Ocea recently welcomed members of the trade to the official opening of its new UK production facility in Oxfordshire. Setting it apart from its competitors, the new UK assembly base allows Ocea to cut delivery times from four to two weeks and also makes servicing and after sales even more time efficient.
“Previously, our covers were fully manufactured in Belgium and the finished product was then shipped to the UK to be delivered to site,” explains Alan Thorne, director of the Ocea UK business.
“The UK team was purely for sales and service, organising the installations and dealing with the customer service aspects,” he continues.
“The new facility means that the pool covers can be now finished in the UK. The reason behind the shift in operations is to enable a quick turnover for our customers – it’s as simple as that.”
Currently supplying 200 swimming pool covers every year in the UK, the Ocea brand is one of the major players in the market supplying up to 1,500 units annually across Europe. Based in Witney near Oxford, the dedicated 7,000sq ft. UK headquarters can produce up to 20 pool covers per week if needed, and can stock between 60 and 80 covers at a time. Covers up to 7.5m can be finished in the UK and any that exceed that measurement or require specialist design are completed at the factory in Belgium.
Alan adds: “We’re not a mass production facility, which allows us to spend time on each cover and make sure that it is exactly right. It’s a case of quality over quantity, as each slat is cut individually by hand, to produce a perfect and consistent finish.”
Representatives from pool companies across the country attended the open day in November, and were given a tour of the facility and an insight into the production and finishing process of Ocea covers. Those that attended were also entered into a prize draw to win a free pool cover; a prize which David Clark of Northamptonbased Lifestyle Group was delighted to win.
Looking ahead, Ocea will be expanding its product range this year, including a bluetooth remote application for cover control and a new colour will be added to the already extensive colour pallete. Previously only available to a limited, high-end list of customers, the Ocea cover options will now be opened to an extended but still limited number of UK and European water leisure customers on a first come, first served basis.
Alan adds: “We’re confident that the new facility will make a considerable difference to the service and flexibility we can offer our customers, while continuing to provide the high quality products that Ocea are known for.”
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