Range Water: The First in Minnesota to Join 3M’s Water Dealer Network
By Denise M. Roberts
Range Water Conditioning
1520 NW 3rd Ave. Grand Rapids, MN 55744 Toll Free: (800) 642-4011
Office: (218) 327-1144
Fax: (218) 327-3181
email@example.com Employees: 13
Service Vehicles: 10
For more than four decades, the Moody family of Grand Rapids, MN has promoted the benefits of treated water and taken care of customers across a broad territory. Truly a family enterprise with an excellent staff, they continue to bring their best to the table through business and product expansion, core values and a desire to make life better for both customers and employees. Decades of experience, high-quality service and a solid reputation earned through the years has brought continued success to the independent company.
Dwight Moody, Owner and Lead Salesman, got his start in the water industry in 1972, working for a water treatment dealer in Ohio. In 1980, he purchased an existing water treatment dealership in the Grand Rapids area. With office support of co-owner and wife Merry, Moody was virtually a one-man show: sales, installer and service technician. With the purchase of Range Water Conditioning in 1984 (an established business since 1969), Moody expanded the service area to the entire Iron Range and beyond. Both Little Dipper Bottling and an additional existing dealership in International Falls were purchased in 2005. Joined by Merry, son Loren (General Manager and Sales Manager) and his wife Athena (Marketing, Advertising and Promotions Manager) and their well-trained staff, Moody has, over the years, created a business model that has been adaptive and broadly based to allow for consideration of additional opportunities.
Moody enjoys a lot of satisfaction by making his customers happy with their water and in helping to improve the quality of their lives. “Most of the water in our area is well water and is usually difficult to accept without some form of water treatment,” he says. Range Water serves northern Minnesota to northwest Wisconsin, Brainerd to International Falls, Bemidji to Duluth/Superior and surrounding areas. The company can provide a solution for virtually all of their customers’ water treatment problems, both residential and commercial. “We see all water issues,” says Loren. “Hardness, lots of iron, manganese, pH issues, sand and sediment, tannins, nitrates, chlorine, etc. We treat these problems with the appropriate technology and equipment, such as softeners, iron filters and iron reduction systems, prefiltration (sand and sediment), tannin filters, carbon filters (whole-home and backwashing), chemical feed pumps, UV systems, RO drinking water systems or any other necessary solution.” To accomplish the company’s goals and meet the demands of providing such high-quality service, all employees receive in-house and in-the-field, hands-on training. They are also sent through relevant manufacturer training. Currently, three employees are WQA certified and the rest are involved in WQA testing preparation.
The best and worst of water treatment situations comes to all dealerships but some are notable. Take the rare occasion when testing indicates a customer has perfect water. “That doesn’t happen very often and we are more than happy to let them know they don’t need any water treatment,” says Loren. “When someone truly has problem water, however, so bad they can’t live with it and don’t believe it can be resolved, we’ve been very successful at taking care of those problems. It absolutely changes their daily lives, impacting the home and every member of the family. We’ve served over 12,000 customers in some form since our inception and each had a unique water situation that we had to correctly analyze and properly apply a solution. It creates a sense of deep pride to know that our efforts to ensure our clients have great water have been so successful. It reinforces our belief that this is an honorable pursuit.”
Changing directions for the future
“There’s water that goes on you and water that goes in you,” Loren said. “There may be separate issues that require different approaches. We see water treatment solutions becoming ever more relevant to most people as concerns increase about drinking water (costs, convenience, impact on the environment, transportation costs, infrastructure problems, emerging contaminants, etc.). Also, softeners and iron reduction will continue to be important for new construction and existing homes with water to which new owners are not accustomed. As people become more health- and eco-conscious, the idea of filtering the water that touches their family will mean increased opportunity for the water improvement industry. We hope to see an increased focus by the industry on explaining why what we offer is important and relevant to each consumer. Everyone uses water every day; it is a universal experience to the human race. Why not have the best water you can?
“Over the years, one of the major challenges we have faced is managing growth from a one-man operation to our current size. Moving forward, our plan over the next five to 10 years is to grow along with 3M Purification as an important partner in its Authorized Water Dealer network. We are now serving a larger territory with 3M than we have traditionally engaged, which will require additional staff, vehicles, locations and resources. Being part of their network will bring new business, yes, but also the support, technology and product to meet our clients’ needs. There are always new technologies coming into the industry. We believe 3M, with their extensive history of innovation and a corporate R&D DNA (organizational philosophy/structure), will be at the forefront of what’s to come. As they say in motor racing, competition improves the breed. We believe the water improvement market is truly a global opportunity and there is room for many players.”