Don't call anyone at Resato a salesperson. These people are doctors - and high-pressure doctors at that. They're tasked with providing the oil and gas industry with precisely tailored testing solutions, and their company's success is less the result of deals than diagnoses.
Indeed, in 2012, Resato was recognised as the 'smartest company in the Netherlands' by MKB Krachtcentrale, a national platform for stimulating smart entrepreneurship, and since then it's won the FD Gazelle award for the speed of its growth and both the TechniShow and Erasmus Innovation awards for its research and development practices. Even now, it's still one of the fastest-growing companies in the high-pressure solutions sector.
"It's all about the diagnosis and the process of speaking with a customer," explains Sander Vroling, sales director for Resato's high-pressure technology division. "My salespeople don't have a list of products to go through: they understand it's a journey we have to do together with the customer. We have to build a bridge of change."
It's a bridge that Resato, evidently a team of architects as much as doctors, has already built for itself. The company has technological expertise dating back to its foundation in 1991, but it was a buy-in management buyout in 2009 that defined what Vroling calls "the mission and vision" behind its recent success.
That change has since tripled the company's employee count. In short, Resato's mission and vision is a commitment to leverage its expertise not just to create and peddle the most dazzling products, but to specifically diagnose how high-pressure technology can best improve each customer's business.
Vroling contrasts this approach with that of a pushy SUV salesman. "How would you feel if you were sold a big, expensive car when you just needed something to go shopping in the local town?" he asks. "What would you think if you couldn't park it because the spaces were too small? We try to ask, 'How big are the spaces? How big are the parking lots?' and to give the right solution rather than just sell the most expensive one. That's hard to do as a salesperson."
To overcome some of the difficulty, Resato has developed a unique way of working with its distributors to understand customer needs. Although the network of distributors, which Vroling likes to think of as pharmacies, can offer smaller, 'non-prescription' Resato solutions without connecting manufacturer and client, the company has a set strategy for ensuring all three parties work together when they need to deliver the best test bay solutions.
The recent addition of a mobile testing solution to Resato's DSTM wellhead control system came out of just such a consultation between Resato and an end customer. Vroling himself is quick to point out that, "Customer requests can lead us to develop new solutions. The customer forces us to get better as well. That's the good part; we continuously have to adapt to customer needs to keep exceeding expectations." One of the main trends in that area is an emphasis on data capture and analysis, for which Resato has developed a suite of complete data acquisition systems.
Though Resato doesn't necessarily offer a set of fixed products, its high-pressure test bays always stringently account for safety concerns. At the top end, this means solutions that fully isolate all high-pressure components and systems in the test bay, allowing users full remote control. This isn't always necessary, however. Some systems don't need to meet the same specifications, and in those cases, highpressure components can be placed outside the test bay. "It's always in discussion with the customer about the customer's level of safety and operations skills that we provide the solution," explains Vroling.
In fact, given that they think as doctors, it's not surprising Resato salespeople sometimes have to tell customers things they don't want to hear. Many customers are drawn to the idea of fully remotecontrolled test bays, which means Vroling's team often has to convince them that the best solution would actually be a cheaper, more flexible manual one.
"We manufacture however many test bays every year, but each customer just buys one every 15 years," stresses Vroling. "That means we have all this knowledge and experience and we can help the customer see what will help and what won't. Some customers actually feel it's strange that we don't want to sell the most expensive stuff, but finding the right solution is the most important thing."