Lauren Del Ciello is managing editor for Water Quality Products. Del Ciello can be reached at [email protected].undefined
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From Ford to filtration, William Beauchamp fell into the water industry almost by chance. Yet, what started through curiosity evolved into a multi-generational family business.
“My dad originally got into it back in 1976, and it was basically by error,” Jerrad Beauchamp, William’s Beauchamp’s son recalled. “He was an engineer for Ford, and he was going through a bunch of water softeners and learning a little bit about it and trying to get some good quality water. He eventually ended up getting into the water treatment business in 1976.”
From there, the family developed a long history in the water treatment industry, even pioneering K-life (the use of potassium in water softeners) and ozone for residential water treatment. Jerrad grew up around the water treatment dealership and even recalls installing water softeners when he was around 16 years old. From 1995 to 2014, Jerrad pursued other businesses, but after William retired, Jerrad started Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions in 2014 to “fill the void that was kind of created when they ended up retiring,” he explained.
Beyond the need to provide water solutions to the community, the thrill of problem solving water challenges and the satisfaction taken from providing quality customer service always drew Jerrad to the water treatment industry. Back when his father was running a dealership, the company phone rang right next to his bed, Jerrad said. That spirit of 24/7 service was something Jerrad was raised with.
“Not every customer has the same needs or has the same problems, so just the diversity of solving problems on a household-by-household situation,” he said regarding what enticed him to stay in the water industry. “Every situation you run into is its own little project, and it is extremely satisfying when you can go into somebody’s house or business and you can convert water that they have been struggling with for many years and you can show them what you actually can do with it.”
A Continuously Growing Industry
Still, a lot has changed since 1976 when William first entered the water industry and the company phone sat by his bedside. And Jerrad too has seen plenty of change since he started helping the family business as a teenager to now where he owns Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions. However, the biggest change over time has been an increased focus in treating water for quality and wellness over aesthetic concerns.
“It used to be back in the day we would treat for hardness and iron, and we’re treating to basically preserve our fixtures, our appliances and our clothing from being prematurely destroyed by hardness or iron,” Jerrad said. “What we’ve really evolved to now is we still treat for those same things — but with PFAS, lead issues on city water, and other contaminants that now everybody is so much more educated with — and it’s a reality of what’s actually getting down into the water, whether it’s well water or from decaying city water transmission lines. People are treating water for health reasons almost more than they are for iron and hardness.”
With locations in both Brighton and Waterford, Michigan, and another location due to open soon, Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions treatment experience really does run the gamut, ranging from city water impacted by service line corrosion to well water impacted by hard water or emerging contaminants. Approximately 90% of the business serves residential water and 10% serves commercial water. Located not too far from Flint, Michigan, Jerrad also stressed a need for municipalities and end-use water treatment specialists to collaborate in helping ensure communities receive the best quality water. Beyond a shift from aesthetic to quality concerns, Jerrad has also noticed a shift in customer education and understanding of water quality issues.
Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions has cultivated several best practices over the years that have and continue to reap long-term dividends. First and foremost of these best practices are customer care and fair pricing, Jerrad said.
“Every customer we touch and we take care of we go out of our way to make sure that their experience working with us has been the best it possibly can,” he said. “We take a lot of pride in making sure all the way from a customer calling up with concerns about their water, to the completion of whether they buy something from us or whether we can just give them helpful advice.”
The business also works with set pricing and avoids high-pressure sales. It will not start the price off high and then provide a low-ball price if the customer fights hard enough, Jerrad explained. Instead, pricing is always consistent. While this may have initially been challenging, the business has seen returns when either competition has lowered their prices to remain competitive or successful word of mouth has led to new business. Ethics and integrity are a major point of pride for the dealership.
Spreading the Word
Word of mouth has played a large role in Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions’ growth over the past few years. Customers often share positive experiences or recommendations on social media platforms like Facebook. The business is also extremely involved in the community.
“We’re grateful to be involved with the community, but from a very honest standpoint, when you’re involved, it also comes back to you as well,” Jerrad said. “You do for others and it comes back to you.”
In the local community, the business provides water donations, when possible, and is involved with local chambers. It also participates in educational talks to help increase community awareness and understanding of water quality issues, answering questions and acting as a community resource when possible.
“Anyone can go out there for the quick, right now sale, but it is very from a business strategy if you want to be part of a community and be part of a community for a long term, you treat your customers the same way you treat your family,” Jerrad said.
Though the past year with the COVID-19 global pandemic has presented new challenges much as it has for other essential businesses continuing operations on uncharted territory, overall Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions has continued steady growth. With many people spending more time at home over the past year, customers have spent more time and resources addressing home improvement projects and quality of life issues. Jerrad optimistically called this time “challenging, but rewarding.”
Overall, Jerrad’s advice to other water treatment dealers is simple, though it’s clearly served him and Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions well. His business philosophy boils down to the golden rule.
“My advice is just when you’re out there and you’re dealing with customers, treat them how you would want to be treated,” he said. “Taking care of the customer is a much better investment than any advertising you can do.”
No doubt this “investment” will continue to reap rewards for years to come as Beauchamp Water Treatment Solutions is now poised to launch a third branch, expanding their mission to educate and share quality water treatment solutions across additional communities.
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