The US company has increased its workforce since it acquired the Spanish companies Kripsol and Sugar Valley in 2016
Hayward is an American industrial group founded in 1925 and specializing in swimming pool equipment. Initially positioned in the residential pool sector, it is now also present in the public swimming pool sector. Hayward offers a complete range of products for each one: from pumps and filters to water treatment solutions, heat pumps and robots.
What was Hayward's objective when it arrived in Spain?
For the Hayward Group, the European market was and continues to be the key element in its growth and development strategy. This was why in 2016 it acquired the companies in the Kripsol Group (specializing in the manufacture of pumps and filters) and Sugar Valley, specialist in smart water treatment solutions. Both are highly developed at both the national level and in the export market.
Why did you use these purchases to become established in Spain?
With the acquisition of a company like Kripsol, Hayward was able to obtain a production center in Europe, and particularly in the case of pumps and filters. The result is a range of products that are reliable, robust and with a good price-quality ratio. And at the same time it also gained a major presence in public swimming pool equipment in Europe and other strategic areas such as Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. The choice of Sugar Valley had to do with the pursuit of technological excellence, and being able to offer a range of proven and connected user-friendly products that would allow the end consumer to save energy, water and time. This was the way for the group to successfully position itself as a key player in Europe.
What infrastructure do you have in Spain?
The Hayward Group has become consolidated in Spain in two locations: the first, in Yuncos (Toledo), where we have the factory for pumps and laminated filters (for both the residential and public sector), and another two production centers in Barcelona: the factory producing winding filters (in Olérdola), mainly for the public swimming pool sector, and the Sugar Valley factory for water treatment equipment in Hospitalet, which not only produces saline chlorinators but also water monitoring and measuring equipment for both the private and public sector. Hayward Ibérica currently has 250 employees, but this number can rise in the months in the high season between April and September.
What has changed since Hayward's arrival?
Different kinds of changes have taken place – legal and financial unification, implementation and improvement of IT systems, consolidation of the four brands in our product range, among others – but above all, the greatest revolution has been in the industrial sphere. Since 2016 we have standardized our processes, automated production lines and implemented a quality process in order to reduce incidents and offer reliable and long-lasting products. This has allowed us to improve and boost our productivity to almost double our previous rate.
How has the company developed in Spain since then?
Our development has been both in quantitative and in qualitative terms. Productivity has improved, but so have our sales and post-sales services. New commercial and technical profiles have been incorporated to the organization in response to our strategy of supporting our partners in the sales process. But we are also gaining an ever greater knowledge of our customers; we understand their needs and their concerns, and that helps us design products that are affordable and offer them greater well-being and convenience.
What investment has Hayward made in Spain?
Investments have been made in two main areas: first, a reorganization of the Sugar Valley factory, which has allowed us to optimize the available space and double our productivity. And second, the automation of the product lines for filters in the Yuncos factory, for the same reason. The investment in 2018 was over two million euros. Hayward plans to continue investing both in the development of products adapted to the European market and in improving and automating its facilities in Yuncos. But where Hayward has focused most of its investment is on people. During these recent years the team has grown and incorporated new employees both at the industrial level as a result of new shifts for filter and pump production, and at the management level, with new management profiles with experience in international environments.
What is Spain's importance in Hayward's strategy?
Spain is the second market in Europe after France; it is therefore a strategic market for Hayward. This is why we decided to invest in a Spanish group and endow it with the necessary tools to be able to develop with an advantage over its competitors.
What projects do you currently have underway and what are the upcoming challenges?
Hayward continuously invests in R&D so it can present products that are Increasingly environmentally friendly, more resistant and that offer greater convenience to the user. Our goal is to improve our products year after year. We will soon be reorganizing the winding filter plant in Olérdola to optimize resources and improve productivity levels. And we are going to continue working to offer simple tools that are intuitive to use. This equipment will be connected and to offer users more convenience and time savings.