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Pool Patrol’s Okanagan Team Reflects on Busy 2023 Pool Cover Season

November 27, 2023

As Pool Patrol wraps up for 2023, owner Allan Horwood sits down with pool cover specialists Eric and Caleb in Kelowna to reflect on a busy summer for automatic pool covers in B.C. Listen in on Allan and the team in part 1 of 3 of this informal conversation with our pool cover superstars.

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Hey everyone, it's the end of 2023. It's been an interesting year in our automatic pool cover world, another great year, and we’re looking forward to 2024. But I want to take a moment to introduce some of my pool cover specialists, which, honestly, without the proper staff, Pool Patrol doesn't exist. 

We're up here at the Kelowna warehouse, and I've got seated next to me Eric Miller, who is our manager and does a hell of a good job. Eric, tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us who you are, and how long you've been here.


Eric

This is my fifth year! I manage the Okanagan division. This is my good friend Caleb. I was fortunate enough that he needed a job and he kind of follows me around from job to job, so he came to this one. Hopefully, it's the last one we have to ever go to together.


Allan

Eric's actually being around during the growth of the Kelowna operation and constantly reminds me of some of the craziness we did at the beginning of our operation up here to get to where we are now. But he has seen a little bit of everything.


Eric

I've definitely seen a little bit of everything. I think our first video was at our first small, little, tiny warehouse on the west side. So quite a bit of growth since then. A lot of things have changed. Obviously, we're in a much larger facility now and that's made it a lot easier to keep our customers happy and keep stock and product and everything. So lots of changes, and lots of big things coming down the pipe for pool covers in 2024. I'm looking forward to it. Should be another banner year, and hopefully we can get one more guy on with us to complete the crew.


Allan

And then you brought on Caleb, How many years have you been here?


Caleb

This is my third full season.


Allan

A lot of my customers know you now a lot of our builders know you. What was your background? Well, how did you end up here?


Caleb

I was a parts advisor at Kelowna Nissan with Eric, then he left and went to Levitt and I was the parts advisor there. 


Eric

So he follows me around job to job. 


Caleb

It's a completely different background. I never realised automatic pool covers were an industry until I made that call and I love it. It's been great.


Allan

How would you guys describe 2023 versus 2022, what were some of the major challenges you guys saw on the field?


Eric

For 2023, I think it went a little bit smoother, because we didn't have the crazy heat domes and heat waves, and we were actually up a guy, so it was a little less hectic and go-go. It was still the same amount of work, just a little bit easier on us, which was nice. We did a whole teamwork thing, which was nice and worked in groups which went a long way and really helped please customers because we got stuff done in a timely fashion. Also, the fact that it wasn't smoking hot meant we could actually work a little bit longer and it wasn't so hectic and stressful. 


Allan

It's really nice to hear that you guys say that it felt better this year because, from the backend, we do all of our scheduling, organizing, and invoicing from our Vancouver location. It felt like we were still scrambling a bit, you know, there's a lot of work and we actually turned down some work this year. Luckily we have a new office assistant who's doing a real bang-up job in Vancouver which helps me out. But on our end, it felt like we were dancing as fast as we could. So it's nice to hear that you guys felt it was a little better. 


Eric

Yeah, coming from the previous year, it was just Caleb and myself so having a third set of hands went a long way. It opened up the opportunity for us to take on other jobs out of town, so that was nice. I found that instead of working from eight in the morning until eight or nine o'clock at night, everybody was done at a reasonable time. We weren't super tired every day, everyone was home for dinner. We'd find different ways to split up the guys. Sometimes it would be each guy on their own and other times Caleb and Ross would team up or Caleb and I would team up. I thought it was a very smooth 2023. 


Pool Patrol has been installing automatic pool covers in British Columbia since 1995 and our pool cover specialists are ready to tackle whatever 2024 has in store.  Contact Pool Patrol to get started.

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