Pentair navigates unprecedented demand
By De’Mon Wiggins, Vice President Pentair Pool Business Unit
Throughout 2020 and continuing this year, the industry has experienced unprecedented high demand for pools and pool equipment. According to the PK Data US Residential Swimming Pool Market Report YE2020, new in-ground residential pool construction rose 23% in 2020.1 Consumers are investing in their backyards and their homes. Long days at home and a second summer in lockdown make pools that much more attractive to homeowners. With limited travel, backyards have become treasured retreats for making memories and spending time with loved ones.
However, the increase in pool demand during the pandemic also coincided with governments around the world instructing manufacturers to pause their operations to minimize the spread of COVID-19. When the pool industry was deemed essential and manufacturing could continue, social distancing measures combined with coronavirus outbreaks slowed, and sometimes stopped, production.
Increased demand seen in the pool industry can be attributed to a variety of additional factors including builders ending 2020 with a backlog of new pool projects and leads, favorable housing dynamics, and a strong construction market. In addition, new coronavirus outbreaks continue to disrupt the supply chain.
These are unprecedented times not just for Pentair or the pool industry, but for the whole world. It is in these challenges when we are forced to think creatively, lean on our strong relationships, and come together to get the job done.
Since 1966, Pentair has been making the most of life’s essential resources. From residential and business solutions that help people move, improve and enjoy their water, to sustainable innovations and applications, the company delivers smart, sustainable solutions for life. As an industry leader in the pool and spa space, Pentair has been and continues to remain dedicated to elevating the pool experience to the next level with connected, efficient and, most importantly, quality products and solutions.
There is strong evidence that people are extending the pool season and using their pools earlier and more often. The industry saw these trends in 2020, and they've continued well into 2021. While exciting, these factors have created an environment in which demand is outpacing supply.
Pentair recognizes wait times are outside its service expectations and are frustrating for distributors, dealers, and customers. To address this, the company is investing heavily in productivity improvements while maintaining a safe work environment for its growing team. Pentair is determined to meet its customer’s expectations and maintain the highest standard of service. Pentair will continue to strive to make its customers’ experiences as seamless as possible. As we continue to navigate ongoing supply chain changes, Pentair remains committed to being a steadfast partner to its customers and dealer network.
To accomplish this, one of the top initiatives for the Pentair team in 2021 is delivering on productivity. Pentair plans a multipronged approach from expanding the hourly employee base and operations to help increase output and investing in capital and automation to assembly lines to optimize production. Pentair is making progress on its production line output and is working continuously to source and access the raw materials needed.
With increased capacity, Pentair is executing at historically high-volume levels and has increased output, quarter over quarter, across product lines since Q2 2020.
Opportunities for Growth
Even with efforts in production acceleration, Pentair knows that its customers have experienced longer lead times. Pentair is committed to continuously working to deliver on its product commitments and is prioritizing pre-existing orders at this time.
Due to the changing nature of global supply chain constraints, information is evolving quickly. Pentair is committed to sharing updates as available to help ensure dealers have the tools to best support their customers during this time.
Although the world may be changing day to day, Pentair will continue to put customers first as it has been doing for more than five decades – focusing on quality, reliability, and customer service over everything else. Pentair is dedicated to getting people into pools so they can soak in the magical, wonderfilled moments they offer during these changing times.
1 https://www.pkdata.com/store/p5/ residential-pool-report-YE2020.html#/ 2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/ business/2021/07/27/supply-chainsfreight- rail-ports/