When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Scott Rajeski and Latham Pool Products saw a 75% drop in business that lasted from mid-March to mid-April.
“New Zealand was shut down. Australia was shut down. Canada was shut down. The Northeast was shut down,” Rajeski said. “Fifty-plus percent of our business, there was no activity happening. … We stopped hiring. We stopped travel. We started looking at cost cuts. And we talked about slowing the factories down. It was playbook 101 for what to do in a downturn.”
A month later, the chief executive of the world’s largest swimming pool manufacturing company reversed course. Instead of winding down to survive a rough year, Rajeski had to calculate how many production workers to hire to keep up with demand.