Thursday, April 28, 2011

Primo Water of Oklahoma

Primo Water of Oklahoma

Primo Water of Oklahoma recently purchased a Norland Triton160™ with automatic Rack Stacker™ to accommodate their demands for their 5-gallon water business.

Questions and Answers with Robert Miller, General Manager.

1. What prompted you to get into the Water Bottling business?

I had a friend who had purchased a small struggling water company in late 2003. He continued to struggle and asked me to join his team in 2005 to help grow the business. During this time we enjoyed considerable growth and were looking for additional opportunities. I learned about Primo Water and their focus on the retail exchange system. I reached out to the head office of Primo to see if there was a chance of filling water for them in the State of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, I learned they had already signed a contract with a different supplier. The opportunity came along to sell our water company in June of 2007 for a handsome profit. I was able to join the team of Primo Water of Oklahoma in July, 2008.

2. When did you and your partners first get started with Primo Water?

The company started selling 5-gallon bottled water in 2005. I joined the company in 2008 and we were selling approximately 2,500 5-gallon bottles per month. Our volume has grown to approximately 35,000 five-gallon bottles per month.

3. Due to an increase in demand for your water you recently purchased equipment from Norland International. How have you found the experience before, during and after the purchase?

Before we purchased the equipment, we relied on other companies to fill our water then we had to pay freight to get the water to our location. It was really hard on the bottom line. Once the numbers made sense to develop a plant here, with the research that had been completed, there was NO question in my mind that we wanted our equipment to be supplied by Norland.

From day one, working with Salesman all the way thru the development and installation period, it has been a true pleasure working with each and every one of these guys at Norland. I am real pleased when I get a call asking how things are going and if there is anything I need. The guys keep in periodic contact with me and it’s real obvious, everyone cares about me and my satisfaction. If something isn’t right, they do whatever it takes to make it right. That’s the true meaning of CUSTOMER SERVICE - Thank you Norland!

4. Has the equipment met your expectations?

YES in all areas. We had a couple of adjustments that were required after the guys started up the equipment but these were simple to make and since then, the equipment has worked flawlessly. I can’t wait until we attend a major Conference later this year to share with all the other Distributors who are looking to develop their own Water Plants about Norland’s equipment and after-the-purchase service.

5. What’s the one thing you liked most about working with Norland International, Inc.?

The guys took the time to listen to what our current needs were to become a national water brand. Then Norland proceeded to Engineer and develop the “Turnkey” equipment that would be needed to meet the high-quality demands we have while giving us the flexibility for future growth as our business continues to grow. All this was provided with NO hidden costs or add-ons to the final Invoice amount. We actually received more than promised at the exact price that was quoted. This is exactly how we do business and expect nothing less from our suppliers. In business, expectations are not always met when dealing with some suppliers and I’m pleased to report that Norland exceeded our expectations and am confident that as our needs continue to grow, we will invest in additional Norland equipment.

It doesn’t take up much room to produce a 1,000 bottles per shift. Pictured above is the Norland Triton160™  with Rack Stacker™ during installation and training by Norland’s Startup/Training Team.

The end result – racks of 5 gallon bottles ready for delivery.

Special thanks to Primo Water of OKC and General Manager Robert Miller

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just the Facts…

Just the Facts…

At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

Investment in safe drinking water and sanitation contributes to economic growth. For each $1 invested, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates returns of $3 – $34, depending on the region and technology.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just the Facts…

Just the Facts…

Many toilets use more water in one flush than most rural families in Africa have for one day of cleaning, cooking, drinking, and bathing.

The average distance an African villager must walk to a water source is five miles (eight kilometers).

A five-gallon (19-liter) container can weigh about 40 pounds (18 kilograms), and many women and girls suffer injuries carrying so much weight every day.

A child dies somewhere in the world every 15 seconds from a water-borne illness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A global crisis

A Global Crisis

* 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population. (WHO/UNICEF)

* 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation - 4,000  child  deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds. This equates to 160 infant school classrooms lost every single day to an entirely preventable public health crisis. (WHO/WaterAid)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Questions with Mr. A.W. Yusuh Owner of DeAmazon Table Water

10 Questions with Mr. A.W. Yusuh Owner of DeAmazon Table Water

1. Mr. Yusuh – tell me a little about yourself – family, friends, where you grew up, things you like to do in your spare time and any hobbies you may have.

I was born 55 years ago to a polygamous family in Nigeria where I have lived my entire life thus far. I grew up in the northern area of Nigeria where I gained both Islamic and western education. I also attained the highest degree of Masters in Economics at the University. I am proud to say I have friends in all corners of Nigeria and really like to fraternize and share my opinions with people. I like playing tennis and watching football. I am also a golfer. In general, I like to be associated with philanthropic activities such as helping the less privileged.

