Pool Pro

"Without digital technology, we wouldn’t continue to grow like we are-it’s saved us a lot of time and a lot of money."

Sean Ralph


Transcript

LOGO: Australian Government Coat of Arms. TEXT: Small Business Digital Taskforce. The POPS Group Pty Ltd Pool Pro Products.

(PIANO MUSIC)

DESCRIPTION:

A man in a high-vis vest and business shirt is smiling and stands in a factory, in front of shelves packed full of hundreds of cardboard boxes.

SEAN:
Yeah, I'm Sean Ralph, Managing Director at the POPS Group and our product is Pool Pro Products.

DESCRIPTION:

Sean stands in a retail shop in front of bottles and sachets of Pool Pro products on shelves. His shirt has the Pool Pro logo, a blue and yellow water drop, and the slogan: “Simply a Better Choice”.

SEAN:

Business was started back in 1993 by my mother. I was in the military at that stage, in the Air Force, and I got out of there to give her a hand. And 20 years on, I'm still here. But it was started to help mum-and-dad companies fight the mass merchants and get better pricing for themselves.

DESCRIPTION:

On the shelves are a  range of pool products such as leaf shovels, pool parts and bottles of chemicals on display.

SEAN:

We supply pool shops, builders, service people with all their pumps, filters, accessories, chemical range, spare parts. That's really our industry.

DESCRIPTION:

Sean in store.

SEAN:

We have very large peaks and troughs in our business because we're seasonal in the swimming pool industry. We really struggled with being able to manufacture and package enough product to suit our peaks. So, we had to go offshore and move that to offshore. We never had the money at that stage to buy machinery to help us to manufacture in Australia and the banks were reluctant to lend us based on that. So, we pushed it offshore to help with our peaks, and then we found we could actually make more money manufacturing back here in Australia, which was great.

DESCRIPTION:

Man and woman in high-vis working with tubing and sheeting. Others pack pool equipment into cardboard boxes. Wrapped-up stock is lifted out of a truck by a forklift.

SEAN:

So we bought it back from overseas, and now we manufacture and repack back in Australia like we should've done all along, but now we have the right machinery, right personnel and the right technical support.

DESCRIPTION:

Sean in store.

SEAN:

Most important tools we have here is our digital inventory management system.

DESCRIPTION:

Sean sits at a desk using a computer.

SEAN:

It gives us state-of the-art, up-to-date, by-the-hour timing on stock in and out when it's ordered, inventory, the sales past historical, up to ten years, future forecasting, months in stock.

DESCRIPTION:

Inventory document is shown on the computer, as well as wrapped stock stacked on warehouse shelves. Sean in shop.

SEAN:

It really covers everything that we need here for manufacturing and wholesaling. Without digital technology, we wouldn't have grown like we did and like we are growing. I mean, it saved us a lot of time, a lot of money, expertise.

DESCRIPTION:

Another office. Poster on wall reads: “Neptune Sand Filters”. A woman sits at a desk using a computer. She looks at a document: “Retail and Bulk Pool Chemicals”. Sean in store.

SEAN:

So, we've had to bring in other expertise that we never had before into the digital space in marketing and analytical areas but we've been able to save on manufacturing and producing goods and to get them out to market.

SEAN:

So, we've just shifted. But, because we've shifted, we've been able to grow even bigger. So, you know - we're saving the floor sweeper and putting in a General Manager.

DESCRIPTION:

Three men in high-vis walk into a warehouse stocked with product.

SEAN:

Of course, we want to grow our business. We're back in Australia here to make a real go of it. But, we need to stay ahead of the game and remain efficient at all times.

DESCRIPTION:

Wrapped pallets of stock out front of warehouse. Three men in high-vis walk by. Large sign on a truck reads: “Pool Pro. Simply a better choice for your pool. Billy Slater. Poolpro.com.au. 1800 143 788.” Accompanying sign is large picture of Billy Slater standing shirtless in a pool. Sean in store.

SEAN:

So, the only way we'll stay competitive on the world stage is more technology and smarter ways to operate, manufacture and get our product to market within Australia. Absolutely worth it in the end. We definitely wouldn't be like we are now if we didn't do it. But, look, it is very stressful. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort. You've gotta open up your horizon a bit and open up your thinking to what is out there and how that can help and benefit your business. Namely because you don't actually know how it's gonna benefit your business at that time, but you've gotta put a bit of trust in some people, and ensure that what they're gonna bring to the table is gonna actually help you, and you can see it's gonna help you, but you need to expand on that just to make it gel with your own business.

TEXT:

Small Business Digital Taskforce. Join the conversation #smalldigbiz

(UPBEAT INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC)