Posted by Matt Register

David Martin & John Manger from Relevant Solutions join us to talk about the distribution of and problem-solving for turbomachinery.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back. We’re here at the George R. Brown. We’re not in our normal studio. We’re talking about rotating equipment today at the 47th Turbo Machinery and 34th Pump Symposium. This Turbo Show is a Texas A&M show, it’s Turbo Lab at Texas A&M, and we’re talking about things that go round and round, right? We’re talking about pumps, and gearboxes, and compressors, and all kinds of fun stuff, right? I’m your host, Matt Register, Jay Curry ditched us. We’re going to have him back here, here in a little bit, but he’s out running around the show. In the mean time, Relevant Solutions is here in the booth. We have David Martin is the president, and we have John Manger who’s an account manager with Relevant. What’s going on guys? Thank you for joining us.

David Martin: We’re just happy to be here, thanks for having us Matt.

Matt Register: So, Relevant Solutions, what do you do? Who do you do it to?

David Martin: To as many of us around here as we can. We’re a distributor, based in Houston. Our primary product offering is around rotating equipment, compression, blowers, fans. We’ve got a broad range of products around instrumentation and controls, heat exchangers, filtration. So we’re a business that we’ve built over acquisition over the last 10 years or so, and just really excited about the market these days, in the Gulf Coast, and really all over the country.
Matt Register: So, who are your customers? I mean, what are the industries you serve? Because compressors, they belong in almost every industry, right? So I would assume that you have some that are more favorite than others, right? For you guys, right?

John Manger: Sure, yeah. There’s about 70% of the industrial customers will have air compressors. A lot of what we deal with is in the petro-chemical side, and then the manufacturing side-

Matt Register: Being here in Texas, of course you do.

John Manger: Absolutely, so you’ll see a lot from five horsepower, up to 5,000 horsepower in the compressor side, and rotary screws to centrifugal type compressors, so we cover and service all those kinds.

Matt Register: So are you a shop where I come in, I got to know exactly what I want? Or are you guys that can help me solve a problem, right? I’m trying to supply so much air, or I have certain parameters and you guys can come in and figure out “Okay, here’s what you need to solve your problem.”

David Martin: We take our name seriously, Relevant Solutions, and that’s a common name these days, with solutions, but we’re really serious about it. We’ve got offerings across the range. We’re not just trying to sell you a piece of equipment. We serve all sorts of equipment. We repair broken equipment. We rent equipment too, that’s an interesting part of our business our competitors don’t have, is we’ve got a fleet of rental compressors that we can put in place when you’re compressors down, so we specialize in larger centrifugal air compressors, and have a huge fleet of blowers and fans and medium industrial compressors as well to meet your needs. Yes, we really love those tough problems, that’s exciting for us. We’ve got a custom fabrication business that puts together packages for specific applications with customer specs, so we actually prefer the tough stuff.

Matt Register: Well you know, hey, there’s riches in niches, like they say, right? And weird is good when it comes to business. So give me an example of some of the things, give me an example of a weird one, right? Give me an example of a problem somebody’s come to you that other people hadn’t been able to solve, that you guys had been able to put a package together to solve.

David Martin: My favorite stories about that are off-shore. So I don’t know if you’ve ever worked off-shore and got 10 pounds in a five pound sack on an off-shore platform-

Matt Register: Sure.

David Martin: … and you wouldn’t believe the requests we get to put stuff upside down, and underneath, and sideways, just to make it fit on a platform. A lot of the work we do is retrofitting existing equipment on a platform or in a plant, and that’s tough. I mean, Shell or one of the big operators might come to us and say, “Look we’ve got five feet by five feet by ten feet tall. We need to fit 10 pounds into that 5 pound sack,” and so we’ve got some really, really sharp engineers that understand that market, understand the codes and specs that are required. And the challenge, I mean it gets them up in the morning. They love to come to work and find a challenge like that.

Matt Register: So on you’re re-furb side, are you re-furbing other equipment? Are you only re-furbing your equipment? What is it you guys are doing on the re-furb side?

John Manger: We do our own equipment and also competitive equipment as well.

Matt Register: So you don’t care, I mean it needs it repaired, you’re able to come in and get it fixed, augment what they have, get ’em a solution, right?

John Manger: Absolutely, yep.

Matt Register: Alright, interesting. What’s the easiest way, should somebody want to learn more, what’s the easiest way to do that?

David Martin: Well the great place to start is our website at relevantsolutions.com, we’ve got a lot of information there about all of our businesses. I think we’ve got a lot of resources there to help you, but we’re happy to get in touch with you directly too, so we’ve got a phone number on the website that we man 24 hours a day. We’d love to talk to you face to face about your problems, so please let us know. We’ve got sales people all over the map, and we’ll be visiting with you quickly once you’re in contact, so please let us know what we can do for you.

Matt Register: Yeah, got it. Relevantsolutions.com is the website, we’re going to have that linked right from texasbusinessradio.com, if you’re driving and can’t take notes. David Martin is the president of Relevant Solutions. John Manger is an account manager. Gentlemen, thank you much for joining us.[crosstalk 00:05:26], and we are just getting warmed up. We got a whole lot more Texas Business Radio coming up. We’ll be here for the entire show, bringing you the best of the show. There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. In the meantime, 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line, get the calls in. Get them in now, get them in later, it’s a 24 hour line. I really don’t have an opinion, do it at three in the morning, I don’t care. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. In the meantime, texasbusinessradio.com, see the entire thing in high definition video, but we got to go pay some of our own bills. We gotta take a break. We’ll be back right on the other side of the break with a lot more Texas Business Radio, don’t go anywhere.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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