Episode 136: The LaMotte Company - A Century of Innovation with Richard LaMotte

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By Tyler Rasmussen and Tyler: Swimming Pool Industry Podcaster. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Episode Summary:

Today’s guest takes us way back to 1919 when his company was started by his grandfather just after the Great War. He walks us through the many innovative ideas and products that the LaMotte Company has had over that time, what sparked those ideas, and the amount of work that it took to make it all happen.

We go through LaMotte’s pretty incredible list of accolades, including everything from blood kits, soil kits, phenol red, DPD, colorimeters, test strips, to their WaterLink® Spin Touch®.

Richard LaMotte became involved in the family business in 1984—another LaMotte on the long list of 15 family members who have been actively involved so far—and today he serves as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing.

Topics Discussed:

  • 01:31 - How The LaMotte Company began
  • 08:37 - Introducing the first portable pool test kits in the U.S.
  • 10:58 - Steven Seagal using LaMotte test kits
  • 15:56 - The original use for soil tests after the Dust Bowl
  • 19:30 - Phenol red and why LaMotte began producing it
  • 22:31 - Making the switch to DPD for drinking water and swimming pools
  • 27:33 - Dealing with competitors such as Taylor Technologies
  • 29:23 - The launch of DPD and phenol red tableting operation
  • 33:16 - The launch of Insta-Test test strips in 1996
  • 43:43 - The introduction of WaterLink and the WaterLink® Spin Touch®
  • 54:12 - How LaMotte has handled the challenges of COVID-19
  • 58:14 - How many LaMotte’s have worked for the LaMotte Company?
  • 1:04:24 - LaMotte’s upcoming projects

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Key Quotes from Episode:

  • Most people who managed pools before knew that you had a yellow, orange, or red color in phenol red, and that’s telling you that the pH is on the high side, causing problems such as clogging the pipes.
  • The precision you can get in a professionally-done titration with a large burette is always going to be better on hardness and alkalinity than on color metric.
  • The whole idea behind the WaterLink® Spin Touch® is to give people in the swimming pool industry a really fast way to test water because they have been asking for this forever. We have to find a way to make it reliable enough that they get the answers they need.
  • When you’re working in a small company, anybody can make a difference.

147 episodes