By Nate F. Searing

According to Bob Schabes, co-founder and president of The LeverEdge, The Independent Savings Plan Company (ISPC) and their affiliate manufacturing companies, the key to success in the water treatment industry is finding a niche. “I’ve seen so many manufacturers and so many dealers being successful, each in their own way and with unique products. I think the really amazing thing about our industry is that no one really has to do things the same way to find success.”

To that end, The LeverEdge and ISPC are unlike any other manufacturer in the industry. Supplying a host of water treatment products to dealers throughout Florida, the company also offers independent dealers unparalleled financing options for their customers.

Started in the mid-1970s, The LeverEdge and ISPC are just two parts of a multi-pronged organization that Schabes began with a business associate for the purpose of manufacturing and supplying environmentally-friendly residential solar heating technologies. The goal, Schabes says, has always been to make it possible for the consumer to obtain loans for home improvement projects that help to reduce their energy costs and conserve resources.

ISPC, Schabes says, is uniquely different from conventional financing companies because its focus is not profit-driven, but rather as a way to “sell our products more readily,” to the consumer.

“We have never measured our success (at ISPC) in terms of revenues. It’s gauged by how much more business our dealers are able to do as a result of the financing options we provide,” Schabes says.

Through its revolutionary loan offering, the 991® Program, ISPC makes it possible for dealers to offer their consumers a $3,000 product with a payment plan as low as $30 per month. “There’s simply no one else in the industry offering that type of flexibility and it helps dealers close the deal on bigger sales,” he says.

Today, those sales come from The LeverEdge’s line of water treatment products, including Avian, SteelTec and Guardian water softeners, conditioners and drinking water systems.

Prior to entering the water treatment industry in 1999, the company had seen moderate growth throughout Florida. However, since that time, growth at The LeverEdge and ISPC has been anything but moderate. ISPC has nearly quadrupled its sales since that time, resulting in total historical sales of more than $350 million. The company is also projecting more than 30 percent annual growth in sales for at least the next four years. The push behind that lightning fast growth is their inroads in the water treatment industry, Schabes says.

“Really the reason why we’re now looking outside of Florida is to pursue the tremendous potential that exists beyond our borders, he says.

The company began servicing dealerships outside of the Sunshine State about two years ago and has already left its footprint in about ten states. The goal, Schabes says, is to bring their unique combination of services to customers nationwide within the several years.

“Our perception of the water industry has always been that there are real opportunities for nearly everyone that wants to be a part of it. Dealerships have made their mark providing a variety of products for a variety of needs. In general, the industry is growing at a good pace and those dealerships are all doing well in their own way. As long as they continue to do well, we’ll do so as well because we make it easier for them to sell.”



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