More Than Financial Solutions — a Pillar of Support for Continuous Learning
A conversation with Bert Forde, President, Midwest Pool Management
Midwest Pool Management
Midwest Pool Management was founded in 1967. The company offers swimming pool management services to all types of aquatic facilities, such as municipalities, private clubs and subdivisions. They offer client-focused facility management, employee training, and consultation and evaluation services for clients in the greater St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.
Bert Forde, President
St. Louis, MO
What are the biggest challenges you face as a business?
When I started in 1979 at Midwest Pool Management after college, we had a handful of swimming pools in St. Louis and probably about 380 staff members. Now, we’re managing over 85 pools and 1,600 seasonal employees throughout St. Louis and Kansas City. Most of the swimming pools we manage are outdoor pools, so their season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s an ongoing challenge to ramp up and train that many people. Since our business is very seasonal, we make most of our money during the summer months, and then we have to live off of that revenue for the next six months. We need a partner who can understand our unique revenue model and that our focus is always hiring and training.
How did Enterprise help solve these challenges?
Enterprise really knows the challenges we face being a seasonal business. Our cash flow wanes in the winter, and they have provided us with lines of credit from October to April. When we had an excess of cash sitting in the bank in the summer, they advised on how to maximize the return on our cash with automatic sweeps. Enterprise has offered me the solutions I need to run the financial side of my business, but unbelievably, they are helping me manage and train my team as well. I believe learning doesn’t end when you get your degree, and mentoring my staff for professional development is incredibly important. Enterprise University does just that. They have a number of courses taught by professionals in the industry who live what they teach. They offer a wide range of best practices like, how do you interact with people? How do you mentor a younger workforce? How do you use social media to benefit your business? These topics are all part of what Enterprise University has offered in the past, and it’s phenomenal. I have attended so many of the Enterprise University courses and encouraged top-tier staff members to attend as well.
What is the impact on your business?
I think the most important thing is the relationship — their willingness to know who we are, how we do business, what our needs are and offering solutions customized for us. It’s not only having the sweeps, lines of credit or a one-day ACH if you need it. It’s the proactive consultative advice they continually offer. They taught us about fraud safety and discussed options like positive pay and two-part authentication for prevention. Years ago, we did business with bigger banks and, honestly, I’m not sure they really knew who we were or what we did. We were just an account number. Enterprise has made it their business to know our business, and it has been so helpful for us.