If there’s one thing Rich Birks values, it’s reliability.
“It used to be, you could shake someone’s hand, and their word was gold,” Birks, the founder of OMNI Integrated Solutions, said. “Most people think that doesn’t exist anymore, but it does.”
Birks would know. With more than three decades of engineering experience and owning a 15-year-old company, he knows the importance of good industry relationships. As such, he actively seeks out trustworthy vendors and clients. When dealing with expensive yet highly important equipment, trust is a necessity.
OMNI Integrated Solutions designs and provides a variety of systems to companies in the food and beverage, dairy and chemical industries. His clients love the high quality of OMNI’s clean-in-place systems, which help keep process equipment sanitary without spending the time and energy of disassembling all components for washing and sanitizing. Other systems that OMNI designs include pasteurization skids, brew houses, full process system, water heating, product heating and cooling, and full plant automation and controls.
Each of these systems are highly complex and often need to be designed with specific parameters in mind. Birks and his team work closely with OMNI’s clients to determine their exact needs.
High-Quality Sanitary Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers
In his first two years operating OMNI, Birks worked primarily with industrial shell and tube heat exchangers. Soon, he realized he needed to branch out and find quality sanitary exchangers, too. Sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers are needed in the food, beverage and dairy industries to ensure the final products are safe to consume.
His search quickly led him to Enerquip. Right away, he knew he had found a company that shared his values for trustworthiness and reliability. In the 13 years Birks has purchased exchangers from Enerquip, he’s never been let down. Now, Enerquip is the one place he turns to when he needs a shell and tube heat exchanger, whether it needs to be custom built or used right off the shelf.
“From a gasket standpoint, they last almost forever,” he explained. “The quality is unbelievable.”
Birks says that, in all the years and all the customers he’s sold Enerquip’s exchangers to, he has only had to replace two seals.
When Birks Calls, Enerquip Answers
Though the exchangers Birks gets from Enerquip are always top-notch, there’s one thing he loves about working with Enerquip even more: the relationship. Birks knows that, if OMNI or one of its clients needs something, Enerquip can deliver.
For example, when working with complex machinery, there will inevitably come a time when someone needs a spare or replacement part. When this happens, Birks doesn’t hesitate to call Enerquip.
“I get on the phone with them and – bam! – It’s there the next morning,” he expressed.
Other manufacturers, he says, don’t do this. To even process the request might take days – getting the part, even longer. By that time, one of Birks’ clients may have lost a day or more of production.
Another unique benefit Birks gets with Enerquip that he struggles to find with other manufacturers is knowing the specific details of the equipment he’s buying, even before the purchase is processed.
Birks receives a full documentation packet for the equipment he orders, complete with drawings, a list of parts used and a specification sheet.
The spec sheet elaborates on critical details like the flow rate of the process, temperature rise, steam pressure and steam pounds per hour.
Using this information, Birks can begin planning out accompanying purchases like valves and pumps. Without knowing this information, he would have to wait to receive the equipment from Enerquip before determining which sizes and types of additional items he needs to buy.
The documentation packet doesn’t just help Birks plan out his next purchases. He takes that transparency and gives it right to his clients, too.
“Once we get the design done and we get the specs, we pass [that information] along to the client,” he explained. “So, our clients know exactly which parts are in their equipment. [They know] what they need when something needs to get replaced.”
Birks’ clients can work with OMNI to get items replaced when they need, but Birks says this is optional – they can go straight to Enerquip if they want. In fact, he regularly recommends clients go to Enerquip.
He described one company in particular that he was working with. The company needed shell and tube heat exchangers, but hadn’t worked with Enerquip before. Birks set up his client to talk to Enerquip about their needs.
Birks said that, if his clients are working with Enerquip, he can feel certain that their equipment will work right, every time. Birks told his client that Enerquip’s equipment might have a slightly higher price tag than other options, but between the quality of the machinery and the responsiveness of the Enerquip team, it’s well worth the price. As soon as his client met with Enerquip, they were convinced. They bought several units within two weeks.
Complete Honesty, No Matter What
Even though Birks’ company sells highly complex systems, their goal is ultimately to help their customers find the right solution for each unique situation. With this in mind, Birks isn’t afraid to tell a customer what they’re doing wrong.
“We’re honest,” he explained. “[We] tell the truth and look out for the benefit of their business. I’ll tell them if they’re wrong or [if something] won’t work for their process. I fully understand working with a customer where their head’s at.”
Just like Birks is always honest with his clients, he knows that Enerquip is always honest with him. When he buys a piece of equipment, he has complete faith that it will perform just how the engineers at Enerquip say it will.
“Their knowledge base and design base [are] 100 percent,” he said.
Birks’ experience with Enerquip is the result of talented and hard- working engineers, and a sales and service team that’s dedicated to its clients. He says all of this has benefited his own business, but those of his clients as well. Birks says that, because of the strong relationship he has with Enerquip and the extensive information he is able to obtain from them, OMNI Integrated Solutions has been able to grow bigger and more successful.