Uncovering the Case for Niche Products and Software

The gold veins encased in the mountains of Colorado opened their riches to many — and not just those who mined the ore.

The "dramatic" differences between Intelliquip and more generic products are "analogous to advancing from a DOS platform to a custom SaaS portal.  We went to a much more nimble and robust platform.  It's so much more powerful that we are reevaluating our systems and engineering data to ensure we properly accounted for all options."
Troy Sellers, Director of Engineering, A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Inc.

Think of Arthur Redman Wilfley, a genius inventor who devised many patented devices, including a table to separate gold from other elements and a packingless centrifugal pump designed specifically for mining applications. His discoveries gave birth to A. R. Wilfley and Sons, a now almost century old Denver, Colorado-based pumping systems manufacturing company that sells to markets across the world. Still family-owned, Wilfley calls itself a “proud, independent” innovator in their field with 12 product lines that serve ammonium nitrate, cement and aggregate, chemical processing, fertilizer, food, beverage, water — and of course, mining — industries. “We create and sell a niche product so we go about things differently,” notes Mark Scott, Sales and Marketing Assistant (aka “Guru”). “We have great employees who believe all of us should go above and beyond every day. We take full responsibility for the entire pump. We will never tell you the seal problem is someone else’s concern.” Wilfley’s long-standing traditions of inventiveness, great products and superior customer service also sum up the reasons why the firm turned from a more “generic” sales configuration software provider to Intelliquip.

Like moving from dos to windows

I knew of Intelliquip’s products and reputation long before we switched to them last year,” says Douglas Segovia, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The depth of their market knowledge is clearly reflected in the power and precision of the tools they’ve created. They know our business and it shows in their products.”

“The founders of Intelliquip are true pioneers in this business,” adds Troy Zellers, Director of Engineering. “I was aware of Tryg Dahl and Dave Tress when I first joined the pumping business and both were already working on automation software at Ingersoll Dresser Pump.”

Zellers points out that this in-depth experience contributes to the “dramatic” differences between Intelliquip and more generic products. “It’s analogous to advancing from a DOS platform to to a custom SaaS portal. We went to a much more nimble and robust platform. It’s so much more powerful that we are reevaluating our systems and engineering data to ensure we properly accounted for all options.” Scott explains: “Our former configurator package used a third party selector to select the pump and generate curves. These functions were completed externally and then brought back into their platform to configure, price and quote. With Intelliquip, it’s all there, all the engineering data and functions, all easy to maintain and designed specifically for our industry. Intelliquip even custom-built some extra functionality to handle our expellers — a special product for us — and it works great.”

“Specific to the markets of centrifugal pumps, rotary pumps, positive displacement pumps, blowers, and compressors — appropriate selection demands a great deal of specialized information. It’s easy to accurately select when only flow and head must be considered, but it is much more difficult when you encounter a multitude of variables and operating conditions,” says Zellers. “Unlike other systems, ninety-five percent of what we would ever need is baked into Intelliquip, and they’ve given us the opportunity to configure it even further to match the uniqueness of our products,” he continues. Segovia says that while he cannot offer specific quantifiable comparisons, after more than two decades in the field he is convinced that the Intelliquip package has accelerated Wilfley’s quoting process and improved overall productivity and accuracy: “We’re definitely more responsive and I’m confident our quote packages are more professional and complete. With systems as complex as ours can be, eliminating errors in the front end may seem an unattainable goal. It’s now within our reach.”

The “dramatic” differences between Intelliquip and more generic products are “analogous to advancing from a DOS platform to a custom SaaS portal. We went to a much more nimble and robust platform. It’s so much more powerful that we are reevaluating our systems and engineering data to ensure we properly accounted for all options.”

