“Green” for Growth

Solid leads are vital to the welfare and growth of small-business water treatment companies, but finding and securing them on a consistent basis is no easy feat. Boosting referrals and securing potential customers’ attention and business requires innovative products and services.

Matthew O’Toole, manager of Abbey EcoWater Systems, Spring Valley, N.Y., considers high-quality lead generation the greatest challenge facing his business today. Negative media attention recently surrounding the bottled water industry, too, has made a business-as-usual approach impractical for dealers like himself, O’Toole noted.

Energy Savings

The EcoWater dealer offers full treatment systems for residential, commercial and some small industrial applications and has served a hotel/conference center, restaurants, food manufacturers and the Newark Liberty International Airport. It is a well-rounded business approach stressing environmental benefits that has helped Abbey EcoWater Systems, a division of Abbey Ice & Spring Water, keep competitive in today’s demanding marketplace.

“Everyone needs to do their part to conserve our resources, and one of the benefits we let our customers know about is the energy saving associated with soft, clean water,” O’Toole said.

The Abbey EcoWater Systems website features a “For the Environment” tab which outlines key points supporting the company’s green approach. The page states, for instance, that using a water softener and reverse osmosis system in a hard water area can reduce greenhouse gases to the same extent as taking 1.3 cars off the road annually.

Such forward-thinking efforts have promoted Abbey EcoWater Systems’ growth from an ice company founded in 1959 by Vincent Abbatecola, O’Toole’s grandfather, to the full-service water treatment company it is today.

Supporting Efforts

O’Toole also attributes the success of Abbey EcoWater Systems to its free water tests, “second-to-none” equipment and his recently earned WQA water specialist certification.

The dealer offers free in-home hardness, iron, pH and TDS testing. Staff members encourage homeowner involvement and thoroughly explain the testing process, according to O’Toole.

Maintaining a comprehensive, first-class line of products and services has also played a key role in the company’s evolution and success. In 1997, for instance, Abbey Ice & Spring Water acquired Lindsay Water Conditioning, instantly expanding Abbey EcoWater Systems’ customer base and allowing O’Toole and his colleagues to offer existing clients a new salt service and product.

Finally, as a complement to the 10 years of water treatment experience under his belt, O’Toole recently earned the title Certified Water Specialist I. Not only did the WQA study guides prepare him well for the test, he said—their content has presented him with new ideas for treating problems in better ways. “Overall, it was probably the best thing I have done since becoming involved in the water treatment business,” O’Toole said.

Caitlin Cunningham is associate editor for Water Quality Products. Cunningham can be reached at 847.391.1025 or by e-mail at ccunningham@sgcmail.com.

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