Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oklahoma Bottler Grows to Meet Product Demand

Oklahoma Bottler Grows to Meet Product Demand

If you’re thinking about starting up a bottled water business, you might want to check out the story of Blue Valley Water Company in Hartshorne, Oklahoma.

Located about 90 miles south of Tulsa, Blue Valley Water was founded by Warren Lindley, a successful businessman who owned grocery stores in the Hartshorne area, who had decided to get into the bottled water business. Initially, he planned to concentrate on producing small bottles for a private label business. His internet search for an equipment source led to Norland International.

“I was impressed by Norland’s product line, which seemed to include the type of equipment I needed to get started,” Lindley said. “They understood the water business, and they knew that start-up businesses in small towns didn’t need the large equipment that other companies were offering.”

As he was getting ready to buy his Norland line, a regional distributor based in Tulsa approached him about providing bottled water for his established business. The opportunity was too good for Lindley to pass up.

After consulting with Norland engineers, Lindley first bought a Norland SpectraPak™ 5000, which produces up to 5000 small bottles per hour. Later, he added a residential and office delivery operation, for which he purchased a Norland TritonLine™ large-bottle plant that could handle 450 large bottles an hour.

Lindley offers three key pieces of advice to entrepreneurs who may be looking at starting up a bottled water business.

1. Start slowly. Buy only equipment you need when you need it. It’s not a good idea to invest in equipment before your market is ready. Be prepared, by talking to your equipment supplier, and plan for what you may need when the time is right. But don’t commit dollars until you have to.

2. Look for opportunities to expand your business. Know the choices that will be available to you when the timing is right. When you discover the opportunities, be ready to act quickly to take advantage of the situation before someone else does.

3. Find a dependable equipment manufacturer to partner with. “It’s best to find a single source for your equipment,” Lindley says. “That way you know the equipment is compatible, you are familiar with the company’s level of after-sale support and service, and you can build a partnership with them based on trust. I found the right supplier, one that was experienced in the bottled water industry, that could provide expert advise on my business development, not just my equipment.”

For information about getting started in the bottled water industry and bottled water systems visit Norland International.

Norland International manufacturers and provides turnkey drinking water treatment and bottling systems around the world.