Troy Zellers, Director of Sales and Marketing,
A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Inc.Director of Engineering

Superior products And training

Not only were Intelliquip’s industry knowledge and products superior, Wilfley also found a real difference in the approach to training. In contrast to a generalized training class off site, Intelliquip sent two long-time pros to Colorado, where they conducted a factfinding session that identified and mapped all the data necessary to full implementation, and then led on-site selector training. The team also worked with Wilfley to quickly launch one product line so selected users could begin experimenting with the system.

Finally, Scott flew to Intelliquip’s Bethlehem, Pennsylvania headquarters for advanced training. Scott sums it up as “very valuable.” Time was of the essence. Dave Tress, VP Product Management for Intelliquip, explains: “This implementation became a unique situation when the previous vendor discontinued service during the migration period. This was unfortunate, but a reality. We responded by accelerating our implementation plan. Through a combination of additional work done by Intelliquip, rapid training of Wilfley employees, and a great overall job by the joint project team, we sped to a solution that far exceeded the capabilities of their previous package.” “In a perfect world, you would overlap the transition,” says Scott. “Thankfully, we had Intelliquip up and running quickly, at least enough for people to start quoting in September.”

Extracting intelligence and
ensuring precise selections

While Segovia values the entire system, he also points out that what he appreciates the most and has become his major responsibility, reminiscent of the company’s roots, is mining for business intelligence. “The system captures invaluable information. For the first time, we can easily pinpoint what product lines sell best and in what markets, what distributors close the most sales, what we’re missing in terms of requests that we can’t meet — it’s just an incredible benefit that we’re beginning to realize,” he details. Zellers agrees that Intelliquip’s BIQ (business intelligence software) opens new dimensions of thinking about their work. “Just last week, we had a big project come in, something in the order of 40 to 50 applications for an individual project. I asked Douglas to plot where the performances of each of the pumps fell so I could see it on a grander scale and gauge how it fit across our entire product pipeline. It helped me see the product line from a whole new level.” “We gather all this intelligence straight from the system,” says Segovia. “It’s more efficient, we don’t duplicate data entry nor do we add paperwork burdens to the sales team.” Segovia and the team at Wilfley also concur that, while some of their older users still shy away from technology, Intelliquip’s tools will enhance customer responsiveness from both inside sales and external distributors. “They create the most precise real time quotes and translate into 18 languages as well,” he adds. “An end-user doesn’t have to be a pump expert. Before, users had to know the pump’s physical limits and configuration constraints. Now, almost anyone can plug in flow and pressure parameters, make the optimum selection for the duty point and then quickly and accurately configure and price our pumps. It definitely results in far smarter selection and configuration.”

“The system captures invaluable information. For the first time, we can easily pinpoint what product lines sell best and in what markets, what distributors close the most sales, what we’re missing in terms of requests that we can’t meet — it’s just an incredible benefit that we’re beginning to realize.”

Douglas Segovia
Director of Sales and Marketing,
A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Inc.

Wilfley’s long-standing traditions of inventiveness, great products and superior customer service also sum up the reasons why the firm turned from a more “generic” sales configuration software provider to Intelliquip

Grant Mann serves as an Application Engineer for Thurston Machine Inc, Wilfley’s master distributor throughout Canada. He rates the improvements afforded by Intelliquip an “8 or 9” on a scale of one-to-ten. “It’s been a great addition,” he says. “The amount of information loaded into the system specific to Wilfley pumps is amazing. It’s user-friendly, live and dynamic, which is really important in an environment where customers can change their minds on flow rate or head and expect a quick response.” Added Mann, “Intelliquip incorporates all the theories of centrifugal pumps into the process. They definitely stand behind their product.” “Intelliquip’s work with Wilfley epitomizes our value proposition —- achieving the highest functionality and performance for the lowest total cost of ownership,” says Dave Brockway, President of Intelliquip. “We are fanatically dedicated to being the best in the world at providing automated selection, configuration, pricing and quoting solutions for the fluid handling and auxiliary equipment industries. Wilfley’s experience highlights the significant differences between a generic configurator and our industry-customized technology.”

Wilfley's history of
break-through
discoveries continues.

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