Liz is a member of the Sales team at Online Pipeline Solutions (OPS), our American subsidiary. We discuss how things have evolved during her 3 years with the company and what the future looks like for the Online Sales division.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I am Elizabeth San Juan, the Sales Representative Americas at Online Pipeline Solutions, based in Houston.
In my spare time, I like to spend time with my friends and dogs - I have a 2 year-old and 5 month-old French Bulldogs and I also organize events for my townhome community for neighborly socials. In addition to this, I enjoy karaoke, Zumba, and exploring new restaurants.
Tell me about your background and how you entered the industry.
I was born in Mexico where my parents lived for the first three years before we moved to Houston, TX. When I arrived in the USA, I was enrolled into bilingual classes. I completed my education with 4.0 GPA high school degree and enrolled into the University of Houston central campus where I obtained a BBA & majored in Marketing. After graduating, I worked for a Pipe Distribution company where we focused on short turnaround pipe sales. The sales team consisted of a wide range of salespeople so the younger salespeople were trained to cover for the senior staff. Being a part of this type of sales environment really taught me how to grow thick skin in the business world. After working for almost 9 years in pipe sales, I decided to enroll back in school to obtain a new degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. In addition, I completed a Marketing certification program at University of Chicago to update my knowledge on new marketing techniques. Upon graduation, I returned to Houston to represent a steel mill. At this point, my customers were pipe distributors purchasing in much larger pipe quantities. The technical side of the business made it a smooth transition into learning about pig tracking instrumentation products used in the oil & gas industry.
Can you tell me a bit more about your role at Online?
My role at Online consists of a focus on processing existing business and developing new sales business. Being in a branch sales office is always a unique experience, it’s not as easy to check the status of orders because you don’t have the advantage of walking over to that specific department. That means you have to be extra nice with emails so you can continue to provide excellent customer service to clients who may want to rush an open order. There are many moving parts to the sales cycle, but strong communication is key because any oversight can cause issues across all departments. Sometimes I must comb through a client specification sheet a few times just to make sure we don’t miss any important details that an engineer may have failed to answer so we can present an accurate bid to the client or process a purchase order accurately to avoid any errors. Representing Online Electronics to market directly to operators, service companies, and distributors is fun but also challenging. I have never encountered a transition year as the one we experienced in 2020 during the Covid 19 peak. We managed to do okay considering the many cancellations of industry trade shows.
Can you give an example of sales function you have been involved in that you are particularly proud of?
I have the unique opportunity in participating in PPIM tradeshow (Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management) each year to help us display our products in front of many prospective buyers. I really enjoy participating in this show because it allows us to directly meet the prospective buyers and tell them more about our offerings. It’s a unique networking opportunity that allows us to engage many buyers in one setting. This event must be in person as it is the best way to maximize all the benefits of the show. The physical set up of the actual booth is probably the hard part, but it’s worth it so that we can show off our wonderful products for prospects that stop by our booth.
Online Electronics celebrated 25 years in business at the end of 2021. How has OPS evolved over this time and why do you think Online will continue to be successful?
Online strives to continue to grow by supporting our distribution channels Pipe Tech Corp (Canada), 4 Pipe Hidropig (Brazil), & Inline Services (USA). As a manufacturer representative, my role is to support these channels with the assistance they need in introducing the new products we release into market as well as processing existing business that they place with us. We have a vast listing of products that we make from magnetic pig signallers to pig locating transmitters and receivers to our Pathfinder Foam Caliper pig. Our R&D team is great. Our sales team continues to get feedback from clients so that we can answer to market demands and work with the R&D team to build products that we need in the oil & gas industry. Online understands that there is still a need for Oil & Gas products worldwide, so we have branches in key locations. Our product firmware and manuals are multi language e.g., Portuguese & Spanish to meet the various markets that we cater to.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time, what are your career goals going forward?
Hopefully happy and healthy. I really love sales so I hope to continue to grow within the company.