2. What did you do before you started your water bottling facility?

I started my career after the University and the compulsory NYSC program, with a multi-national company and rose to the position of an Area Manager before moving to the banking industry where I was opportuned to serve in research, treasury, foreign exchange and branch management. I later moved to a finance and mortgage industry - all in the private sector. However for the past 15 years I had the opportunity to work as a public servant where I worked in the telecommunications industry and retired in January 2010.

3. How many years have you been in the water bottling business and what prompted you to get into this business?

I have been in this business for about four years now. I chose the water industry as a result of my research and interaction with people. It seemed like a very rewarding opportunity and I am happy to say that I have not been disappointed.

4. How did you first learn of Norland International and what helped you decide to invest in Norland equipment for use at your plant?

I found out about Norland through a friend who already had a link with Norland and had very positive things to say about the Norland personnel and their equipment. And I decided to use Norland as my supplier because of the ruggedness and sturdiness of their equipments.

5. You’re producing both small bottles and large bottles at your facility. Small bottles have been in demand in Nigeria for years. How is your 5 gallon (18.9Liter) business coming along? Do you do both home and office deliveries for the 5 gallon (18.9Liter) bottles?

The awareness of our water is very high now hence the demand for the 5 gallon bottles has risen in recent times. We do both home and office delivery for the 5 gallons.

6. Do you encounter any major challenges having sufficient number of bottles available for your business operations?

We do not have difficulty with our water processing or bottle supplies because we produce our own bottles using the Norland Freedom Series blow molder. Producing our own bottles allows us to closely match our supply with our demand.

7. How have you found the maintenance requirements for the Norland equipment?

The learning curve for our employees on the use of Norland equipments was very short. The equipment is designed with the operators in mind. We find maintenance to be simple and straight forward. Whenever we have required assistance, we have found the Norland personnel to be very helpful.

8. How would you rate the “after the purchase” service from Norland's technicians?

I would rate it very high. The response time from Norland has been very timely and encouraging. I have not needed assistance often, but when I do, the technicians have been very good.

9. Do you see the need for Biodegradable plastics in the bottled water business yet? Is the Nigerian market ready for this?

To a limited amount yes, but the awareness is only now started to be created. I expect solid growth of biodegradable products in the future in my country.

10. Daren Waters is your personal contact with Norland. How has your experience so far working with Daren?

My experience working with Daren has been splendid, cordial and very rewarding. I view him as a friend and welcome him to my plant whenever he travels to my country.

AW Yusuh – thank you for your time and sharing your story with us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Minnesota Artesian Fresh, Inc

Minnesota Artesian Fresh, Inc

Top Story this month comes from Leroy, Minnesota Artesian Fresh, Inc. produces many different bottle sizes on-site, saving time and money, using Norland's Freedom Series Blow Molders

Come and listen to a story about a man named Ben... We would like to introduce you to one of Norland's valued customers, so let’s head up North to Minnesota for this month's interview with Ben Nolt - Owner of Artesian Fresh, Inc.

Artesian Fresh was supposed to be the well for a retired couple’s home and it turned into the site for the most naturally pure water in the world.

1. What were you doing before going into the bottled water industry? My wife and I were farming for 35 years and decided to semi retire. We built a new home and a 21,000 square building for my custom farming business.

2. What led you to get into the bottled water industry? When drilling a well for our new home we struck an artesian well to find out after lab tests that the water was of great quality and good to bottle.

3. What reasons can you give as to why you choose Norland Int’l as your equipment manufacturer/partner? I found Norland International on the internet and they were from Lincoln, Nebraska thought this is close to our area. I liked that they were a small to mid size company and understood how a small company like we are and how we can operate.

4. What do you like most about Norland and using Norland equipment? That we are close to them and the service they promised us after the sale is great, the equipment they sold us they have the parts on hand and will overnight them. A lot of the small things we can get at a Fastenal store.

5. How has Norland impacted your business? We are a new start up company of 23 months; it is nice that all of our equipment has come from Norland. We got the blow molder also and this saves us a lot of time as well as space.

6. How many bottles are you producing per day? 24,000 – 30,000 depending on the size of bottle. We produce 10oz, 12oz, 16.9oz, 20oz and 1 Liter.

7. You produce a wide variety of bottles in different sizes, from small to large, with the Freedom Series of blow molders from Norland. Can you describe the benefits of having a blow molder on-site and some of the cost savings you’ve experienced? There a 2 huge reasons for the blow molder. The space that is saved by not having the incoming empty bottles in stock especially since we have 5 different sizes. The cost savings are 3-6 cents depending on the size bottle.

8. Would you recommend Norland services or products to others? Yes, the service is excellent and to us this is more important than the equipment or the product. We can order a part at 4:00 PM and have it the next day. The down time is minimal.

9. What tips would you offer a new entrepreneur entering the business? Purchase all your equipment from one company so that you don’t have each other blaming each other for not synchronizing. Check with another small water company to prevent costly oversights.

