By Denise M. Roberts
Anova Resources, LLC (Chris Wilker)
One Corporate Drive, Suite 500 Wausau, WI 54401
Tel: (715) 301-0008
Website: www.anovaresources.com Email: [email protected] Employees: 10
Facilities: Weston, Wisconsin and Wuxi, China
Anova Resources packages leading- edge green technologies into whole- home and POU water treatment systems, which help solve everyday water problems in an environmentally efficient manner. Its products offer a long list of consumer benefits, such as using no electricity, salt or chemicals and no water waste. Product design and manufacture is tightly controlled to ensure the highest level of quality for customers. Anova supports its unique, patent-pending products with innovative marketing, sales and financing tools designed to support its dealer and distributor customer base.
The privately held company, formed in 2006 by a group of investors, is focused on improving the quality of water in the US and China. Its target market in both regions is the residential segment, with a focus on whole-home treatment and the beverage segment of commercial food service with POU systems. Operations in Weston, WI serve the North American market, while the company’s Wuxi facility, located about an hour from Shanghai, serves China. Growth to date has been organic; however, the company has plans to expand into other green technologies. The company launched a new line of whole-home and beverage-market products at WQA Aquatech USA, held in Orlando, FL, and in Beijing in March. They also displayed their product line at Aquatech China, held in Shanghai last month. In addition, Anova recently hired Tom Gleisner, a very experienced Director of US Sales, who has been doing a fantastic job in the United States.
Company President/CEO Chris Wilker has been involved in the water treatment industry for over 25 years, most of which was spent with a large, multi-national manufacturer of water products. “I started ‘way back when’ managing a chemistry lab in which we analyzed water samples to help dealers solve those difficult problem water challenges. It was there that I developed a real appreciation for the professional dealer, and the daily challenges they face. I moved onto product development, sales, and management roles, and eventually became a GM for several divisions, one of which was the old Alamo Water before it was sold to the current owner. I knew one of the owners of Anova Resources and, as I learned more about what they were doing, I became very interested in joining them, as I believed my background, skills and personal vision could help propel the company forward, so I joined them about a year ago.”
“The goal of Anova Resources is to become the leader in providing leading-edge technologies, packaged into green products, to solve everyday problems,” said Wilker. “Our tagline of ‘New Elements for Everyday Life’ is what drives our R&D and engineering efforts. We started with leading edge technologies for water treatment, which will then expand into other product categories. As an emerging technology company, we have faced the inertia of the market that can, at times, seem to be stuck on traditional technology solutions.
“Our market research shows us that both US and Chinese consumers are growing in their environmental awareness. In many cases, the consumer is ahead of us, the water treatment professionals, in this. That’s why we are so excited about our position in the market. It gives us a chance to lead in technology changes that are currently left unfilled in the marketplace. The wins for us are seeing more and more dealers understanding they are missing opportunities by not offering new, green technology choices to their consumers.
“Our strategic plan shows significant growth in the water treatment segment, both here and in China, over the next three years. At that time, we will have entered into an adjacent product category that we can leverage into our existing distribution base. At all times, we will remain true to providing real technology solutions that are environmentally efficient. This is not a fad for us; it is what we are committed, long term, to do.”
“From an OEM standpoint, I can see continued consolidation, however, at a much slower pace than in the past decade,” Wilker continued. “Today’s market makes it difficult for the seller to get a fair price for their business, and as a buyer, funding remains very difficult to obtain. I do think there are several large OEMs with cash, sitting on the sidelines, waiting for conditions to improve for future acquisitions.
“As far as the dealer segment is concerned, I couldn’t be more excited about the future for the professional dealer. But this future is not like the past. The future demands dealers to explore new technologies, and offer those technologies in new and creative ways to their customers. I believe dealers will ex- pand into adjacent technologies in which they can leverage their sales and service infrastructure into other product categories. I also believe the concept of general water contractor—in which a dealer designs and manages the entire water system, including the well, water treatment-recycle train and septic system for new home construction—will become more commonplace. This is the future for dealers because all of these things are being done today, albeit in small pockets, by handfuls of dealers. But they are being done.”