At ADKF, we pride ourselves on the relationships we develop with our clients. We grow with them and are proud to be their trusted advisors. Because of how important our clients are, we want to share their stories. For this quarter, we interviewed accomplished CPA, co-founder, and Chief Financial Officer of WaterFleet, Allison C. Pyle.
If you visit their website, you’ll find, “WaterFleet is a solutions-based company of innovators dedicated to the belief that clean, safe water is a basic human right, even in the most challenging situations. Guided by our core values, we apply a fierce determination to resolving complex water-supply issues by designing pioneering mobile technologies critical to a healthy environment and a safe, productive workplace. Our purpose not only benefits the people we serve, but it is also a source of pride for our team members who recognize that their work benefits the communities in which we live, work, and raise our families.”
After speaking with Allison, I came to honestly believe WaterFleet lives and breathes their values of quality, respect, one team, radically innovative, and health & well-being. I asked Allison how those core values carried them through the pandemic. “We were dramatically affected. Within 3 months, our revenue dropped 50%. The road back was very tumultuous; people were very frightened. We were thinking, how will the banking industry view this volatility? We leaned on our core values and our faith as well, looking at how can we be radically innovative. How can we still provide a quality work environment? How can we be respectful, even in downsizing? Alan Pyle is our CEO and Co-Founder. He came up with stabilize, strategize, and revive. First, we were stabilizing in the midst of a plummet. Then strategize - how can we be more efficient with the same high quality? How can we come back with an improved structure? We ran it through our core values. This helped our team stay together. We open every meeting with a safety moment and a core value moment. During the darkest pandemic days, this tradition really gave team members a time to share. They could always find a core value they saw in action.”
When asked what makes them so successful, Allison shared, “Being very innovative in the marketplace and ethically sound. When we started WaterFleet, it was a new concept, a new service; WaterFleet radically disrupted the existing marketplace. We were competing on a different plane - Radically innovating how we entered the market was a big part of our success. But You need a lot of different pieces. Good finances are important. Our core values are important. Early on in our formation we knew we had a passion and a vision regarding how we wanted the company to behave. We thought it was important to operate as a strong ethical company. But as we grew, we couldn’t know every employee and be in every location and they couldn't work beside us to know us. So, we actually sat down with employees and defined those core values and the behaviors that are, or should be, reflected in our business philosophy and actions. Being able to define who we are and how we want to operate with core values and behaviors has kept us pointed in the right direction. New products, processes, and problem solving are run from that matrix of value points.”
WaterFleet has been an ADKF client since their inception in 2014. We help them with their financial statement and 401k plan audits, among other things. Allison said they raised funds to start the company and knew they needed to have audited financials for their investors. She interviewed numerous CPA firms and chose ADKF because she liked our team and our approach. According to Allison, “We’ve loved our years with ADKF. Having a consistent and knowledgeable firm with a breadth of experience is instrumental. ADKF, I believe, has both the nimbleness of a smaller firm but the experience of a larger firm. As we’ve grown from zero to millions in revenue, ADKF offered stability and the breadth of experience we needed. They have great leadership at the firm. Every partner I’ve worked with since early on, Tom Akin, Tyson, and all of them have been excellent partners to WaterFleet and shown great leadership. It has been especially fun to watch Paul (Wobser) grow and make partner. It is well deserved. I admire him greatly.”
When asked about the future, Allison is optimistic. “The good news is, we approach the marketplace with a problem-solving attitude. There’s always room for innovation. Being radically innovative is our initial core value - and not just change for changes sake. But innovation to solve a problem. Our passion is problem solving. As an example: When we started WaterFleet, we didn’t know what ESG was (Environmental, Social, Governance). We hadn’t heard the term. Instead, we were looking at how we could solve a problem. Alan heard about terrible water conditions for workers in remote sites during the EagleFord Shale revolution; about extreme heavy truck traffic in our small towns causing traffic, road wear, and most importantly, safety hazards. Alan said, “I can fix this problem.” We didn’t need an ESG policy to address ESG issues. We chose to just solve the problem. This Environmental Social & Governance movement has given us a vocabulary to better communicate the uplift WaterFleet provides to the workers, the environment, the community, and the industry. A deeper understanding of ESG has also allowed us to dig in deeper and learn other ways we can have a positive impact. Nowadays, the consumers of our water business are frontline workers across multiple industries and states as we provide safe drinking water, reduce truck traffic, reduce plastic bottle waste, recycle wastewater for reuse and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is health and well-being for people and our planet.”