Hollandia Pools & Spas: Drawing from a Deep Well of Success

Summer 2010 - There is nothing quite like diving into a refreshingly icy pool on a hot and humid day, or nothing quite as relaxing as spending time in a hot tub. Hollandia Pools & Spas (Hollandia) can provide these experiences, because the company has experienced decades of success in the swimming pool, water play and water park facilities construction industry.

Though much has changed in all avenues of society since Hollandia was founded in 1950 (and incorporated in 1953), one thing remains constant for the company: its dedication to building the best products available for each and every client. Thanks to its hard work, Hollandia (also doing business as Hollandia Gardens Ltd.) is now the second largest company of its kind in Canada.

From its headquarters in London, Ontario, Hollandia employs 50 people. With its in-house staff, the company takes a design-build approach, and performs the majority of its trades, including structural concrete, mechanical, installation, finishes, service and concrete flat work, among others. Just as impressively, the company works throughout all of Canada from this one location.

On the rare occasion that Hollandia does work with subcontractors, the company has the “attitude that building relationships with suppliers and monitoring what they do” is crucial to success, explains Walter Schmoll, Hollandia’s president and CEO.

After graduating with a degree in architecture, Schmoll went to work for an architectural firm in Toronto. He got a call one day in 1980 inquiring whether he would be interested in trying his hand at building pools. “I thought I might try it for a year, but I am still here,” Schmoll says with a chuckle.

How the Wheels Turn

“We have a management system that is always looking for continuous improvement,” Schmoll explains. “We have a reputation we can hang our hat on. We’ve been working in the industry for a long time, and most of our sales come due to our reputation.”

Hollandia’s status is due, in part, to its highly trained employees. The company’s well-known name attracts new employees who swiftly enter into a rigorous training program. Each position has its own training schedule, and once training is complete, the new recruit is out on his or her own.

A Diverse Portfolio

Hollandia completes about 60 percent of its projects in the commercial market and the remaining 40 percent in the residential market. With each project, the company promises to build a pool that matches its environment. It offers award-winning designs, but can also complete a customized package to meet a client’s requirements.

Most recently, the company completed a 50-meter pool for the University of Western Ontario and another 50-meter pool with a slide for the City of London. Another recent project was also one of the company’s most interesting. For this project, Hollandia imported a pool from Italy to be installed locally in Portage la Prairie. The project, about $3 million in scope, involved a pre-engineered substructure made with stainless steel.

“It’s very efficient and high-quality. The pool went in quickly and has an extensive life to it,” Schmoll explains. “We can also offer a better warranty than if it was just concrete,” he adds. Hollandia offers various regular maintenance, occasional check-up or emergency repair services.

For a company like Hollandia with only one location, working on projects far from its headquarters could theoretically prove to be a challenge. However, the company knows the ropes, and the traveling takes place glitch-free. For the Portage la Prairie project, for example, Hollandia rented two furnished homes for its employees to stay in during the completion of the project. “I hate having them live out of suitcases in a hotel,” Schmoll says emphatically.

With decades of experience and a world-class team of professionals, Hollandia has other feathers in its cap, too. One of the most impressive is the ISO 9001: 2008 certification that the company received in March 2007. This certification formalizes all of Hollandia’s processes and work instructions. It establishes a system of continuous improvement that involves all of the company’s employees. Customer satisfaction is also monitored within this certification, allowing Hollandia a true read of its impact on its clients.

Swimming Steady

The future for Hollandia promises to be a bright one. The company hopes and plans to expand into the United States within the near future, providing the same dedication to 100-percent conformance to the contract’s schedule and budget, while exceeding customer expectations in terms of build quality and aesthetic value. “We have made some contact with designers to pave some inroads,” Schmoll says. In the meantime, Hollandia Pools & Spas will keep itself busy amassing more acclaimed work in Canada. “There is a lot of potential for growth here,” Schmoll predicts optimistically.