By Donna Kreutz
Catastrophic flooding in the lowlands of South Carolina this fall kept Randy Shuler and his Quality Life Solutions team on the go, servicing wells that were contaminated and lakeside water treatment equipment that was inundated. For more than three decades, he has been at the forefront of providing safe, high-quality water to his customers.
“I got into the water treatment industry in 1983 and have remained in it because of the service we provide our customers. I do not believe there is anything a person could invest in that they will use, benefit from or enjoy more than water treatment,” he said.
Shuler found his calling through a newspaper ad. He started in sales and quickly advanced into management for a manufacturer as a regional and national sales manager. After 12 years on the road and having a young family, he didn’t want to travel anymore, so he worked for an independent dealer as General Sales Manager. But he always had a desire to start his own business. In 2004, when Shuler formed Quality Life Solutions, he wanted to surround himself with individuals who were equally committed to the industry and the company’s customers.
Today, they have a team he calls amazing. “They do what is right, they do what is fair and they always go the extra mile,” Shuler said. “My staff has been a major key to the company’s growth.” His company’s customer service base spans the entire state of South Carolina. The team includes Brian Hess, with more than 18 years with the industry; Bill Forrester, Master Plumber, with more than five years, and additional service technicians and installers. Office staff includes Randy’s wife Robin, Customer Service Manager and an office manager. “The staff has a combined total of more than 60 years of experience in water filtration alone.”
The initial challenge for Shuler upon starting the company in 2004 was “getting our name out there. We overcame that by getting involved in lead and referral groups, the Home Builders Association, speaking weekly at different realtor offices, developing relationships with all of the builders in the area, working home shows, even producing yard signs and door hangers. Today people know who we are, where we are, that we do what’s right and do it at a fair price. A large percentage of our business today is repeat business from our loyal customers and word of mouth. We believe customer service is the primary key to our continued success. Quality Life Solutions’ main focus is on serving the customer. We believe if you take care of the customers, they will take care of you. We listen to our customer and understand their needs.”
The business grew systematically, starting with water vending systems and residential water treatment, bottle-less water coolers and commercial water treatment. “Four years ago, we added full plumbing services, including tank-less water heaters. Next, we are expanding to provide full service on wells. Our focus for the next five years is to grow the commercial water treatment side of our business the way we’ve grown the residential business. We want to become known as the go-to company for all water needs.”
Fortunately, his team likes challenges. “Our service and installation staff are smart and they love to be challenged. They are a group that can look at a problem and think outside of the box. They find creative and alternative ways to solve water treatment problems. Many of our installations are multiple-system solutions, so it’s very rewarding for us to solve complicated water problems. There is an art and a science to providing customers with the correct long-term solution for problem water; however, there is no one solution for all water treatment problems.
“We treat a lot of well and lake water, from low pH to high iron, bacteria, manganese, hardness and sulfur. As an Evolve dealer for Water-Right, we are able to offer products that are technologically advanced. Water-Right’s customer support and products are the best I’ve seen in my 31 years in the industry. We receive a lot of support from Water-Right, including their owners, managers and technical support staff. They are very knowledgeable and only a phone call away. Water-Right and Quality Life Solutions are committed to being leaders in the water treatment industry.”
Shuler sees nothing but great things ahead. People today are much more aware of water quality. “Our water is bad and getting worse and the water treatment industry is good and getting better daily. If you help enough people get what they want, you will get everything you want. It is a win-win business.”