Client Spotlight: Inframark
Inframark is an independent, American-owned company widely recognized as a leader in Water Infrastructure Operations and Management Services. Their services include water and wastewater operations, financial and community management and specialized support services. At the heart of Inframark’s success is open and transparent communication in all partnerships working side-by-side their clients to achieve the highest levels of performance, safety, compliance, and reliability.
To learn more about Inframark, visit their website at www.inframark.com.
Citylitics recently spoke to Mark Halleman, Senior Vice President at Inframark regarding Inframark’s role in the industry and the success they’ve seen as a result of implementing Citylitics data. Mark Halleman is a seasoned industry executive that has over 35 years of experience in all facets of utility management. This includes roles structuring public private partnerships, leading business development teams, and working in operations for both large and mid-sized organizations. In his current role at Inframark, Mark is responsible for developing business, implementing growth strategies, and managing marketing and communications.
Q: Who are the types of utility customers your team targets and what sets Inframark apart?
Mark: We partner with municipalities and industries of all sizes to operate and maintain water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, and collection & distribution systems. Our clients range from small communities (populations of 10-30,000) to larger cities like Houston and Oklahoma City. In total, we manage more than 7,000 miles of collection and distribution lines, 173 wastewater facilities, and 149 drinking water facilities.
Inframark sets itself apart with unique capabilities summarized into two main categories. The first is the experience and resources Inframark can provide as a national company with a regional focus. Inframark provides custom-tailored solutions to meet the goals of communities in the operation of their water and wastewater infrastructure. By making all of our corporate resources available to our partners, Inframark has the capabilities to support and manage capital improvements, implement and upgrade SCADA systems, optimize data management systems, and implement comprehensive asset management programs. Inframark’s experience is invaluable when it comes to partnering with our clients to create a tailored approach and service model.
The second differentiator is the team that is the driving force behind all our solutions. Our team consists of more than 1,500 dedicated employees implementing proven service models tailored to each client’s unique systems, cultures, and resources. Our experts understand firsthand the unique challenges facing municipalities, municipal utility districts, and industries. As a result, Inframark can take a nuanced approach to each client’s set of needs.
Inframark’s mission is to be the protector of the most critical resource that helps communities grow and prosper. An example of this commitment to communities is reflected in our Accredited Apprenticeship Program for veterans. The program not only helps veterans to transition into this industry, but also from the military to civilian world where skills such as hard work and dedication are still greatly valued. Today, almost 10% of our workforce is made up of former military personnel.
Q: What made you pick Citylitics’ solution over other alternatives?
Mark: One of the main reasons we chose Citylitics was your ability and willingness to serve as an extension of our business development team. It was clear from the beginning Citylitics provides unique value that extends well beyond a bid search service. The Citylitics model requires input and involvement from both parties to really maximize results. This has allowed us to identify hundreds of new communities that can benefit from our assistance in a partnership. Many communities are unaware our services exist, and this gives us the opportunity to present our capabilities to alleviate their challenges. Our industry has a typically long sales cycle but Citylitics has streamlined this process.
Q: What feature of Citylitics has been the most helpful?
Mark: We’ve found that Inframark and Citylitics have been able to evolve together to optimize the quality of targets received. The team at Citylitics is easy to work with from a consultancy standpoint and continually keeps our market intelligence updated so that we can keep moving forward.
Q: What was the biggest success that Citylitics generated?
Mark: I would say the biggest success we’ve seen is in confirmation of our target market especially for those that would be forming their first public-private partnership. Even for previously known targets, it helps to validate that we are on the right track and looking in the right place. Our list of viable opportunities continues to grow and we currently have several prospects who are interested in our services as a result of Citylitics.
Q: What are some best practices you would recommend to your industry peers on how to best integrate Citylitics data into your team's day to day activities?
Mark: One of the best practices I would recommend is to first gather a full understanding of your prospect’s challenge and then determine how you’re uniquely qualified to solve their problems. Of course, patience and perseverance are key throughout the development process.
One of the issues we’re all facing in the industry is that the typical community is unaware of the value a public-private partnership can offer and should be seen as a viable solution for the challenges commonly seen in the water and wastewater industry. At the same time, there is also a lack of understanding on the benefits of outsourcing as many communities do not look beyond their existing relationships. Each of our partnerships require a significant amount of time and effort to not only educate our public partner, but to make sure we are providing a custom solution to their specific issues. Citylitics has assisted us in better understanding the issues early in this process. Really, at the end of the day, it’s about our industry working as a whole to expand the number of P3s. I always like to say, its better to grow the pie, not just get a bigger slice.