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Bruce Holmes

President/CEO

Pools of Fun

Plainfield, Ind.

Our installation window in Indianapolis lasts nine months, from March to November.

During that time, we must work on two pools every day to meet our goal of 250 per year.

In addition to running two crews, we outsource all of our electrical and concrete work. And we’ve begun dealing on an exclusive basis with our suppliers and subcontractors, which allows us to negotiate better rates.

We are the sole swimming pool client for our electrical subcontractor, which also handles residential and commercial building construction. They’ve earmarked one crew solely for Pools of Fun; we have a similar deal with our concrete firms.

Establishing these exclusive relationships means we can always count on an electrician or concrete crew being available at all times.

We meet with our subcontractors at the beginning of each year, when we discuss changes in codes, better building methods and new products that may save money or improve efficiencies.

Tight scheduling helps keep costs down. Our subs really appreciate it, especially in a down economy where every job counts.

In addition, we meet with our distributors — primarily local suppliers — at the start of each year to review new products and pricing. Several firms, particularly those we’ve worked with for many years, are willing to make special arrangements if we order a product category in bulk; if I bought 10 or 15 heaters, I may get one unit for free.

But we don’t just look at rebates, special deals and the best pricing. We also choose firms that offer superior customer service and handling.

There’s a peace of mind that comes with knowing your order is being shipped on time.

In today’s economy, you’ve got to be on top of your game. Companies that rise to the top in this climate generally are strong in customer service.