application demands

Sarah Bess, the marketing director of Lyon Financial, specializing in loans for outdoor improvements, focusing on the pool, admits to the increase in business sales during this time. She adds that they expected a 20% increase in their sales this year. Then in March, the outbreak happened to create a lot of uncertainties and confusion. The sales went down for a short period, and it was discouraging. In April, there was a sudden and unbelievable rise in sales. The customer demand was too high, and the company was making good proceeds. This situation required that they add 10–15 employees to meet the customers’ demand.

If the sales happen to decrease in June or July, it still won’t take them back to where they were. The increase came about by the idea that clients have an exceptional backyard. It is not all about the pools, but the outdoor experience. Other industries that deal with the construction of the outdoor kitchen, covered porches, gazebos, etc., recorded a great increase in sales. Customers want to invest in their backyard pool installation for summer as well as for future security.

Safety precautions and retail businesses

The health crisis affected retail businesses. This is because of the social distancing rule, and clients find it hard to go to the stores to buy goods. Some retail stores adjusted to the situation to ensure they maximize their sales. They adopted methods such as delivery & curbside pick up. Companies such as Aqua Tech in Winnipeg, Manitoba, dismiss claims of the effects on retails stalls. For them, they adopted the use of contactless water testing. It is advantageous because they can still stay indoors, manage time, and it’s effective for clients. They hope to continue with these services even after the pandemic. Aqua tech, now offers services like chemical only pool maintenance & water sample pick up for those unable to go to the stores. They are dealing with the situation in ways that are appealing to the customer. The crisis was a concern, but they have managed to keep up with the sales. Previously, they only received 2-3 calls a day, now they receive 5-10 calls in an hour. Additionally, the employees have had to organize themselves effectively.

Economic achievements

Richard’s Total Backyard in Houston, Texas, set a new financial record in April. It is now a trend in all these outdoor products industries. Cristina Nikolov, a social media marketing manager, recalls a company meeting held at the beginning of March. They had lost hope there would be anyone willing to contract with them at this time. She even told the staff members that they should prepare for bad times.

Then came the Easter Weekend, and the flow of work was unexpected. It was a hectic month for the company, and she would now ask designers to be fast so that they can meet all the clients. Julie Richard, the Vice President, said that the surge was a result of the client’s mindset. No one is certain about the future or when the lockdown will come to an end. This uncertainty has had clients opt to improve their backyards so that whatever happens, they can still enjoy their time from the luxuries of their own home. Employees and designers have had to work overtime to manage all the clients. The month of April is the best financial year in the Companies history. It is not only pools that are marketable, but also hot tubs. For Richard, he just put up a message to reach out to clients that they can have their hot tubs installed and enjoy their stay at home. That opened up a big business opportunity for the company. Crews are sent daily to install hot tubs or renovate them for their clients on weekends to reduce the workload.

Construction

The government has been supportive of this course of a backyard experience. Many companies have earned a good sum during this time because the government has allowed them to maintain their operations.The owner of Berggren’s Backyard Oasis Pool Construction in Wenatchee, Micheal Berggren, also experienced the same surge in his business.

The governor of his state realizes the importance of pools in summer and can carry out their business with support from the state. They were able to do four times what they do in a year in equipment sets and cover replacement. He, however, still hopes that things will return to normal because of a few strains caused by the changes. They have to get frequent permission from the state authorities and following up with all the safety measures. He does appreciate this time as well, that was a boost to his business. He notes that the most important thing is that people get paid their salaries to feed their families.

Continue Reading

Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

It is the start of the pool season and a suitable time for companies to reevaluate their costs. Focusing on the main work is important, but at the end

Published

on

Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

It is the start of the pool season and a suitable time for companies to reevaluate their costs. Focusing on the main work is important, but at the end of the day, the work should yield some good proceeds. The ideas below are useful in profit maximization when it comes to offering pool services.

Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

Online ordering

There is a considerable amount of time wasted in a wholesale store, as the contractors wait to order, have the orders packaged and check it out. Online ordering is a better alternative. The pool contractors can order earlier via the distributors before they leave for the worksite. Visiting the distributor is advantageous because it allows the contractor to tag along with other technicians for professional advice. Sometimes this conversation can extend to a non-productive chat, limiting productive work time.

Reduce drive time

Technicians should minimize their time on the road. This time isn’t accounted for, and in business, every minute counts. When going for a project, it is important to study the service routes before leaving. Things such as school schedules, traffic patterns, and other disruptions are factors to consider beforehand. This is to avoid time wastage on the roads.

It is also important that you look at the jobs and check if it’s reasonable to take up the job. The drive to device costs may cost more than the job itself. In this case, it is not worth it to take up the job. You ought to look at the farthest job and the distance to your next stop. It is wise to start with the jobs closer unless you plan on offering your services permanently in those remote areas.

If you are heading to a pool service project and you make a stop on your way, you should check the farthest project and consider if you still want to keep it. The loss of one far project can earn you two close jobs saving on time and energy and boosting cost. If you consider taking up the far projects, it may be reasonable if you charge more than close projects to cater for the drive time.

Smart buying

Purchasing goods in bulk is a smart option for those who have a warehouse space. Buying in bulk earlier puts you in a better bargaining position. This increases profits and is a great way of budgeting. It also saves the technicians stress when certain goods are in shortage due to their high demand. For this reason, they will be able to offer the best pool services to clients. The contractors can come up with an estimate of the products required during a certain season. You can base this on the sales of the previous year and speculations of the sales in the current year. For the storage of the goods, you can create space in your home. If you have no space completely, you can negotiate with the distributor to allow you to take the products in small portions, as long as you commit the purchase. Purchasing in bulk is advantageous to the distributors, so; it’s unlikely they disagree with the idea. You can also combine orders with other companies to save on the cost of securing a personal warehouse.

Check on product costs

Most technicians ignore the pricing of goods they use or sell in their course of work. You should check invoices to see the cost of goods they are charging their customers and ensure you make some profit. This also helps confirm if there were any mistakes made to correct them earlier.

Special offers 

Manufacturers have special offers once in a while to promote their brands. Their offer can entail buying goods in bulk at a huge discount. Contractors can take advantage of this, whereby they purchase one good at a significantly low price, and sell it at a higher price to their consumers and make some profit.

Review expenditure

You should review the expenses regularly. Services such as phones, vehicle insurance, and the internet need to be checked continuously. If there are cheaper alternatives to these services, explore them. Contact the service providers on a regular for any new discounts. Such inquiries can result in such considerations executed.

Make effective use of trucks

The truck inventory should have goods that are accessible on the service route. It is time-wasting to go to the distribution warehouse to pick up goods needed for replacement. Loss of profit is also incurred. It is important to find out what you need to stock in the truck for the job. To do this, technicians need to familiarize themselves with pools, the equipment available, and products that may be useful for the job. Balancing between the space in the truck & the required equipment is key to manage costs. All companies should invest in cheaper alternatives that are effective to maximize on their annual profits.

Continue Reading

Industry News

Powered by