Harry Samby, John Sankey
We’d like to put the spotlight on one of our successful distributors in Canada, True Blue Technologies Inc. The company is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Earlier this year, John Sankey, the owner of True Blue, was interviewed by Harry Samby, account manager Canada with Van Essen Instruments.
John, could you tell us a bit more about your company?
True Blue works for its principals, selling technologies and giving support. True Blue does that as a distributor, stocking products, and as a multi-line sales representative. We focus on characterization and remediation technologies dealing with soil and groundwater.
Which are the markets you serve?
The main markets are mining, contaminated site management, and resource management. These are driven by real estate property transfer; regulators forcing property owners to clean up their sites. Resource management is guided by regulators from municipalities and other governments.
So you deal with consultants and government agencies?
Ultimately the customer we provide tech and sales support to are consultants. Sometimes it would be directly to resource managers or property owners, but most of the time they hire consultants for these activities.
How have your markets developed in the last few years?
It is driven by real estate development growth. That has been growing steadily over the last fifteen years with an acceleration in the last one and a half years. People are buying more real estate, which drives the development world, and in the end, drives the need to monitor and clean up groundwater. This is what we see all over the country. The region we focus on is the west coast from British Columbia down to California. It is the same story in all of those areas.
And how do our products fit in the solution you provide to your clients?
Every project starts with the need to understand what is happening. Our customer will develop a conceptual site model or a basin model and then they need to collect data. The Diver helps them understand what is going on in the subsurface.
How do you see your markets developing in the next five years?
The growth will continue, maybe with some hick-ups. Interest rates are going up as a result of inflation, which will slow things down. On the other hand, regulators are pushing their communities to collect the same type of data. This is the case in areas like Vancouver but also smaller communities are starting to do the same thing. So overall we will see an increase.
We also see commodity prices, like copper and gold, go up, allowing for more mining activity. In order to obtain the permits, they need groundwater data, which requires Divers.
How would you describe our partnership?
It is a collaborative partnership, ultimately to serve our customers. We reach out to them, find the right product for their project, and give them the right customer service. Van Essen has been very good at serving True Blue. You do everything you can to get the product in a timely manner to us so we can get it to the customer. I think it’s a great partnership.
Thank you. Is there any room for improvement, or things we can do better?
Your customer service is really well organized. On the product side, customers are asking for other parameters to measure, such as DO, pH, or nitrates. Increasing the product bandwidth would be very useful. Keep developing robust products. Our clients really appreciate it when the instrumentation is rugged, both the datalogger and the accessories.
Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts!