WWJ Closeup, November 2021

MARK ORTMAN
Co-Owner
Ortman Drilling & Water Services
Kokomo, Indiana

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED?
A guy who worked for our company for more than 40 years told me several times, “Go with what you know. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel all the time.”

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL SELF?
Like many people in this industry, I wish I would’ve taken some business classes to help with different aspects of running a business.

MOST SATISFYING PART OF YOUR JOB?
I’m currently working on one of our well rehab crews. It is very satisfying when you can bring a well back to life for a  customer. It saves them money on a new well, and many times, they don’t have a location for a new well due to licensing restraints.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED IN MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS?
That it looks a lot easier than it really is! So many different things to juggle with what never seems like enough time. I believe you just have to deal with whatever comes at you day to day sometimes.

WHICH BUSINESS RESOURCES DO YOU RELY ON THE MOST?
We like to try to stay up to date on new technology. I rely heavily on GPS tracking, electronic logs, and maintenance software. I also try to stay up on articles in Water Well Journal and in several distributors’ newsletters.

WHAT RULES AND REGULATIONS KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT?
DOT and FMCSA rules, without question. I know a lot of their rules are in place for good reasons, but it seems to just keep taking more time and money to comply. And when some comply and some don’t, it’s not a level playing field on our cost of doing business.

HOW CAN DRILLING FIRMS RECRUIT THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS?
I wish I had the answer. If you can find a younger generation employee who wants to work, grab ahold of them, challenge them, and try not to let them go.