Ed "Skip" Ast
Shasta Pools & Spas
We launched a promotion back in March that guaranteed a concrete pool in 15 days. It went so well that we decided to continue the campaign.
We believe it gives us an edge over the competition. Instead of slashing costs or initiating a price war, the guarantee resonates with customers who want pools installed quickly and efficiently.
The stakes are high: If we fail to meet a deadline, the customer receives $1,000.
So far, we’ve built eight or nine pools under the guarantee, and many were well within the time frame.
On such tightly scheduled projects, you can’t afford even a single mistake. You have to have very rigid controls in place.
Our crews are mostly in-house, but we use subcontractors as well. For these jobs, we went through all our subs and selected the best in terms of craftsmanship and repair ratios. We’ve worked with each company for 10 to 15 years.
To pull this off, we had to change the culture of our in-house crews as well as our subs. Separate crews usually don’t like working on the same project simultaneously, so we needed people who were willing to share the site.
The clock doesn’t start ticking until excavation is complete. The next day, we begin installing the steel rebar while the plumbers work on the top and electricians run their conduits.
On the second day, we wait for the city inspection, and the next day we shotcrete the pool.
Our own superintendents monitor every step of the job, and the subs are required to supervise their employees. It’s tantamount to having dual checks at every phase.
This campaign was three to four months in the making. We proposed potential challenges, and developed contingencies and solutions. For example, we drew up a disclaimer that protects our guarantee against inclement weather.
This offer has helped drum up business as well as separate us from the competition, especially in a down market.