An interview with: Barry Bleahen VP, Marketing
What is Quench?
Quench is a water technology company that provides businesses with high-quality filtered water. Their filtered water services also include other products, such as ice and sparkling water. Quench systems are rented to its customers. The systems purify tap water using state-of-the-art technology, eliminating the need for environmentally-wasteful and expensive water delivery.
How is Quench different from a bottled water delivery service?
We like to think of a Quench machine as a miniature water purification plant – it filters and sanitizes your building’s water supply right on site, just before the water goes into your glass. Traditional water delivery services bottle water at a plant; sometimes it’s purified, sometimes it isn’t. It’s packaged into 5-gallon plastic jugs, shipped long distances, delivered by truck, then hauled into the office and hoisted onto a cooler stand. That’s a lot of expense, waste, and hassle!
Can you explain how a Quench machine works?
A Quench cooler connects directly to your building’s water supply. Using a combination of advanced filtration technologies, the water is purified to remove sediment, dissolved particles, chlorine, metals, microbial contaminants (like bacteria and cysts), off-tastes, odors, and other chemicals. Quench coolers also offer the option of ultra-violet sanitization, which is a very effective tool to neutralize microbial growth in water. Additionally, Quench coolers are designed with features to prevent bacteria growth on the surfaces of the cooler. For example, we use food-grade tubing and stainless-steel tanks. Many of our machines feature anti-microbial surface protection (to reduce bacteria growth on dispensing areas and buttons) and recessed spigots (to eliminate contamination from contact with dirty glasses or sports bottles).
Is water from a Quench machine is better than tap water?
Local water supplies can vary in quality, depending on where the water is sourced, what kind of treatment process is used, and the condition of the pipes and infrastructure it travels through to get to you. Even the age and material of the pipes in your building can affect the quality and taste of the water! You’ve probably noticed differences in the taste of tap water when you travel. Common examples would be an off-taste or smell (from sulfur in well water, or chlorine from sanitization treatment), or cloudiness (from high levels of sediment.) A Quench system solves these sorts of water problems and more by providing our customers with a virtually endless supply of clean, great-tasting water.
Why should a company switch from a bottled water delivery service to a Quench bottle-less system?
Put simply, there are four primary reasons that businesses switch to Quench:
- They’ll save money: Depending on the number of employees a company has and the amount of bottled water they use each month, a typical Quench customer saves anywhere between 20% and 50% of their previous water delivery costs.
- They’ll drink cleaner water: Quench’s advanced filtration and purification system provides our customers with consistently clean and great-tasting water. We leave the good stuff (like healthy, hydrating minerals) in water while removing the bad stuff (like chemicals and microbial contaminants.)
- They’ll save time and eliminate the hassles of water delivery: Switching to Quench means no one in the office needs to manage water deliveries, figure out where to store water bottles, hoist bulky jugs (which seem to constantly be empty!), or worry about running out of water on the hottest day of the year.
- They’ll reduce their company’s environmental footprint: A single Quench filtered water cooler can prevent as many as 2,100 plastic water jugs from being dumped in landfills in a single year!
Can you tell us more about the environmental impact a company can make by switching to bottle-less water?
Sure – here are just a few statistics that are pretty impressive:
- According to the Natural Resources Defense Fund, 90% or more of the cost of bottled water goes to things other than the water, like bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, etc.
- Water delivery has a huge environmental impact. Each year, the production and delivery of 5-gallon water jugs:
- Consumes 140 kWh of electricity
- Burns 6 million gallons of fuel
- Adds over 70 million pounds of waste to landfills
- Wastes one gallon of water for every gallon that is bottled
- Over the course of almost twenty years, Quench customers have had the equivalent positive environmental impact of planting over 5 million trees!
Tell us about your most popular products.
We added a terrific new product to our line late last year, the Quench 750. It has all the features that our customers really value, including tri-temp water (cold, hot, and ambient), push-button dispensing, ultraviolet sanitization, and a modern finish that looks really great in office settings. It serves up to 65 users, which makes it a great choice for lots of customers. It also has the added benefit of coming in countertop or free-standing styles, with or without UV.
We also recently added a new combination ice and water machine to the line. The Quench 970-15 stores up to 15 pounds of ice and dispenses filtered water for up to 50 users. We’ve been delighted with how popular it is among medium-sized offices. Folks really like their ice!
Do you offer any products besides water coolers?
