Most dealers get booze and by fionan


Dealer Profile

      Spotlight on Western New York
            ost dealers get booze and                  By Denise M. Roberts                 son we’re celebrating 20 years in business
            fruitcake for Christmas. Dave                                                   this year,” declares West. “I envisioned
            West gets dog toys and                                                          myself being the salesman but I do most
biscuits...and likes them!                                                                  of the service and installations. During
                                                 The Waterway                               previous summers, we hired college kids
An early start for a dream                       10720 Sisson Highway                       when we could get those who were will-
      Dave West knew when he left high           Langford, NY 14057                         ing to work hard but the last few years
school that he wanted to be an entrepre-         Phone and Fax: (716) 337-0088              we didn’t find anyone. It wasn’t a prob-
neur. His first job was working part-time        Email:                lem because we stay busy all of the time
with a contractor doing water well ser-                                                     and that’s the way I want to keep it,”
vice. West showed a level of reliability,        Employees: three                           West stated. “I’ve always been a service-
expertise and willingness that earned            Owner: Dave West                           man and installer because it’s the part of
him a full-time position with the contrac-       Quote: “We’re not trying to build a        the business I love. It makes the sales part
tor for a few more years. When the con-          better mousetrap; we’re just trying to     of my business a pleasure because people
tractor retired and closed the business,         make the mousetrap work better.”           can feel my passion for work.”
West moved on to Culligan. “They were            —Dave West                                      Two Waterway employees started as
great people to work with but I had a                                                       part-timers more than 10 years ago and
dream and I needed to follow it,” he said.                                                  have stayed the course. Office Manager
“I always wanted to be self-employed.”                                                      Janice Frank now handles sales activities
      The dream would be realized on                                                        and is trained to conduct testing. John
June 3, 1986, when West started his own                                                     Calleri is the delivery and service tech-
business, calling it The Waterway. His                                                      nician. Even Charlie, a stray dog West
company services most of western New                                                        found near his home six years ago, be-
York, focusing primarily on the southern                                                    came a corporate executive of sorts. “I
tier. “We operate with two well-stocked                                                     found him in a box left out in the rain. I
service vehicles and three employees.                                                       brought him to the office the next day and
Our business activities include water                                                       he’s been there since. Everyone knows
pumps and pressure tanks, water well                                                        Charlie, either from the office or the bro-
yield improvements, iron and sulfur re-      part-time help as the business grew. Two       chures. In the old days, suppliers would
moval, softening and reverse osmosis         decades later, his jovial voice on the tele-   drop by at Christmas with a bottle but
systems. Our strongest sellers are iron      phone resonates with friendly confi-           now they bring dog toys and biscuits. I
removal systems and our best market is       dence, reassuring callers that they are        frequently get asked if Charlie is the one
hydrogen peroxide systems.”                  important to him and the call would be         signing the checks! “
                                             answered soon.
What makes small better?                          The company motto, ‘Quality Mate-         The business of resolution
    The Waterway has been successful         rials = Quality Water’, is backed by fast           The company is one of only a hand-
in many ways while remaining small.          and knowledgeable service. “Our current        ful in the region specializing in water
West started out by himself and hired        staff is well-trained and they are the rea-    wells, resulting in many of the difficult

J U LY 2 0 0 6                                                                                      Water Conditioning & Purification
water problems ending up at The                                                                        classic cars, calling them his
Waterway’s door. “Dealing with problem                                                                 junkyard rescues. He is in-
water and low-yield well solutions has                                                                 volved in drag racing with
made us the go-to guys for real problem                                                                his brother, Joe. “My brother
wells. Where some people see problems,                                                                 drives and I tune. We do
we see challenges to be overcome.”                                                                     pretty good at some races,”
     By carefully documenting the unex-                                                                he said, as he was getting
pected issues and how they have been                                                                   ready to head for the Grand
resolved, West has provided unexpected                                                                 Bend racetrack in Ontario,
help to others in the industry. He is will-                                                            Canada. Dave West brings
ing to try out new processes at his own                                                                new meaning to being
expense and keeps faithful records of                                                                  driven!
those situations. “We don’t do real re-
search and development but our exten-
sive documentation has helped the big         also believes dealer training programs
guys come up with more permanent so-          need to be continuously emphasized.
                                                                                             Dealer Profiles don’t
lutions. I let Mike Urbans (President of      “I’ve never seen a person leave the room       just happen–you’ve
the Eastern Water Quality Association)        who didn’t learn something.”                   got to speak up!!
know when something really interesting             West said he would prefer to keep
is happening and what we’ve found that        The Waterway small, considering a deal-        We know every dealership is special–
works. Sometimes we’re like an early-         ership only if he could be assured of sup-     that’s why we write about a different
warning system.”                              port for the product and remain                one each and every month–and we’d
                                              independent. He would also prefer to           like to feature yours! Just tell us the
More possibilities on the                     have an employee take over the reins           particulars and our editorial team will
horizon                                       when he’s ready to retire. West laugh-         call you for the whole story!
     West sees big companies continuing       ingly referred to eventual retirement as
acquisition and merger activities but not     a distant possibility, saying, “Maybe in        Contact the Editorial Dept.
like 10 years ago. He hopes the bigger        another 20 years”.                                         WC&P Magazine
companies remember that the dealers are            West doesn’t limit his pursuits to fix-               2800 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
the ones who put the product at the           ing things for a living, so retirement pos-                Tucson, AZ 85716 USA
jobsite, because without the dealers,         sibilities may have a head start. During                   Attn: Denise Roberts
products never reach the consumers. He        the slower winter months, he restores

Water Conditioning & Purification                                                                                         J U LY 2 0 0 6

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