Covid-19 brought a multitude of unprecedented challenges to the US and the world. It seems that every industry felt some ripple effect and the pool industry was no exception.
The pool industry grew by a whopping 24% in 2020. With traveling and vacations coming to a screeching halt last year, being stuck at home meant a desire to create a backyard oasis. With the demand for swimming pools dramatically increasing, production and manufacturing have had extreme difficulty keeping up.
Here at Kayak Pools Midwest, we pride ourselves on being one of the leading swimming pool companies for over 60 years. Our success has been built upon empowering our customers to create backyard experiences to build family memories for decades to come. We have always strived to offer our customers the very best experience and communication from beginning to end of the pool selection and installation process.
With that in mind, Kayak Pools Midwest has also felt the effects of the pool industry shortages and we are doing our very best to navigate, pivot, and adapt throughout. However, our biggest priority of all and will continue to remain is ensuring the best level of customer satisfaction that we can offer. In order to do that, both our current and future customers deserve to have a full understanding and complete transparency of what the pool industry is facing with the current shortages and backorders.
Natural disasters, raw material shortages, supply chain issues, and labor shortages have all contributed to our industry’s delays in new installations and product backorders along with the extremely wet spring we had in the Midwest in 2021. At the end of last summer, Hurricane Laura’s storm damage resulted in a fire at the Biolab Plant that produces 40% of the nation’s chlorine. This prevented pool suppliers from ordering more chlorine, despite increase in demand.
Pool manufacturers are also experiencing severe production lead times due to a high demand in 2020, being carried into 2021. For vinyl liner pools, many are manufactured in areas like New York which is where our main manufacturing facility is located, along with New Jersey and Canada which were also affected by the strictest Covid-19 working guidelines and halts, which resulted in high demand with low supply. These manufacturers have resumed production, but many with disruptions in the workforce and supply chain.
The deep freeze in Texas this past February resulted in the demand for pool parts such as filters, plumbing parts, and pumps. Not only did this natural disaster result in many of our Midwest pool suppliers losing out on pool parts to meet the demand in Texas, but it also resulted in power loss and halted production of resin and ethylene that creates plastic, resulting in that shortage. Unfortunately, we were not notified of these backorders until mid-spring and we responded accordingly
Installation has also been delayed in the pool industry nationwide due to labor shortages. We’re at the mercy of our installation crews, who are at the mercy of just finding quality workers, and those willing to work with the large incentive by the Federal Government to stay on unemployment
As the President of Kayak Pools Midwest, I felt it was my duty to be as transparent as possible with our customers in explaining specific reasons for our installation and timeline delays. We are working diligently at doing everything humanly possible to resume timelines to our normal, timely pace and will continue to be as communicative and transparent with our customers throughout this navigation of such unprecedented times. Your satisfaction is what drives us forward and will continue to do so.
To learn more about the shortages within the pool industry, we’ve provided the below articles for your perusal.