By Alicia Cunningham | Apr 18, 2017
Hot tubs and spas
Industry: Lifestyle & Consumer
Product: Hot tubs ands spas
If you're looking for the newest technology in hot tubs and spas, you may want to consider looking in Pasley's backyard. Though he's recently moved and is still settling in, it is usually the home of Bullfrog Spas newest prototype.
"Before we moved, you'd find the next generation of what we were working on at my home," says Pasley. "We want to make sure everything actually works." As he's a believer in taking his work home with him, for good or bad, "Everything gets tested out on the CEO," he laughs.
Established in 1996 in Sandy, Utah, Bullfrog Spas has created its niche in the marketplace through customization. "Bullfrog Spas started as a concept: We wanted to find a new way to build a great hot tub. Today, we actually build the only custom-built hot tubs really in the world."
The customization comes through its JetPak Therapy System, a patented design which allows customers to choose the type and location of the jets in their own hot tub. The jets are interchangeable depending on the desire of the buyer.
"The jets just snap in," Pasley explains. "With other hot tubs, the jets are standard and you have to accept whatever you get, where you get it. With us, we offer a full customization and personalized experience."
Bullfrog Spas also uses exceptionally durable materials in its construction. "We don't use wood," Pasley adds. "Our hot tubs and spas will last because they will not rot and fall apart over time."
Though it started in Sandy, Bullfrog Spas is now based in Bluffdale, Utah. The move provided Bullfrog with greatly needed room -- room to manufacture as well as room to innovate.
"The move to Bluffdale was a move to manage not only growth but to manage innovation strategies," Pasley says. "As we picked up space, we were able to install technologies and automations which allow us an edge, a better, stronger manufacturing process. It really allowed us to take our company to the next level. And we are still growing every year, well beyond double digits."
Pasley is always on the lookout for new methods to properly use automation to support his manufacturing process. For example, Bullfrog utilizes robots in spraying a ridgidizing material and its vacuum formers are automated. "We continue to automate where we can. We're making significant investments to form a higher end product for the customer who is looking to purchase our product for therapy, relaxation, or relief of pain. We want to manufacture the best end result we can."
Bullfrog Spas' products are sold through the United States and in 20 additional countries. All manufacturing is done locally in Utah, though Bullfrog does look all over the world for its raw materials. "Most of the suppliers we deal with are American companies, but some of the components come from other factories all over the world," Pasley says. "As we all know, the world of manufacturing is really spread globally and we do not have the luxury to ask for 100 percent American materials. Today, that's not possible. But that is the ideal."
Challenges: A changing economy. Pasley understands that in order to survive, Bullfrog must stay nimble. "You have to be able to scale your company," he says. "In downturns, you have to scale down to survive but be ready to ramp back up when customers come back."
Opportunities: New markets. Pasley understands there's a big world out there "and there are a lot of great opportunities to get our product in every corner of the world," he says. "No matter who were are or where we live, we all like hot water and see the social and physical benefits of owning a hot tub."
Needs: Pasley operates his business with a few immutable needs in mind. In order to grow, he watches four metrics: financial performance to ensure the company meets the needs of the customer while returning value to the company; manufacturing, to ensure the optimal processes are in place to provide a reliably superior product; research and development to ensure Bullfrog is providing the best, most innovative product to its customers; and learning and knowledge that ensures the underlying culture of the company survives whether Bullfrog is a $10 million company or a $200 million company. "You don't want to lose your values and integrity as you grow," he says.