Guest Column - May 2017
Find a printable version here


Planning for a Successful Operation: Part 2
Preseason Readiness

By Kevin Post

The third component of preseason preparation is ordering supplies. A sample ordering schedule of necessary supplies can be found in Table 2.

It's difficult to step back from the day-to-day demands of operating a pool during the summer to think about next year. There are many issues that are easily addressed during the summer season and almost impossible during the off-season. For example, determine if you have all the pictures you need for next year's marketing material; examine what high-maintenance areas could be improved upon; what landscaping would improve the surroundings and what space is not being utilized to its fullest; determine what new features guests might find exciting and enjoyable; and decide how duties could be structured to hold down labor expenses.

It's also important to conduct a post-season inspection of the physical plant and operating results to identify areas that need attention. Review and reinspect the preseason checklist to prepare for the coming year. In addition, inspect filters, furniture, equipment and inventory supplies. Make a list of required repairs and purchases. Compile administrative reports, such as those on chemical consumption, and look for trends that may require attention. Make a wish list of needed maintenance repairs, new features and renovations. Prioritize and develop a plan to accomplish this list before the coming year.

As a business, outdoor pool facilities are in the unusual position of starting over every year. Through detailed planning, you can pass information and experience from one season to the next while continually improving upon it. Winter is the time when we only work six days a week preparing and planning for the 100 days of summer.

Kevin Post is a project manager for Counsilman-Hunsaker, focusing on feasibility studies and operational assistance. Post's aquatic experience includes pool management, feasibility study analysis, facility audit coordination, launch operations training and CPO training. This broad base of experience has allowed Post to offer his knowledge to communities interested in planning new aquatic facilities across the United States.