In my opinion, the answer is, YES! Let me tell you why..
For the pool and spa retail store owners.. You are putting your chemical business in the hands of one device. You better make sure that device is giving you, your staff and your customers accurate information.
The manufactures of in store water testing labs are innovating new products for our industry and that is awesome, but.. much is made about the device itself.. I hear no talk of how to program the software to best suit the retail store in which they are placed.
Every water test lab requires programming. You must add your chemical lines that you stock along with the proper dosages found on the label of each product. Be sure to include all of the chemicals you stock, otherwise you will have bottles and buckets that collect dust sitting on your shelves. Your staff may never know to suggest certain specialty products your water test lab wasn’t programmed to recommend.. As you bring in new chemical lines or close out dead stock, those must be added or removed.
If you fail to keep up with software updates and product changes you could be loosing out on sales not to mention giving your customers inaccurate information. Your customers might just visit another pool store because they aren’t seeing the results they demand after visiting your store several times.
In my travels as a pool and spa rep, I see many pool store owners relying solely on a water test lab to give customers the right information. Hand the customer the sheet and away they go. That is the wrong approach!
Here are my recommendations for every pool store owner..
1. Purchase and learn how to use a Taylor Technologies Test Kit. One specifically I recommend for everyone including pool & spa owners, retailers, apartment & hotel maintenance staff – is the TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD. Taylor test kits are the gold standard that all other test kits and water test labs strive to achieve. The K2006C FAS kit will give you the most accurate information compared to any in-store lab.
According to Taylor Technologies, “Accurate testing safeguards bather health“. “Accurate test results are necessary to calculate the amount of chemical needed”. The Taylor test kit won’t just tell you exactly what your test results are – the water testing instruction booklet will tell you how much chemical is required to achieve proper water balance. In the same amount of time you can run an in-store lab test, you can do a test with a Taylor test kit – and at a fraction of the cost.
2. If you already own a in-store water test lab, contact the manufacturer or rep. Ask them to help you program the software for your business and help enter your pool and spa chemicals. You have made a sizable investment on whatever device you have in your water test station – you want to be sure it is making a good return on your investment. I recently spoke to Matt Ribar, Vice President Retail Sales with API. Matt handed me instructions on how to enter one of his chemical lines in the DataMate Software that runs the Spin Lab by Lamotte. Even chemical manufactures are catching on how important it is their products get programmed in to water test labs.
3. Make it a priority to learn water chemistry along with proper test kit use. Accurate test results are important, but so too is knowing what those results mean and how to make adjustments using the chemicals you have on your shelves. The water test station is usually the first place your customers walk to after entering your store. Accurate water testing is the most important service every pool and spa professional provides. After all, it’s impossible to properly treat water if you don’t know your numbers; Free & Total Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, total alkalinity (Always Test Before PH), PH, Calcium Hardness, Cyanuric Acid, Salt, Phosphates, Total Dissolved Solids, Metals, Saturation Index, and other key levels.
The most important takeaway from this article, “Know your numbers”