Whether the words “German engineering” bring to mind luxury cars, high-end appliances, or something techier, such as robotics or computer software, most people associate German research, development and manufacturing with sophisticated design and quality products. In a 2014 article published in the Harvard Business Review, Dan Breznitz, co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, observed that while it might appear on the surface that the U.S. or China now leads the world in innovation, Germany, in fact, still dominates.
Citing multiple reasons why German initiative has remained in the lead globally, Breznitz explained, “Germany understands that innovation must result in productivity gains that are widespread, rather than concentrated in the high-tech sector of the moment.” Breznitz was reiterating a simple yet fundamental principle for sustaining business success: cutting edge technology alone is not enough. Developments must also serve real needs in ways that are reliable and effective.
These fundamentals offer an apt and fitting introduction to the German-owned company, OASE. Describing its business niche as the “creative water industry,” OASE is based in Hörstel in northeastern Germany, roughly two hours from Amsterdam, perhaps less time than that if you are driving a German-built performance car.
Recognized as a global leader in water technology, the company has grown significantly since its humble beginning in 1949 as a repair shop for agricultural equipment. Today, OASE has production facilities in Germany, Italy and China, has an international distribution network in place in some 95 countries and employs more than 700 workers worldwide. The company serves both the consumer market for water gardens and indoor aquatics, such as pumps, filters and equipment for residential water features and the fountain technology and lake management needs of the commercial market, including the often atypical requirements of golf courses.
The Growth Synergy of German Knowhow and American “Know Who”
Although OASE is regarded as a top water technology brand in Europe, commanding an 80 percent market share, the company sought better positioning to grow its brand presence in the United States, Canada and Mexico. OASE management believed it could best realize this goal through alignment with a U.S. company that was well connected and well respected in the target market space.
In March 2014, the OASE Group announced the acquisition of the West Palm Beach, Florida-based company, Geo Global Partners, a name already established as a leading provider of water gardening products in North America. At the time of the acquisition, Douglas Ward was president of Geo Global Partners. Today, as the President, he is tasked with leading the expansion of OASE in North America.
Ward recognized the opportunities for enhanced service and expanded products inherent when a company can draw on an integrated worldwide distribution and supply chain. He saw the potential to transform and inspire the North American water features industry, serving everyone from beginner to expert, both on the consumer and the commercial level.
“OASE and Geo Global Partners together are creating the most innovative and comprehensive water gardening and lake management business in North America,” said Ward. As part of the company’s expansion plan into indoor aquatics, in 2013, OASE acquired the Italian company, EDEN S.r.l., known for its quality line of aquarium pumps and filtration. In January 2016, OASE announced the acquisition of the developer of the innovative biOrb product line of aquariums and terrariums, Reef One Ltd, a company headquartered in Norwich, England.
Solutions Superintendents Can Count On
OASE products solve complex needs; however, the company is equally as adept at streamlining many of these same strategies in order to deliver state-of-the-art tech solutions in smaller scale, consumer-friendly applications. Either way, clients reap the benefits of the research, development and creativity behind everything OASE sells.
Products sold by OASE can be enjoyed in many areas of a golf course, from the clubhouse and patios to both small and large water features. By offering a range of solutions, the company ensures that golf course superintendents will be able to find what they need from the OASE family of brands. OASE’s product lines include pond and waterfall pumps, filters, sub surface aerators, skimmers, vacuums and floating fountains, as well as the PondBoss® label, which features a quality line of pumps for ponds, fountains and waterfalls, and PondBoss PRO lake management maintenance products that are targeted to treat a variety of water conditions.
The word OASE is not an acronym or an abbreviation; it is the German word for oasis. With concerns for the environment and anxieties about the future of many golf courses at an all-time high, golf industry professionals sometimes find themselves accountable to many people, both well-intentioned and critical. Finding a supplier that consistently delivers water technology solutions that are innovative, yet are at the same time practical, reliable, environmentally responsible and affordable to maintain and operate makes a superintendent’s job easier, perhaps even imparting a little bit of oasis in the daily routine of what can be a very demanding job.
OASE describes itself as a holistic company, recognizing that the products it sells have the power to touch people’s lives in meaningful ways. The company speaks to this responsibility, stating, “With decades in the industry, we have witnessed the grace and elegance water beckons in any environment. This is why we feel an obligation to preserve water’s charm. We have designed products with an eco-conscious focus that prioritizes the preservation of water’s beauty. We strive to enhance water’s natural flowing beauty, or as we say, LIVING water. Living water is what OASE believes in and what we have the honor of sharing with you … Water is our passion. Water is life. OASE is Living Water.”
Learn more about this remarkable company at www.oase-livingwater.com and www.pondboss.net
Linda Parker has been writing professionally since the 1980s. With clients in finance, sports, technology, change enablement, resorts and nonprofit global initiatives, Linda helps organizations communicate their stories in meaningful ways to the people they most want to reach. She has authored, ghostwritten or contributed to more than a dozen nonfiction books. Linda is a member of the Authors Guild and the Golf Writers Association of America. You can connect with her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/GlindaCreative