Citylitics recently spoke to Mike Saunders, National Sales Manager of Municipal and Commercial Systems at Orenco regarding the role Orenco has in the industry and success they’ve seen as a result of implementing Citylitics data.
Orenco was founded in 1981 in response to widespread failures in Oregon’s onsite wastewater systems. Since then, they’ve grown to become an industry leader, with hundreds of employees and more than 300 points of distribution in North America, Australasia, Europe, Africa, and southwest Asia. You can find their products and solutions in 70 countries, on virtually every continent. To learn more, visit their website at: www.orenco.com.
Over the past 25 years, Michael has held a wide variety of challenging and technical positions including consulting, manufacturing, sales, and public utilities. Michael is responsible for managing the Sales Group, Systems Engineering Group, as well as the Post-Sales Support Group for the Prelos wastewater collection and AdvanTex wastewater treatment product lines. Mr. Saunders has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences and is a nationally published author on the subject of Prelos liquid only sewer systems and the use of alternative wastewater strategies for septic abatement.
Q: Who are the types of utility customers your team targets and what are some unique benefits you provide?
Mike: We target a wide variety of clients, from a single home through to commercial properties and communities, including communities who don’t currently have wastewater infrastructure in place.
Our solutions tend to focus on passive, low-energy decentralized applications rather than gravity sewer and large wastewater plants. For example, Orenco is and has been a leader in liquid-only sewers (also known as STEP Systems or Effluent Sewers) for 40 years now, providing a cost-effective and environmentally sound wastewater collection system with collection lines that follow the natural contours of the land.
Q: What made you pick Citylitics’ solution over other solutions and alternatives?
Mike: We saw Citylitics’ ability to identify opportunities at their earliest stages as invaluable to our sales process and something which stood out over other alternatives. Sometimes the best time to engage with a community is when they’re having their first meeting on how to get a sewer system and the early-stage intelligence Citylitics provides gives us the ability to do just that.
One of our challenges is that a lot of potential clients are unaware of our technologies, so being able to make contact early on to explain how we can help them is absolutely critical. Citylitics offers us early insight into what’s taking place at a community level as well as potential opportunities so that we can begin the process of educating potential clients on the ways in which our solutions match their needs.
Q: What feature of Citylitics has been the most helpful?
Mike: The feature that stands out most in my mind is Citylitics’ ability to cut down on the ‘noise.’ There are a lot of opportunities out there and it really requires an added layer of expertise to sort through. Citylitics has listened very closely to our vetting process and has tweaked their search to get as precise as possible with the opportunities they present.
Q: What was the biggest success that Citylitics generated?
Mike: While it can take years to develop a project, I can say that we’ve already added several opportunities to our pipeline as a result of Citylitics reporting that definitely look promising!
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?
Mike: I would always recommend quality over quantity. For us, we’ve been really nuanced in our Search Plan* requirements and aren’t looking to expend time and resources on opportunities that don’t fit us as closely, whether that’s in terms of ideal prospect profile, project size, or our products fit. Rather than trying to widen the search parameters too much, I would suggest working with Citylitics to get specific as we’ve done – it’s one of the things they do best and what we’ve definitely seen value in!
Q: What are you most excited about for the (water, transportation, energy etc.) infrastructure industry in the next 12 months?
Mike: What we do at Orenco isn’t taught in engineering schools, nor is it easy to find in a textbook. As a result, educating people on the innovative solutions that exist and the value Orenco provides is a really important aspect of our business. Even with the recent challenges, we’re seeing a huge impact in environmental and transformative changes to the communities we work with. Everything that we do at Orenco is driven by the preservation of public health and clean water and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the way of transformative changes to our communities!
“There are plenty of industries out there with very niche needs and specifications for identifying opportunities and Citylitics is more than capable of understanding those nuanced requirements and fulfilling their goals.”