POOLWERX SPLASHES OUT
Written on the 16 April 2015
POOLWERX has dived into the US, acquiring a Phoenix-based business, and is now launching a new local initiative to ensure it maintains foothold as an industry leader.
The Brisbane company, which represents more than 10 per cent of pool and spa care operators in Australia, has acquired Cactus Valley Pool Supplies' nine company-owned stores, seven franchised stores and nine mobile service units.
The American pool and spa care industry is more than time times the size of Australia's, and Poolwerx CEO John O'Brien says the company is planning to fast plough through it.
"This is not the first opportunity that has come up for our American entry, but it was the right one," says O'Brien.
"It's not insurmountable to believe Poolwerx could become a major force in the industry in the USA, very quickly.
"In fact, with the great support we have been experiencing, our forecasts have us with a potential of 50 retail stores and mobile units by this time next year and 300 by 2020."
Poolwerx is planning to covert the first Cactus Valley Pool Supplies store to its own brand before the American summer season.
These plans coincide with the implementation of a new local training program to ensure all franchisees attain Certificates III and IV in Pool and Spa Service by 2018.
There are currently no legislative requirements for employees to acquire such accreditation, but O'Brien is hoping this will set the industry standard.
The three-day course will take place at the new 300 square-metre Poolwerx training facility in Milton and provide 40 training places at a subsidised cost of $500 to cover the program, flights, accommodation and meals, regardless of where franchisees are based.
Poolwerx CEO John O'Brien says the program form an essential part of his vision in creating a world class franchise.
"We opened our world class training facility last year because we're aiming for highly skilled and more experienced pool and spa technicians working in the industry, but to achieve this vision we need more franchisees to undergo training," he says.
"As an Australia wide company we didn't feel it was fair that some franchisees had to pay excessive travel costs while others could just drive in each morning to take advantage of the training opportunity, so by subsiding a number of places it ensures the training program is an opportunity all franchisees can take advantage of.
"Ultimately, we are working to achieve our goal of a technically efficient industry that is populated by highly skilled, qualified technicians."