Kreepy Krauly directors Andrew Jackson and Sarah Davis.

Kreepy Krauly, JWH named to hall of fame

Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 - 14:13

Osborne Park-based manufacturer Kreepy Krauly and homebuilder JWH Group were last night added to Family Business Australia’s hall of fame.

Kreepy Krauly, which was founded by Terry Jackson in 1976, produces automated pool cleaners.

Development of the product started with a South African engineer who created prototype products in the 1970s, but found they would fall apart in the pool.

That led to a collaboration with Mr Jackson, a Perth businessman, who helped redesign the product.

Mr Jackson was given the Australian rights for Kreepy Krauly, and established a manufacturing and research and development operation in Osborne Park.

The facility still exists today, with around 15 employees.

Now, the next generation of the family runs the business, with son Andrew Jackson the executive director and daughter Sarah Davis as director and operations coordinator.

Ms Davis told Business News it was not well known that the product was made in Australia, and that a key plank of the company’s strategy going forward was to highlight that local connection.

She said the family had always felt it was important to support strong manufacturing and research sectors in Western Australia, underpinning the decision to stay local.

Despite the seasonal nature of demand for pool cleaners, Kreepy operates a year-round production schedule to keep quality consistent, Ms Davis said,

That meant maintaining the same staff on a full-time schedule, rather than hiring casuals in peak seasons.

Moving forward, Ms Davis said the directors intended for the business to have increased involvement from a third generation, in time.

Homebuilder JWH Group is also headquartered in Osborne Park.

JWH also has a long history, starting with the founding of J-Corp in 1983 by Julian Walter.

That was followed 20 years later when Mr Walter sold his share of J-Corp to BGC and organised a merger of a number of builders, such as Oswald Homes and WA Country Builders Network.

Other players such as Plunkett Homes eventually joined JWH, and the group has now become the state's third largest homebuilder.

Mr Walter’s son, Jay Walter, is now a general manager at JWH, while daughter Alicia Kelly is a general manager and company secretary.

Jay Walter was a winner in the 40under40 awards in 2016.