You Know the Drill: 'Know Your Product'
Joe Large, water well and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) manager at Jet-Lube Inc., has been with the company just short of 20 years. The manufacturer of grease products for drilling professionals welcomed him to the team in 1997 as the eastern regional sales manager. Today, he works with the national sales manager to prepare sales, forecast budgets, sales promotions and advertising. He says he is always looking for new opportunities to increase sales with distributor partners, OEMs and other manufacturers. Something he takes very seriously is compliance. “I feel it is the responsibility of a manufacturer to make sure that their products are compliant and meet all the new federal, state, county and city mandates and requirements,” Large says. A recent example involves the federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, enacted in 2014. Large and his Jet-Lube teammates took part in presentations and seminars, working together to make sure distributors and contractors were aware of the new mandate.
Q. What do you do and what keeps you coming back every day?
A. One thing that keeps me going is that I truly enjoy my job. Water is the world’s most valuable natural resource and I’m proud to be a part of an industry that works to not only provide clean and safe water, but also to protect water for the future. It’s also great to work in an industry with so many hardworking and dedicated people. I have also been lucky to have spent eight years as a board member with the National Ground Water Association.
Q. What does a typical workday involve?
A. I’m glad to say that I don’t know what a typical day would be. I am usually gone 50 percent of the time working and making sales calls with our manufacturers’ rep, attending distributor open houses, state and regional shows all across the country. Jet-Lube is involved in five different markets: water well, environmental drilling, horizontal directional drilling, blasthole drilling and mining. Since three years ago, when Jet-Lube purchased Design Water Technologies, we are involved in well rehabilitation and well maintenance. When I am in Houston, I answer customer questions on the phone, follow up with what I need to from my last trip and make plans for my next trip. I am also lucky to work with such great manufacturers’ rep agencies, so part of my job is to make sure that they have whatever they need to be successful. Without all of their help, my job would be very difficult.
Q. What does it take to succeed in what you do?
A. Know your product, be a good listener, be honest, be patient, work hard, be fair and when something goes wrong do whatever you need to do to make it right.
Q. What do you wish you knew when you started?
A. I didn’t know anything about the water well industry when I started with Jet-Lube and it has been a learning experience ever since, so I would say that I’m just very happy to be part of this wonderful industry.
Q. What tool can you not imagine working without?
A. My cell phone.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and never stop learning. Be respectful to others.
Q. How would you describe the present state of the industry?
A. The water well market across the country is a little slow, but as I travel across the country most contractors are optimistic that 2016 will be a good year. HDD is slow due to the downturn in the oilfield, but pipeline work is still fairly strong.