By Denise M. Roberts
Jim and Holly Wright found their way to the water quality industry through her father, Tom Turner, a wholesale representative and former owner of Mountain Filtration Systems. As their interest piqued and experience increased, the Wrights were ready to leave the nest. Their family-owned and operated business, Royal Water Treatment, LLC opened in 1991.
“We began by first sitting down at our kitchen table and asking the most important question,” said Jim, the company spokesman. “How would we like to be treated? The answers prompted us to write our mission statement on how we were going to conduct business. We began with two principles we do our very best to live by: Treat others as you would like to be treated and you reap what you sow.”
The home-based business, located approximately 20 miles from West Virginia. University in Farmington, provides residential, commercial and industrial sales and service throughout the state and parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The secret to their success, according to Wright, is how they learned the trade and their commitment to customer service. The company prides itself on providing high-quality products and friendly service and maintains active membership in the National Home Builders Association, the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce.
The majority of Royal’s business is derived from existing homes. Therefore, the business has not been affected by the current housing slump; in fact, sales are up 26.5 percent so far this year. Advertising is focused only where the results are most likely to be positive and TV commercials are produced in-house. Printed materials created by the company include two-sided door hangers that are placed on nearby residences and businesses when service calls are made and placemats distributed to local restaurants. “Never be motivated by fear no matter what the economy says,” Wright declared.
Keeping abreast of changes, both in the economy and the industry, enables the company to maintain low overhead costs, carry a higher quality of equipment and supplies and to provide competitive pricing. “We pay attention to water issues found in different areas, listen to customers concerns and deploy equipment that is right for the application, depending on the customer’s situation. We’re available 24/7 but are rarely called after hours because the high-quality equipment is so dependable. We keep mental notes of what works and what doesn’t by watching and listening to other friends in the industry, ” noted Wright. To keep costs down, the company enlists the aid of local agricultural-type stores to maintain salt products for customers. This precludes the necessity for product storage and additional service vehicles.
Customers find it becomes a personal relationship when they do business with Royal Water. “People are not a bottom line, or a sale. to us. They often become close friends and are like family. They appreciate that we go the extra mile and we are willing to do what others won’t,” Wright noted. It’s an old-fashioned way of doing business, something not often seen anymore. “Sometimes people just need help getting better water quality and we work hard to make that happen because we care. We don’t use gimmicks, there’s no fine print to read and we guarantee what we sell. Our mission statement isn’t just what we say, it’s what we do.”
Everyone at Royal Water takes a proactive approach by providing education about their consumer friendly, no-to-low maintenance equipment, what issues it addresses and how it works. Wright, his sales staff and installers speak to others about water quality problems. Common city water concerns include hardness and chlorine. “With the combination of our one-micron BB pleated polyester filter and a whole house hardness and chlorine removal system (with no carbon or KDF), we can provide extremely high quality water,” Wright declared. “Well water presents different challenges, including sulfur rates up to five ppm and iron up to 28 ppm. Chemical-free air induction solutions work great in these situations.”
The company has chosen chemical-free options for iron, sulfur and bacteria removal for about 15 years. Wright says customers love this technology and are surprised that dealers are still using chemicals. A newer problem in the area is with gas well drilling. This resulted in a new offering: methane removal through aeration followed by filtration.
New projects are always on the horizon. Recently, the company participated in ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover. The Project Manager for that episode, Mark Eli of Huffman Corporation, just happened to be an existing customer who was already aware of the quality of work and products offered by Royal. The whole project, from beginning to end, was only 96 hours. “We wanted an extreme system for an extreme home that housed seven to nine people, depending on who was staying with the family,” Wright said. “We knew the quality of incoming water needed to be addressed and the inlet pressure was only 12 psi. This was a problem for such a large family in the new two-story house. The builders weren’t sure how it could be resolved in such a short time.”
Royal has addressed this issue many times before. They decided to install a tankless repressurization system and a BB polyester filter, followed by a system for chlorine reduction and softening. The family was very grateful to have decent water pressure and good quality water. It was apparent right away when the ladies washed their hair the first time. The lack of chlorine fumes was also noticeable. It was a tearful day when Royal Water team met the family face-to-face and saw what a blessing they had shared. “This is what its all about,” Wright said as they drove away. “Holly and I feel that God has placed us in this position for a reason. It’s a blessing and a privilege to work in the water industry and to give back to the community.” Their next major endeavor involves installing scale prevention in a green-spec house that uses city water. That project will be accomplished in conjunction with the local Home Builders Association.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our vendors (who have gone above and beyond in their support of our business and vision) for the outstanding quality of their products,” Wright offered. “They have believed in us and are pivotal to our success. It’s easy to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction because of the great support we receive from our manufacturers and suppliers.”
Wright feels confident about the future of the company and the industry. We’ve moved beyond our starting point, but are not yet where we want to be.”