The Water Clinic, founded by brothers Philip and Mike Stadnyk, is one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of rural water purification systems. “We knew we had to be different to have a unique edge besides providing consumers with the most advanced water purification technology available,” said President, CEO and spokesman Philip Stadnyk. “For us, it’s residential water treatment system customization.”
Brothers share the load
Philip manages the firm’s dealership and wholesale divisions, which are in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The company invests in dealers by providing support for the hiring and training of personnel, marketing and lead generation programs and technical advice without any dealership, royalties or franchise fees. “Offering this type of program is very time consuming and expensive but the return on our investment benefits both parties,” Stadnyk emphasized.
Brother Mike (Vice President and COO) managed the manufacturing plant and installation operations as well as the service department until 2004 when he assumed responsibility for the firm’s retail division. He now manages a retail sales force of 22 salespeople, five full- and three part-time installers and service personnel responsible for operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Several employees have been with the company for more than two decades, providing both continuity and quality of service. Philip, speaking on behalf of his brother as well, said, “We are all co-workers, without anyone really being the big boss. I continually stress that salary is a secondary issue. Put simply, you have to enjoy your job in order to maximize your performance, which translates to success in all aspects of our operation.”
Stadnyk said the firm’s biggest challenge today is hiring and training sales personnel. Another area of concern is finding new and innovative ways to provide the sales force with an ongoing supply of leads. “It’s an extremely competitive world out there and we have to be able to offer our salespeople more incentives. The days of cold calling and knocking on doors are all but gone,” he said. “Technology, marketing and lead generation go hand-in-hand and training must be a part of the program to maintain your sales staff. You have to keep up to meet the demands of the modern world.”
The Water Clinic instituted a comprehensive training program designed to enhance all types of skills and thereby enable employees to address many different consumer needs successfully. It is offered to all employees and dealers and continually updated to meet changing trends in the industry. “We have been very successful in the marketing and servicing of our systems and we have developed top-notch programs to support our direct sales force as well as our exclusive dealers,” Stadnyk enthusiastically noted. “We are now beginning to expand our exclusive dealership base to the US and to other countries throughout the world.”
Finding the right answer
Residential applications comprise nearly 70 percent of the Water Clinic’s business and are managed through sales of vendor equipment and products. Custom-designed membrane systems, filtration and disinfection systems are the largest sellers. The firm also custom designs, engineers and manufactures more than 20 advanced purification systems for residential and commercial enterprises, capable of purifying up to 100,000 gallons per day. Relying on quality components to produce the most efficient and economical equipment, the company’s technological expertise has been tested and proven in thousands of installations.
Stadnyk says rural water issues require special considerations that many companies may not be interested in exploring. Problems are often associated with agricultural runoff or chemical contamination. First, an analysis is completed to determine what is present in the water. Highly trained staff then custom-design the best system to correct the water problems the consumer is experiencing. For residential and farm customers, testing is usually accomplished in-house. For larger applications, the Water Clinic contracts the process to outside labs without affiliation to the projects.
“One of the most important factors when selling and marketing water purification systems is educating the consumer. It really is quite amazing that many consumers today don’t understand the dangers of consuming water that is contaminated with coliform or E. coli bacteria, for example. When we tell them what coliforms are caused by, they obviously are shocked.”
One customer brought in a water report for his hog farm indicating higher nitrate levels than were previously thought to occur in Canada. The customer was very concerned with the nitrate escalation and how it would affect him and his family, as well as his hog operation. Stadnyk was compelled to find out why and personally went to survey the situation. He found the customer’s well in the center of a hog pit; spring runoff had also contributed significantly to increased nitrate levels. Distillation was not an option because of the initial and ongoing costs to treat the farm’s water requirement (1,500 gallons per day). The Water Clinic designed two commercial RO systems and installed them in series. The system has been performing extremely well for the last 12 years.
A bright future
“Our success in solving water problems is our ability to custom design and engineer each system after the water is completely analyzed. Intense field-testing is completed for quality control before any system goes into production,” Stadnyk said. “We utilize today’s best technology to remove a host of contaminants. Our focus is to provide the customer with high quality products without expensive maintenance costs.”
The Water Clinic plans to continue managing its retail and wholesale division very carefully to capitalize on future opportunities and changes in the industry. “We’re in the process of expanding and we will be working with dealers on an exclusive basis only. We want to continue to develop and globally market our water purification systems,” Stadnyk said. The company also exports systems to the US, Mexico, the EU and the Middle East through its dealership network. “We are really excited about our PUREAQUA self-serve bottled water vending system and we’re confident our exclusive line dispensing systems will revolutionize the way bottled water is being marketed worldwide.”