Scott Sturdy, regional sales manager for southwestern Ontario, has been with Culligan of Canada for nearly 25 years—and he’s one of the junior members of his team.
“One of my service reps in London, Danny—he’s 38 years with the company,” says Sturdy, who joined Culligan shortly out of post-secondary school. “Dennis, he’s about 35. Bob Bailey out in Calgary, he’s at 30-plus years. We’ve got a lot of reps whose tenure is very high.” That matters to customers, Sturdy says, because they’re keen on ensuring not only that the water-treatment equipment they choose is reliable, but also that those who provide service and support are, too.
“It’s very important for the customer—what kind of reliability is going to be there for the future?” he comments. And for some veteran reps, it’s not uncommon to have multiple generations of customers from the same family. “There’s lots of, ‘My parents had a Culligan system; I want one,’” Sturdy says.
We spoke with Sturdy about what he loves most about his job and how he and his team are helping customers address leading water quality issues in Kitchener.
What are the top water quality issues you see in Kitchener?
Very hard water. On average, the water fluctuates from between 20 and 40 grains per gallon. And if you’re looking at a low end of 20 grains per gallon, that’s almost double what very hard water is considered to be. (*Note: The not-for-profit Water Quality Association defines hard water as containing more than 7.0 grains of dissolved calcium and magnesium per gallon; “very hard water” contains more than 10.5 gpg.)
A lot of people will get dry skin; they don’t know what (the cause) is or they think it’s something else in the environment, but it’s actually their water. And sometimes when people move into a hard-water market, all of the things they start to see—water spots, the white buildup on their sinks and showers—they don’t realize what that is until we go out there and test the water.
For homeowners looking at which home improvement projects to invest in and when, what would you say about the value and return on investment of prioritizing their water system?
With a proper, working conditioning system, it’s basically going to take care of the cost for you. We go out to customers’ homes and we test the water; we ask them what their concerns are; we show them what the quality is; and then we provide a solution for them. And we can do the equipment on a financing plan. The amount of money you’re going to save with a proper water-treatment system – in most cases it’s actually cheaper than whatever they’re using now.
When we go back to do a checkup to see how a system’s going, one of the biggest things we get is, “I wish I would have done this before. I don’t know why I waited; I wish I had put this in years ago.”
What do you love most about your job?
I’m a people person; I like to see people. Before I was a sales manager, I was a consultant in the field for 14 years. So I love getting out to the homes, seeing people, testing their water, taking care of a solution. Now I really find enjoyment passing on my knowledge to the sales reps.
We’re also really involved in the community. We do a lot of work with hospitals and local charities. We’ll provide coolers and waters for charity walks or runs; there are golf tournaments where we provide packaged water. I think that’s very important, being part of the community.