10. Where do you see the industry in the next 5 years? I think the industry is going to have to be thinking more green and move to the biodegradable plastic.

Thank you Ben Nolt for sharing your story with us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top Story this month comes from the great State of Texas

Top Story this month comes from the great State of Texas

We would like to introduce you to one of Norland's valued customers, so come along with me partner as we head to Texas for this month's interview with "JP".

JP and his father Jay started this family-operated business just over 11 years ago. Jay and JP offer three different types of water - purified, flavored and an isotonic sports drink for their private label customers. When asked to quantify the size of their business JP says "We stay pretty busy". JP purchased a Freedom4500 Series Blow Molding system from Norland.

"No matter if you have a problem or you think you have a problem, you may
have a problem. Whatever your issue is you can call anybody at Norland and they are more than happy to take care of you." – JP

An interview with "JP"

Norland - Where did your bottles come from before buying the Blow Molder from Norland?

JP –“We bought bottles from a bottle manufacturer and had the bottles shipped into our location. This was an ever increasing burden to the company’s bottom line. When buying the bottles, we had very little control over the quality and cost of the bottles. Norland showed us how to cut the costs on bottles, shipping and waste. In addition, we have been able to gain control over the design and inventory of our bottles.”

Norland - What brought you to Norland initially?

JP –“Research. My father and I had been looking at blow molders for about two years prior. I’m analytical by nature. We were looking for a solution that would allow us to reduce our bottle cost. I researched all of the different types, sizes and costs of blow molding equipment and what best suited our needs. Norland was the company that offered a product that fit our individual needs, being that we are not a massive bottler but we are not a very small one either.”

Norland- What do you like most about Norland and using Norland products?

JP –“Everything, you told me to be honest and it has been a very pleasant experience.”

Norland - What were your perceptions about using a blow molder? That is, did you have any preconceived notions or anything of that nature?

JP –“What it all boils down to is, the number one thing, we were trying to improve our margins. We looked at various aspects of whether it was something we wanted to take on. I do all of the maintenance on all of our equipment so it had to be something that didn’t tie up my day and overwhelm me with issues. It appeared the benefits outweighed the negatives and it was just time to make that decision.”

Norland - Have your perceptions changed since purchasing and using the blow molder?

JP –“Yes. Operating the blow molder is not as entailed on my part as I figured it would be. It’s more of you turn it on and it runs. It’s no different than any other piece of equipment as long as it is maintained and you are able to run it. Once you get past the initial couple of weeks and some of the operator errors we encountered, it’s a very simple piece of equipment to operate. It doesn’t take anymore of my time than any other piece of equipment. It’s no different than a filler or a capper or labeler. “

Norland - How has Norland impacted your business?

JP –“Norland has made it easier to do business.”

Norland -What’s the biggest benefit of working with Norland's Freedom 4500 Blow Molder?

JP –“Number one, the quality of bottle and ease of operation. Those are the two biggest items off the top of my head. If you’re in my business, that is all you are wanting. I call it idiot proof and really it is. Once you get it set up and once you get it dialed in, it’s pretty much just forgotten about it. It’s going to run, you may have a preform hang-up or something, but that would be on any machine and probably tenfold. It is just very, very easy to operate. It is user friendly.”

Norland- Has the equipment saved you money?

JP –“Yes.”

Norland -How much do you calculate you have saved with the blow molder?

JP –“We are probably saving around 2 cents per bottle.”

Norland -And how many bottles are you producing per day?

JP –“We average about 32,000 bottles per day. The savings are real, that’s why we bought it.”

Norland - Why did you choose Norland as your supplier?

JP –“Reputation, sales staff, quality of equipment, size of equipment and the functionality of the equipment.”

Norland - Would you recommend Norland services or products to others?

JP –“Yes, everyone I talk to.”

Norland - Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JP –“Yes there is one thing I’d like to add and that is the service past the sale, beyond the sale however you want to say it. Whether it’s from Engineering, Technicians, Sales, or the Staff at Norland there is no one that can touch Norland's personal touch. I do business with a lot of different people and there’s not enough being stated about that fact. No matter if you have a problem or you think you have a problem, you may have a problem. Whatever your issue is you can call anybody at Norland and they are more than happy to take care of you. If you have an issue with a part or whatever the need is, you’re going to have it the next day. The reason I can say this is because we were running the day after Thanksgiving and I had an issue come up. I called up a service tech at 4:00am in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving on a Friday. I talked to the guy for three hours, he fixed my problem. The day after Thanksgiving at four o’clock in the morning. Now I want you to think about that for a minute…… you with me? That speaks volumes about the lengths that Norland's people will go to in order to take care of their customers. Somebody always picks up the phone and they handle my problems and you cannot put a price on that kind of service.”

Norland - Thank you JP for talking with us.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Norland Exhibition

Norland Exhibiton

Norland International will be exhibiting at the Culligan 75th Anniversary Convention, Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Dates: April 13-17, 2011