By Jim McCloskey
I have the great pleasure of announcing that another major service for users of the WaterShapes.com web site is now fully up and running in streamlined digital form: The WaterShapes Resource Directory, which we last published as a printed document in December 2010 and have been updating in spurts ever since, is now complete and ready for online reference by anyone who needs access to companies whose products and services make watershaping projects possible.
As we said when we promoted the original, printed directory: In contrast to other, mass-scale resource guides, ours offers a hand-picked, targeted selection of companies that serve the very specific needs of the pool/fountain/pond/exterior environment trades: We’ve honed in on products and services integral to aquatic design, specification, construction and installation – no need to winnow through sources of chemicals by the jug or backyard toys and games.
It’s all about the specific needs and interests of professionals who’ve followed WaterShapes for the last 15 years. Please check it out by clicking here.
Revising and testing the accuracy of the Resource Directory database has been an interesting process – one that brought home to me in more ways than I care to consider how much the industry has changed since 2008.
There are lots of fallen flags, it seems, and we have deleted those listings. We also sorted through the large number of mergers and acquisitions that have taken place in recent years. In cases where distinct brand identities have survived the transactions, we preserved separate listings for companies that are now divisions or distinct brands within parent operations. Otherwise, if it was clear that a product line had been absorbed by some new entity and old brand associations had been abandoned, we focused exclusively on the acquiring company and its single core listing.
We also found a number of distributors and retailers who had somehow wangled their ways onto the list: If you don’t actually make branded products but instead only sell stuff made by others, you’ve been removed.
In all, this exhaustive review/updating process combed out about 16 percent of the listings that previously appeared in the Resource Directory, and we believe the overall compendium is leaner and sharper for it.
Of course, there’s the possibility that there are name changes we didn’t track or sales of lines to companies we didn’t recognize, and for that our apologies. If you’re a manufacturer who’s erroneously been bumped off the list, it’s easy to get back on by clicking here, then clicking on a relevant subcategory under one of the 16 main categories and, next, clicking in the box on the left. (If you’re relatively new to the industry and haven’t been listed before, follow the same process.) And if you want to update any information in a listing for which you’ve already established a claim and set up an account, please click here to log in.
Finally, if you’re a professional watershaper who knows of a company that should be listed but isn’t, please let us know by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll follow up right away: As always, our goal is to make the Resource Directory as helpful as can be.
One segment in particular caught our attention as we updated the list – that is, a small but determined set of companies from what we otherwise consider to be the “user” side of the directory equation occupied as well by retailers and distributors. We energetically discussed delisting them as non-manufacturers, but ultimately we held back and let them stand as consultants in engineering and project management, figuring that they provided necessary services and deserved to stay put.
These discussions ultimately point us in the direction of developing a new and separate “Consulting Services” category for the Resource Directory – watch this space for details!