After the euphoria of the orders for spas and pools, European manufacturers are now confronted with a supply chain problem. Of course, sales have soared, often reaching two-figure growth, but we will have to take stock of the season and admit that the expected results have unfortunately not been achieved.
What can be said about the current swimming pool market?
Prices are soaring: raw materials, components, transport...
Indeed, prices for everything have increased... and it's not about to end... All sorts of plastic, embedded parts, filters, pumps, electrolysers, liners, reinforced PVC, covers, etc.
The electronic components, semi-conductors and copper that equip our pumps, electrical cabinets, transformers, pool lights, heat pumps, electrolysers, dosing pumps, robot cleaners, regulators, etc.
As for chemical products, they are not only increasingly difficult to obtain, but their prices have gone sky high.
That is without taking into account the fact that the main US manufacturer of organic chlorine has temporarily closed due to a gigantic fire.
Chinese chemical product manufacturers prefer to produce for the Americans, who lack a local producer and accept to pay higher prices for products than Europeans. It's the infamous 'market law'...
The rates for all low-cost maritime and rail transport from Asia have been multiplied by 5, 10, or even more! And there is no guarantee that the containers will be loaded onto the ships because the captain, as sole master of his vessel, chooses the goods to be transported, which are, of course, those that are the most profitable.
The rebound of the pool and spa market has been stronger than expected, disrupting the balance of the markets in our sector, among others...
This price increase is also accentuated by the enormous and insatiable appetite of the Chinese giant, comforted by the demand of global production.
All this, of course, is pushing up prices, which will inevitably be reflected in your purchases and will ricochet into your margins.
Be even more vigilant over your margins, costs, the analysis of your customer accounts, etc.
This difficult situation is probably temporary... and we hope that everything gets back to normal in the upcoming months. Yet this international pandemic has still not been beaten. Nobody today can say what tomorrow will bring...
Order books, however, are still well filled
Projects will have to be completed and delivered correctly, and new collaborators will have to be found. Let's remain realistic - sales will get back to normal, that is to say, difficult. Efforts will have to be intensified and convincing sales arguments found in order to face your competitors, find new marketing ideas, continue to appeal to your customers and, why not, pursue this tremendous upturn that we are experiencing today.
Swimming pool Consultant