Serious about Service

Santo Bozzo is serious about customer service. He and his family have built their company, Nimbus Water Systems in Toronto, on that very principle. As they speak about their company and their plans for the future, it’s easy to see that it’s intrinsic in their thinking; to them it’s more about pride then obligation. And it’s put them at the top of their game.

When Santo Bozzo first emigrated from Italy to Canada with his grandparents and six siblings, he went into business as a hairstylist. It was the late 1960s and Centennial celebrations replaced sit-ins and health issues were suddenly front and centre. Distilled water had become trendy and in Santo’s chosen field at the time, trends were everything.

Instead of purchasing distilled water, Santo opted to install a distilling machine for his family. Throughout the 70’s he continued using and selling distillers and spoke to anyone about water quality that would listen. “I did a lot of research in the 80’s and I left my hairstyling business and got into water filtration full time,” explains Santo. He discovered a passion for selling systems and before long he was in the water purification business.

“In my research at the time I heard about Nimbus Water Systems in Escondido, California. The founder Donald T. Bray, had patented the first under-the-counter reverse osmosis treatment system in 1968 and was considered to be the grandfather of point-of-use reverse osmosis water purification. Nimbus also had a lot of other designs that suggested they were going to be an industry leader. I decided to join the Nimbus team,” says Santo. The rest, as they say, is history.  

Now their company is growing by leaps and bounds. In 1997 they moved into a new facility four times larger than the predecessor. With a staff of 16, they manage a customer base across the country, into the U.S. and abroad as far as Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. They have one of the largest showrooms in Toronto and amassed a solid reputation for reliable customer service. “If you call here between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm, you’re going to get a person on our end,” states Santo. “We’re that kind of company. You’re going to get your answer right away.” It’s that good service that equates to repeat business philosophy. “We’re able to respond to a problem in remarkable time, which keeps us pretty far ahead of the competition and in an industry as hot as ours that’s very important”, he adds.

The family’s plan was simple. Immerse themselves in all aspects of water treatment and position the company to offer high quality for a reasonable price. “The trend in the industry is to a cheaper and cheaper product,” says Santo. “We have no interest in that at all as we distribute products that we install and maintain. By using high quality equipment, we don’t have to worry about cheap quality and high maintenance. This has worked very well for us.”

Nimbus has even been noted for lending support to other entrepreneurs rolling out their own companies. “We’ve helped 15 to 20 water dispensing stores start up,” says Santo. A point he is quite proud of. But why not? Every facet of Nimbus hinges on family.

Two of Santo’s four children are actively involved. “Peter’s 29 and has been doing this since he was 14 and by that time had setup a database when most of our competitors did not even have a computer,” says Santo. “Anthony is 19 and works on graphics, brochures and is considered the marketing guru.” 

Peter laughs the compliment off and adds, “There is a lot of mom and pop shops around and they’re the ones that always do the best. The big box shops simply can’t offer that kind of service and time to the customer.”

It’s apparent the savvy Santo displayed back in the 60’s has trickled down to his children, business people in their own right, whose commitment to reputation, service, and the industry as a whole solidifies the Nimbus name. And will continue to do so for years to come. 

By: Cameron Patterson as appeared in Water Treatment Dealer Magazine         

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