A Deep-Rooted History
Dave Copp’s knowledge of the water industry is deep-rooted in a family history of the business going back as long as he can remember. Dave is the president and owner of the All Florida Soft Water dealership, and with his extensive knowledge and experience in the business, it’s no doubt the industry runs through his blood.
Dave’s father, Glen, owned a Culligan dealership in Michigan until the late 70s. While Dave has always been around the business, he officially started on his own journey in the mid 80s when he began as a service tech. His experience led him to a general manager position that he held until early 2014.
In 2014, Dave’s father made the announcement that he was ready to retire. Dave bought the business from this father and relocated from Melbourne to Jacksonville, FL.
“At the time, we had two employees,” says Dave. “In the last three years, we’ve grown to 10.”
“Early on, I was buying six to seven units at a time from Coast Pump. One day we were talking about goals and was told I needed to speak with Kurt Gruett at Water-Right. I had heard of Water-Right coming from Coast Pump, but I didn’t realize they were associated with WaterCare,” Dave explains. “With us having an arrangement with Bill Granger back in the 80s, I knew WaterCare was a reputable name and wanted to have a company that could back our equipment for our customers and All Florida Soft Water.”
Dave sat down with the Water-Right team and realized it would be a great fit for his dealership. All Florida Soft Water has been working exclusively with Water-Right for the past two and a half years, and Dave couldn’t be happier.
“Between the customer service, technical service, and online commitment, I believe it’s one of the best companies in the industry,” he says. “It’s great that customers can go online and see that we’re connected to a bigger and reputable company, and know that we’re not just a fly-by-night outlet.”
In addition to his partnership with Water-Right, Dave attributes part of his dealership’s success to unique problem water.
“We’re growing quickly due to the fact that we have the hardest water in the state,” he says. “Right away, people realize they have a water problem – it’s especially noticeable for those who come from the north. We’re typically able to quickly prove to them what the issue is and they jump on board.”
Since all the water comes from the same place, the issues are very consistent across all his customers: hard water and chlorine.
Dave recalls specific sales milestones of 30, 50, and 75 units a month over the past two and a half years and adds, “We’re selling almost a hundred units a month now. My goal in the next two years is to build a sales team of six to eight more people in this area and sell 150 to 200 units a month. I hope to be the force of water care in the area that people recognize and call.”
Hurricane Irma and Customer Support
Dave’s dedication to his customers has certainly led to continued business; they see him as a trusted resource. His commitment to customer service proved to be true in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“I’ve been involved in seven hurricanes in the last 10 years. I stay. I help my customers. I ride out the storms,” states Dave. “However, in all the hurricanes I’ve experienced, I would say that Hurricane Irma’s winds lasted the longest … over 10 to 12 hours’ worth.”
Each hurricane brings an influx of inquiries with the phone ringing off the hook. People call asking what to do with water treatment equipment when they evacuate.
“This time I was proactive and sent a nice email out to all my customers before the storm with a layout of what to do when they leave, how to protect their unit, how to regenerate when they come back, and what to do if there’s a boil water alert,” explains Dave. “While I still had hundreds of calls and questions asking what to do when the power went out, I’ve gotten a lot of nice feedback. Everyone was really thankful.”
Dave went on to say that the power outages lasted anywhere from six hours to seven days during Irma, and that proactive communication went a long way in supporting All Florida Soft Water’s customers.
Finding Success in Consignment
All Florida Soft Water has also found success by always having inventory on hand. Dave attributes this to Water-Right’s Consignment Program.
“When I got set up with the program I was buying about 30 units at a time,” Dave explains. “What’s so nice about it is that I’m able to order the units from Water-Right, have my inventory stocked, and then I’m able to pay them back as they sell.”
The consignment program brings great efficiencies to All Florida Soft Water’s business model. “I’m now buying about a hundred at a time. It saves me time ordering and I always have stock,” he says.
Dave commented how critical the consignment program was during Hurricane Irma when the trucking companies stopped making deliveries to Florida. The trucks were not able to deliver for over 14 days, which could have completely halted business.
“Without the program, I wouldn’t have had the 35 units in stock. Water-Right’s consignment program allows me to keep my inventory flowing and not worry about running out.”
Dave’s personal advice to fellow dealers is, “If you want to grow, talk to Kurt or Erik about the program. If you don’t know about the consignment program, read about it in your handbook or have them explain it to you. It has got to be the best avenue of doing business with Water-Right.”
“The consignment program has been the number one reason I’ve been able to grow like I have and I appreciate Water-Right offering this option,” he says.
The Proof is in the Partnership
It’s partnerships like All Florida Soft Water and Water-Right’s that prove how far trust with new opportunities can reach. Both parties have been extremely complementary of each other’s success and support, and are committed to the future of water care.