Atlanta, GA

Meet Mike Steele, the Vice President of Operations for Aqua-Tots in Atlanta and Washington DC.

With a wealth of experience in the aquatics industry, Mike has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of digital documentation.

HydroApps Client Profile - Aqua-Tots

Q: Why did you choose to move to Digital Documentation?
Mike Steele: In aquatics, there's a lot of liability, and record keeping is really important. So not being able to read a document that contains critical information [due to poor handwriting or water damage] just wasn't working for us. I also think we changed to digital because we wanted to have more knowledge.

We wanted to have that dashboard of what's going on at [our] facilities? How can we prevent things from happening in the first place? How can we prevent closures? And to give you a heads up that something might be happening to, so you can prevent it from getting worse.

Q: How did your team handle the Switch to Digital?
Mike Steele: Change is hard no matter what, but it wasn't impossible. We weren't asking them to do something different. We were asking them to record differently, and so it was just spending time with each team. And then the biggest thing was creating accountability. Like, you have to make sure they're doing it and creating the habit. So really the first month is the hardest.

Q: Why did you choose HydroApps?
Mike Steele: I have done a ton of research on this [and] I think it was several things. One is the support. I always get support from [the HydroApps team]. Anytime I have a question, I get an email or a call back. We also had a recommendation from another Aqua-Tots owner, so that didn't hurt. And then, knowing that this was certified Model Aquatic Health Code, it’s going to meet a lot of the guidelines that the health departments are looking for.

Q: Has Digital Documentation Saved Aqua-Tots Money?
Mike Steele: We didn't really do a great job of tracking chemical orders, prior to having this digital. I don't think I can put a number on it right now, but we definitely see the savings.
I can pull up the dashboard and see what's happening at any pool, at any given moment. And when you combine that with knowing who's working, a lot of times you can talk them through what needs to happen. And so we've just seen we're open more. We don't have as many incidents and we're able to anticipate when something's not working. I think that's another big piece of it, you see [what’s not working] a lot faster.

Q: What is your favorite HydroApps feature?
Mike Steele: The [health] inspectors know that we can pull anything they want. They love it, I think it's way easier for them to find information. It's more clear, it's legible, and they can pull up specific dates, if they're looking for something in particular, so I think that's my favorite feature.

Q: What is your advice for someone looking to make the switch to digital documentation?
Mike Steele: Digital's great! Everything in aquatics is a value proposition, so you just have to decide what you value. For us, the record keeping, the feeling of security, of knowing things, always [had] to be there. The ease of access and the dashboard far outweighed any cost that we have associated with it.
You can keep printing paper and it'd be cheaper, but you're going to have the same errors over and over again. It's going to be harder to spot trends, it's going to be tougher to make corrections and you don't get the same support.

Q: Anything else you’d like to say about working with HydroApps?
Mike Steele: Another thing that I think is super important about working with you guys is, I feel like I have a team behind me. If I'm really frustrated, Kirsten gets a call from me and usually we solve it like it's not a problem, and that's always amazing, right?


Facility Manager

Asset Manager

Maintenance Manager

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Swim School Franchise

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