Quench offers several products beyond water coolers. We think of ourselves as a water technology company first and foremost. All of our products feature the state-of-the-art water filtration and purification technologies that we use in our filtered water coolers. Quench has a full line of ice dispensers, with capacities from 30 pounds to almost 500 pounds, to suit small offices all the way to large catering operations. Quench also offers sparkling water dispensers for offices and the food service industry. Most recently, we’ve added a line of coffee brewers, coffees, and related break room supplies. We are a one-stop office beverage solution for our customers.
How does a company determine which Quench machine best fits their needs?
Our sales team (we call them “Water Experts”) are well-trained to help a customer understand exactly what size machine is needed, filtration options, and which features are most important to them. Generally speaking, here are a few things that we’ll consider when recommending a Quench machine for a customer’s business:
- How big is your business?
- Do you have multiple locations?
- How many people do you have at each location?
- Are they on more than one floor?
- Do you have multiple break rooms? Lobbies? Kitchenettes?
- Do you have set break times, so that many people need to access drinking water at one time?
- What are you currently doing for drinking water?
- If you use bottled water, how much to you go through in a month?
- Do you ever run out?
- What are you currently spending on water?
- Are there special features you are interested in?
- Sparkling water or ice?
- Large dispensing areas to accommodate sport bottles?
- ADA compliant units?
- Very high-capacity water and ice?
- Are you looking for a countertop or floor-standing machine?
- What are your local water conditions? (We can help customers answer this question by pulling a Water Quality report from their local water company, reported by zip code; we make this available on our website as well.)
- Do you have particularly high sediment levels, which might indicate the need for additional filtration methods?
The answers to all of these questions allow us to customize a drinking water solution that’s best suited to each customer’s needs and budget.
What if a business thinks they’re too small to save money by switching to Quench?
Occasionally we encounter a prospective customer who has an office of just a few people, or doesn’t get much traffic through the office, and therefore only goes through a couple of jugs of water each month. At that point, the economics might not be as compelling, but then again, water that’s been sitting in a jug cooler for weeks isn’t going to taste so great. What’s more, the convenience and environmental benefits of a Quench cooler could still very easily justify the cost. We are currently piloting a unit that is perfect for low-usage situations. It’s great looking, economical, and takes up very little space.
How long have you been in business, and who are your customers?
Quench has been in business for almost twenty years and has grown to become the largest independent water filtration provider in the U.S., with sales and service capability from coast to coast. Quench now serves 45,000 businesses, including almost half of the Fortune 500. We cater to businesses of all sizes. We have just as many small-to-medium-size customers as large corporation customers. They all get the same great service. The industries we serve run the gamut, from professional services companies like law firms and banks; to manufacturing and warehouse operations; to retailers (big box stores, small boutiques, chain stores); to fitness centers and spas. We’re especially good at developing custom solutions for more complicated water and ice needs, like those on sprawling university campuses and for large healthcare systems.
Tell us more about the customer service you provide.
Quench is a service company – we are in the business of providing office beverage solutions for our customers, not selling water coolers. That means we stand behind our equipment 100%. All preventive maintenance and repairs are included in the monthly fee we charge. We have a dedicated Customer Care team on call from 8 am to 8 pm (EST) to troubleshoot, answer questions, or schedule a service call. We have our own team of Quench technicians who handle all installations, maintenance, repairs, and even 24-hour emergency service.
What kind of maintenance is required on Quench machines?
Maintenance requirements vary depending on the type of machine. Generally speaking, Quench will come out at least once per year to complete preventive maintenance, which includes changing filters and UV lights, and sanitizing the cooler inside and out. Ice machines may require more frequent maintenance. Again, all of this work is included in a customer’s monthly fee, scheduled, and completed automatically at no additional cost to them.
What kind of training do your technicians have?
Quench technicians are all trained at our own “Quench University.” They are highly-skilled in all aspects of installation, repair, and maintenance of our systems, as well as certified and insured. Quench technicians may have to undertake complicated installations, such as running water lines above 30-foot ceilings in a warehouse or drilling into a customer’s granite counter-top. We make sure they are well-qualified to accomplish these tasks efficiently and with minimal disruption to the course of business. They also receive regular re-training as we introduce new products or technology changes. We work closely with the manufacturers of our systems and components, to ensure that our technicians have the latest information and know-how.
What kind of feedback do you get from your customers?
Often, our customers wonder how they managed without a Quench system! They’re generally delighted with the taste of the water, their savings, and the space they pick up once the water jug closet is emptied. We have some great quotes from customers on our website:
“If the water from our Quench machine were any better, I would think we had a natural spring in the office.”