The team at Viking West is eagerly anticipating the 2015 NGWA Groundwater Expo being held December 15 -17 in Las Vegas. It’s an exciting opportunity to meet intelligent contributors across various industries, and for Viking West, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the features and benefits of a new line of smartly-designed attachments.
I caught up with Kevin Reimer, Viking West’s Vice President, to bend his ear about the conference, what it means for Viking and what it means for the drilling industry in general.
Kelvin Cech: Other than the weather in Vegas, what are you looking forward to the most at Groundwater Expo?
Kevin Reimer: This is our first opportunity to debut Viking’s product line to the public so that exposure is obviously something we’re looking forward to. To co-exhibit with Dando is really exciting as well and we’re looking forward to promoting that relationship to the public. (Viking West recently entered into a North American distributor partnership with Dando Drilling, read more).
This is our first trip to Groundwater in partnership with Dando we’re excited to get there and reconnect. For both sides of the pond, us in North America and Dando in the UK, it will be great to reconnect with past customers face to face and hopefully establish relationships with new clients as well.
It all moves pretty fast, these events are all about people visiting our booth, viewing our products, and asking general technical questions. Time goes by pretty fast when you’re talking shop and discussing how our products can help them. It’s all about educating clients on how Viking can help them improve their safety records, increase productivity and save money at the same time.
I’d imagine there’s a lot of research into how other companies are doing things as well, right?
Absolutely, it’s an opportunity for Viking to get a pulse on where the industry is at. Industry trends, new technology, innovations. It’s hard to just leave the booth for me, but our team will have the opportunity to slip away to see what other companies are doing. Because Viking is an attachment company, we don’t build complete machines so there are opportunities to help other rig builders. We can design special attachments or new tooling that could help another tooling company. It’s not just selling to a customer who drills every day. Most of Viking’s success to date is working with OEM’s and equipment dealers.
It’s a two way street. Some of the big drilling companies might have resources tied up developing other projects, but we might be able to point out a development where we can make their machine better, so it becomes an innovative product built exclusively for them. We’re on the same team because we’re not a drill rig manufacturer, we just make select hydraulic attachments, not the entire drill rig. The economy depends on people helping others, so most people don’t spend much time worrying about competition. For us at least, we just try to make products that help people.
What are the benefits from attending the Groundwater Expo, aside from exposure in the industry?
There are cool technical classes people can take as well. You can attend a presentation on a big range of drilling-related topics. You get the full spectrum of drillers to geologists, CEO’s, supply chain managers, and influential people in the industry. So I guess that comes back to exposure a little bit, but if you want to learn more about your industry then there are great ways to do it. A lot of the key decision makers attend these shows to get a feel for what’s coming.
What industries are represented at Groundwater 2015?
It’s great to see people from such a range of industries. There’s scientists and engineers, suppliers, distributors, and contractors, who make up the biggest portion. These are the people who are actually in the field running the equipment, the people we owe the most to when it comes to safety and productivity. The second largest portion is manufacturers. Environmental, geotechnical, groundwater, and water wells, everyone wants to improve their designs and push the economy forward.
What are some of the key messages made by Groundwater and other events of this sort – what is the conference trying to accomplish?
From our perspective, you learn a lot from people coming to the booth and they hopefully learn a lot from you. It gives you a good barometer on the industry and how you can keep improving designs every time you build a new product. Our entire business model is talking with clients and users and determining how we can work together to build attachments that are better than their predecessors, and I think that’s the message and the goal of this conference; constant improvement through communication and innovation.
Look, Viking can’t be successful if we build products that aren’t user friendly. It’s a partnership, if our customers are successful using our equipment then by association so are we. Not only do we get a condensed format at Groundwater to demonstrate that process on the floor, but Vegas is just a great place to be and to reconnect with colleagues in person at a fun venue. It’s always nice to mix work with fun, so we hope to see a lot of friendly faces in December.