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Market leader in big talent pool

A POOL maker’s decision to look at export possibilities to counter the effects of seasonal downturns has paid dividends.

Five years after dipping its toe into the export market, Aqua Technics is exporting to nine countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, India and Germany.

The company recently won the National Housing Industry Association export award.

It has increased its export sales by more than 450 per cent to become the largest exporter of prefabricated swimming pools in Australia.

And Australia is the world leader in prefabricated swimming pool manufacture.

Aqua Technics export director Ben Beale said the company had a competitive advantage because the quality of its products and finishes was superior to anything else available.

He said the company had gone beyond making blue fibreglass pools and was now using ceramic technology.

“We have an industrial chemist on staff and our own research and development area. We’re always trying to build a better swimming pool,” Mr Beale said.

“The countries we’re selling into have local pool manufacturers right on their doorsteps, but we can be competitive from Perth.”

But swimming pools are not the easiest things to export and logistics and the cost of transport have proven to be big issues.

When the pools arrive overseas they are both overheight and over-width for conventional trucks.

“We’ve done a lot of work on packing so we can get more shells per consignment,” Mr Beale said.

“Given competitive quotes from shipping companies, we would have done a lot more business.”

The company usually sends out its pools in 10-lot consignments, including the pool shells, filters and chlorinators.

Once the pools arrive at the customer’s residence the local distributor handles the installation.

“We had our first shipment arrive into Europe recently. After being shipped to Belgium, the pools had to make a 2,500 kilometre road journey to Munich,” Mr Beale said.

“And these were big pools too, so they were wider than usual loads for the trucks.”

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