By Denise Roberts
Rolquin has come up with a collaborative solution to one of the biggest challenges the company faces now: rising equipment and filter costs, as well as retail rates. To overcome this issue, he has joined with other companies to combine their purchasing power, thereby raising the combined buying volume and decreasing the overall percentage to retail rates.
Water in the metro Atlanta, GA area is generally soft to begin with, but it’s not without problems. And there are few water treatment companies to take care of them. Dramatic Water, a family-owned and operated business, is one of those few and has been serving the metro Atlanta area for 14 years. General Manager and company spokesman Skip Rolquin, along with his wife Julie (President) and daughter Megan (the company’s blogger and social media expert) are the go-to people for consumers with water problems. The family’s golden retriever, Hobie, also plays a role in the company as its mascot.
Rolquin provided some insight into how his company evolved, the water treatment issues they face (and resolve) and what he expects in the future. “We offer residential filtration options as well as drinking water systems for offices, including office water coolers. We also offer an office coffee service but only in conjuction with our filtration products. We feel that our products make a difference with the taste of coffee in an office.”
Rolquin got involved in the water treatment industry when a high-school friend suggested they start the business in Atlanta. “We started because there weren’t many dealers in the area” said Rolquin. “We learned what’s in the city water that we cannot see but needed to be removed. We’ve seen what can be filtered out of the water. With help from previous connections we had out west, assistance with products or services that we were previously unaware of, and resources that assist us in finding specific solutions for specific water problems, we’ve been able to overcome many problems for consumers. I’ve remained in the water treatment industry because I love helping those city water customers get fresh, purified water. The most rewarding part of my business is when I connect with someone who promotes health and wellness to their customers. When they learn what we can offer them and their customers, they are a constant source of referrals. In fact, they become raving advocates of my business and my best sales people. I love it when people appreciate what we do for them and shout it out every chance they get.”
The region’s biggest water treatment problems are sediment issues with red clay, dirt and rust. There are additional problems in the older areas of town with an ever-aging distribution system. In some areas, Dramatic Water must place customers on a more aggressive filter change schedule to prevent their filters from severely clogging. Unwanted minerals and metals, as well as runoff issues are also addressed. “Our best selling product is one of our RO purified drinking water systems,” said Rolquin. “Our office water cooler, with a purified water system and our whole-home filtration systems, using a sediment filter and carbon tank, are also very popular with our customers.” Rolquin offered additional insight into the best and worst encounters of his water career. “The worst problem is city water in the downtown area,” he said. “The old distribution system and constant line breaks create a severe sediment issue. They also have some traces of Chromium 6 in the water and due to that, we often just recommend a purified drinking water system to our personal and business customers in this area. We also change the filters in the downtown area at double the frequency of our other service areas.
Over the years, Rolquin has faced numerous situations that required creative solutions in a quick fashion. “The best results to a water issue we’ve had (and most memorable) actually started out as one of the worst problems we ran across. We received a call from a homeowner who was panicking and hysterically screaming on the phone. Once we got her to calm down, we learned she had a leak in the area of the whole-home filtration system that had been installed by someone else and it was flooding her basement. It turned out that the plumber previously there had installed a fitting that sprung a leak. We assisted the homeowner in turning off the water with the shut-off valves, called a water extraction company (who arrived at the home only three hours after the initial call) and then called the plumber to repair the situation. The plumber paid the extraction company expenses, the homeowner was back to normal in a few days and extremely pleased with our response to solving a problem we did not cause but helped to overcome. That’s how we do business!”
Rolquin has come up with a collaborative solution to one of the biggest challenges the company faces now: rising equipment and filter costs, as well as retail rates. To overcome this issue, he has joined with other companies to combine their purchasing power, thereby raising the combined buying volume and decreasing the overall percentage to retail rates. To keep that competitive edge, Rolquin said his five-year plan will incorporate increased usage of social media and initiating a blog to provide information to both prospective and current customers. “We also plan to hire several sales professionals, which will expand our service department personnel. And we will expand the coffee service business for our office clients. In two years I expect to double my sales and upon completion of that, I plan to do it again. The Atlanta metro area is changing with regard to water conditioning. More and more people want an efficient and convenient way to provide their employees or family with a consistent source of reliable and clean drinking water. At the same time, they are looking for alternatives to bottled water which they have been accustomed to using. We intend to continue to educate our customers on the benefits of water conditioning so that they think of filtration as just another appliance necessary to be in their home or office and hopefully, both.”