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Energy A Big Splash: Preferred Pump carves out name in water products industry

A Big Splash: Preferred Pump carves out name in water products industry

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

A. Lee Graham

lgraham@bizpress.net

 

Preferred Pump & Equipment LP continues adding staff and opening new offices while remaining true to its roots. That balance has helped the Fort Worth distributor of water systems products not only survive but thrive since Randy Lyne founded it in 1982. “Our success is due to good people,” Lyne said. “We hire good people, let them do their jobs and don’t micromanage them.” That approach has helped push the company to the industry forefront, with 440 employees and 46 branch offices serving a growing client base. Those clients include water well drillers, pump installers, dealers and contractors. They purchase drilling and water treatment products, as well as pumps and tanks, from Preferred Pump, which now finds much of its bread buttered by sales of irrigation pumps. “We have gotten more into irrigation pumps,” said Lyne, citing West Coast customers as fueling that demand. But demand is equally strong in Texas, where Associated Well Services Inc. in Stephenville is among its top customers. By serving industry professionals and water well contractors only – not the general public – the company has carved a niche that continues drawing business. With sales up 14 percent so far this year over the first six months of last year, it plans more offices to spur yet more growth. “Future plans are to open at least two new branches before the end of the year,” said Lyne. He declined to name locations and planned acquisitions that he said are under way. The company’s growth has not gone unnoticed. Last year, the National Ground Water Association honored Lyne as a Life Member for special service in furthering the groundwater industry and the association. The award was presented in December at the association’s Groundwater Expo and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. “Randy is very deserving of this award,” said Jason Cadwallader, association president, in a news release. The nonprofit association’s stated mission is advancing groundwater knowledge. Lyne acknowledges his company’s success, but always points to his colleagues’ part in fueling that prosperity. Though Lyne enjoys Fort Worth, his company actually began in Dallas. So why Fort Worth? “Honestly, it could have been anywhere, but Fort Worth was a good well market,” said Lyne, who launched the company on a shoestring. He opened a Dallas office in 1982 before relocating it to Fort Worth almost two years later. For 18 months, he shared warehouse space with another manufacturer until Lyne acquired his own warehouse. Lyne considers his firm the best at what it does, but he does not underestimate competition. “It is very competitive,” he said. Lyne prides his company on quick customer response and product delivery. “We deliver all products with our own trucks and do a lot of jobs where people need product quickly,” he said.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Number of water wells drilled in Texas:

2012 – 19,940 2011 – 19,753 2010 – 14,125 2009 – 15,523 2008 – 19,126 2007 – 19,011 2006 – 21,774 2005 – 19,537 2004 – 18,000

Source: Texas Water Development Board  

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