Poolwerx veteran’s box-office boon

By Nick Hall | 24 Apr 2019 View comments

Poolwerx franchise partner Ian Jenkins has just notched up 25 years in the franchising sector. The last decade he’s spent rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite. Aside from a successfully pool maintenance career, the Brisbane native also operates Poolwerx Movie Services.

After his swimming pool maintenance franchise was bought-out by Poolwerx in 1995, Jenkins quickly became a business leader.

“After 18 years in the aircraft industry, I purchased the then Mobile Pool Care franchise, before it was bought by Poolwerx in 1995,” he said.

“Poolwerx CEO and founder, John O’Brien asked me to take on the corporate role of Queensland Manager.”

With the support of his business partner, Jenkins was free to focus on corporate support roles with the Poolwerx business.

“Poolwerx was in the early stages of growth, so I needed to wear a number of hats,” Jenkins said.

“Over the next few years I took on a number of management roles, both as direct regional manager for Victoria and New Zealand and within the supply, operations, HR and training departments.”

Jenkins’ Poolwerx pedigree

Jenkins’ mixed-department career provided an understanding of all aspects of the franchise, which has led to much success over his 25 year span.

The franchise veteran has won the Poolwerx Queensland Franchise Partner of the Year award three times, was a Queensland FCA Franchise Partner of the Year finalist and served as Treasurer and Vice President of the Queensland Swimming Pool and Spa Association.

“My advice to franchise partners has always been to understand cash flow, make informed decisions that reflect the nature of the industry you are in, hire the best people and don’t be afraid of change,” he said.

Jenkins’ approach to industry change and adaption has been critical, not only to the success of his maintenance franchise, but to the formation of a new business, Poolwerx Movie Services.

Poolwerx Movie Services

“About 10 years ago I saw the potential to diversify my business by consulting to production companies who use pools as part of the movie making process,” Jenkins said.

The response from the film industry was enormous. By 2011, the franchise partner’s retail and mobile business had an annual turnover of over $1m, allowing him to sell his share to his business partner and focus on Poolwerx Movie Services.

“Movie production brings a unique set of challenges to pool servicing and involves not just keeping the water healthy, but considering production requirements, water movement and protection of expensive movie making equipment,” he said.

“I am now able to take my pool industry knowledge into the film industry and that’s been an exciting development in my franchising career.”

The Poolwerx Movie Services partner has worked on big name productions, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor and Aquaman. He also maintains three production tanks in the studios, the largest of which holds 7.2 million litres of water.

The Poolwerx model

John O’Brien, Poolwerx CEO and founder said the company’s long history of proven procedures had enabled Ian to grow his business to the point of critical mass. This in turn was the catalyst for the niche Poolwerx Movie Services implementation.

“Along the way, Ian has trained hundreds of Poolwerx franchise partners and their employees on the technical aspects of the pool industry, as well as sharing his experience in running a successful franchise,” O’Brien said.

“Technological advances have been one of the major changes in the pool industry since Ian started and his willingness to adapt and diversity in the face of change has been a critical factor in his success.”

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