FEWA’s Big First Year with Compass Group Equity Partners

August is National Water Quality Month, and it also happens to be the one-year anniversary of Compass Group’s partnership with Florida Energy Water & Air (FEWA), a fully integrated sales, installation, and service contractor providing water treatment systems, water heaters, HVAC and related products.

“Our team had built a solid company over three decades, and I was comfortable with how the business had progressed historically. But I still felt there were significant opportunities for further expansion, and I owed it to my employees to explore options to pursue that growth,” said FEWA President Tim Randolph.

FEWA had maintained the top spot world-wide for RainSoft sales since the mid-nineties, but the company had also reached an inflection point and Tim knew it was time to grow, so he partnered with Compass Group to help fuel and support FEWA into their next stage. One year into working with Compass Group Director Ryan Roepke, a lot has been accomplished.

Cultural Preservation & Alignment

“We have a dedicated team at FEWA, and I wanted to see more opportunities for each of them to advance within the company and grow in their careers,” Randolph said.

FEWA benefits from a tenured and talented organization, with many key leaders spending more than a decade with the company. Like many family-owned and operated businesses, FEWA has a family-like culture, and preserving that culture is important to founders when considering an investment partner.

“We felt a strong cultural connection with Compass Group early in the process, and that was really a turning point for me,” Randolph said.

M&A and a New Expansion Brand

Growth for FEWA meant looking outside the state of Florida, so Roepke and Randolph embarked on a M&A strategy. Working with the Compass Guides, they created the new PURE Energy Water & Air expansion brand and have since partnered with two additional RainSoft dealers, one in Alabama and one in Georgia, to operate under the new brand. And there are further expansion plans as opportunities arise in the Southeast and Eastern regions.

A New HQ

“We were looking at ways to improve operational efficiencies at the home base in Orlando,” said Compass Director Ryan Roepke. “The team was spread out among smaller offices and every department needed more space, so we determined a new Orlando HQ with a larger footprint was necessary for both cohesiveness and growth.”

The team now has corporate functions, a centralized call center, and an expanded training center for FEWA University—all under one roof.

Key Hires

Compass Group knew that as the business grew Tim and the team would need more support. In the first year, FEWA has made key hires in a new CFO, Call Center Director, and a Marketing Director in addition to overall team expansion.

ERP Implementation

As part of the partnership with Compass, FEWA also has access to a dedicated team of functional subject matter experts – called Compass Guides – in the areas of HR, legal, marketing, and digital transformation. As part of their digital transformation initiatives working with the Compass Guides, FEWA has implemented a new Enterprise Resource Planning system to streamline operations for employees, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth by optimizing scheduling, dispatching, and product management.

Year One: The Partnership Difference

As for Tim, every day presents new challenges, and now a year into the Compass Group partnership, he says his outlook has evolved when faced with those challenges. “We’ve seen our fair share of hurdles at FEWA over the last thirty years, and our team pushed through at every turn. The difference, with the expertise and resources of Compass Group behind us, is that we clear those hurdles at light speed.”