STEUBENVILLE - Janie Mayle is doing her best to get the drilling industry's attention.
Mayle, president and chief executive officer of Voto Sales in Steubenville, has been going to any and all informational events sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Alliance and Progress Alliance in hopes of getting the attention of the people who make purchasing decisions not just for the energy companies, but also for their subcontractors.
"We sell many of the products necessary in that business," said Mayle. "But we're still trying to get our foot in the door with the big guys."
Mayle is trying to position Voto, which distributes more than 1,000 brands of industrial products from more than 800 American manufacturers, to be the shale industry's first choice for its equipment maintenance and repair needs. The company also specializes in made-to-order assemblies for industrial hose applications, wire rope products and slings of wire rope, round rope and chain.
"I'm chomping at the bit, we're ready to go," Mayle said. "I'm really excited ... it feels like the door is cracked open a little bit, rather than just have a toe in, I'd like to get my whole foot in."
Mayle said Voto already has seen the uptick in business at its Clarion, Pa., location and is seeing pipeline-related growth in West Virginia, "but we haven't quite seen it here yet."
"We're certainly excited about it and trying to prepare as best we can," she said. "A lot of it is making sure you have the right inventory I have no trouble increasing inventory, it's just a matter of finding out what it is we'd need to stock."
Mayle is hoping Progress Alliance and the Chamber will make it possible for business owners to meet with energy prospects, face to face.
"Quite frankly, I'm hoping (they'll) get those people from Chesapeake and Shade in front of us so we can continue to network," she said. "It doesn't seem like there's any magic formula so far, it's just a question of getting your name out so we're investigating various ways to advertise. We want to get our name, our faces out there and make sure these companies recognize our name. We want to do business not just with the big guys, but also with the people who are supplying them."
Mayle said it's clear the industry has very specific needs.
"One thing we've found is they're requesting a specific brand of equipment. They want domestically made, high quality replacements, but those companies are so far behind in their production. We take calls around the clock, and a couple weekends ago a company needed 60 of a particular item. We had six in stock. I had another vendor that I could get the rest from them, but they didn't want anything but that one particular brand."
Mayle, though, is optimistic that Voto has what it takes to be a go-to resource for the shale industry.
"The steel industry used to be the key to our company and its success over the years," Mayle said. "We see shale as a new opportunity, one more opportunity to increase business."
In addition to being employee-owned, Voto also is ISO certified.
"From what I've heard talking with Hess and Chesapeake, quality is the key," she said.
"And quality is a culture we always like to encourage. We're an employee-owned company, and when you do a good job, it's not just for yourself but for the people around you. Last year, we saw a double-digit increase in the value of our stock.
Voto currently employs 47 people at its two locations, Mayle said.