Business View Magazine | March 2019

41 cess. “We focus on building hot tubs,” he avers. “We partner on the building and design of com- ponents that go into the hot tub. So, that puts a lot of pressure on our supply base.We involve our key suppliers within our product develop- ment strategy, and we rely on them to execute some of the development plans.We have weekly meetings with some of them; we have monthly meetings with others; and we’re constantly keep- ing in touch and involving them at a ground level in terms of our product development activi- ties to ensure that there is a continuity of supply and that we’re executing it properly. Designs or concepts that we come up with, which we think may be a good idea, we put in front of the supply base and we rely on them to bring us back to reality–what can and can’t be done. And they do a lot of the tooling and development work on their end that’s not done here.” Those close working relationships with its sup- pliers is one reason why MAAX Spas’ two main brands, American Whirlpool and Vita Spa, are known as innovative industry leaders. “The prod- uct is unique in terms of the insulation system, the look, and the styling,” says Johnson. “We have a whole series of innovative and value-added features, and we have a long history of being ex- tremely innovative within our industry.We were one of the first to do reverse molding on the acrylic; the first to do physician-designed jetting arrays; we were the first company to introduce steel frames; the first company to introduce ther- mal-lock insulation. And one of the things that we hear, quite often, is that our product holds its resale value. If you own one of our products for five or ten years and you want to trade it in for a new one, you’re going to get more resale value with our product than almost anybody else.” Finally, Johnson maintains that, in addition to hav- ing a superior product and a long-tenured staff of “incredible” people, being customer-minded is always a necessary ingredient for the company’s continuing success. “We put the custom- er’s needs first and foremost in our actions and thought processes,” he exclaims. “Our policies are geared towards the experience that a customer has with our company. And we’re here for the long run; we’ve been in business for a long time, and we’re going to stand behind our products and our cus- tomers for a long time to come.” PREFERRED VENDORS n Universal Forest Products n CMP