Knowledge is Power
Indiana company’s foundation in construction and plumbing helps to create water solutions
CD Environmental owner and Manager Charlie Dill traveled a long road before reaching his final destination. He began working in the construction field — first in excavating and then in framing houses. Nine years ago his family started a plumbing and contracting business, and it was while working in plumbing that Dill began to see the importance of water treatment not just in new homes, but also in existing homes. It was from this experience that CD Environmental was born.
CD Environmental, located in Newburgh, Ind., services residential, commercial and agricultural customers in the southern part of the state. The company installs pumps, filtration for wells and cisterns, and pumping and treatment systems and chemical feed systems for livestock applications.
Dill credits his broad background in construction and plumbing for allowing him to reach such a vast group of customers with a wide range of water concerns and still offer them the best solutions. “Because of my knowledge of electrical components, pumping and filtration, I can offer my customers a complete product from start to finish,” he said. “I am able to test the water myself. I can design a system to meet their needs without involving a middle man.”
Keeping Up With Technology
Technology has played an important role in helping CD Environmental reach and connect with its customers. Dill, who works both in the office and in the field, has begun to rely heavily on his smart phone to keep up with e-mails, customers’ orders and other day-to-day business tasks.
The company also has taken the time to invest in its website. Because word-of-mouth marketing has proven to be the most beneficial marketing tool for the company, it needed a good website as a supplement.
“Once you make potential customers aware of your business, it is imperative [that] they can research you and your company,” Dill said. Having an up-to-date website that is informative to customers is a huge help in this area, he explained.
Educate Your Customers
Customers’ ability to research things on the Internet has been a double-edged sword for CD Environmental. “There is so much misinformation available to customers right now, I find half the battle is correctly educating them,” Dill said. In southern Indiana, where arsenic, iron and sodium are commonly found in well water, many homeowners that the company serves equate good-tasting water with clean water. Dill said this might not always be the case. “I try to educate my customers to understand the importance of testing the well for contaminants so they can rest assured that it is safe,” he said.
Education also has been a great tool throughout the recent economic downturn. Because many customers do not have excess money in their budgets, both homeowners and industrial clients are watching how they spend their money. Dill said that now, “it is imperative that I educate them on the maintenance and long-term operating costs between the different systems.” He also spends time with customers to ensure that they have the best knowledge about the products. This education helps them to make the best decision for their water concerns, and also operate within their budgets.
The importance of education does not stop with the customers. Dill places special emphasis on self-education. In reference to the products that he sells and installs, he said, “I am never afraid to ask a sales rep or a tech for guidance.” He also attends training sessions offered by Pentair University, training courses and tradeshows, most recently traveling to the National Rural Water Tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn., to keep afloat on new technologies and trends.
Dill is looking to propel CD Environmental successfully into the future by continuing to gain all the knowledge and expertise that he can. He explained that association membership would be vital to this mission by providing business owners with access to information and connections that are not available otherwise. While he is already a member of the Southern Indiana Builder’s Assn., he is currently working on several professional certifications — Water Quality Assn. certification, backflow testing certification and an applicator license for lake treatment — to keep the company on the forefront of advancements and competitive within the industry.