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Nicholas Demel Interview

Introduction of Nicholas Demel

Rob Cook: We’re here today and to visit with, Nicholas Demel a little bit about, his job and Bamert Seed as a whole. But Nicholas, would you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about your title and your, your background.

Nicholas Demel: My name’s Nicholas Demel. I grew up in Pep, Texas, just a couple of miles down the road. Grew up on a family farm, farmed for a couple of years with my dad and father-in-law, and then went back to school, worked for USDA & NRCS for five years and, kind of fell into working with Bamert Seed Company. So I’ve been blessed to be here about eight and a half years now.

How Has Your Background Allowed You To Be Successful With Our Customers?

Rob: Yeah. And the company’s been blessed, blessed to have you and your skillset here also. Nicholas, can you tell us a little bit about how you feel your background, growing up on a family farm and then your work with, NRCS, has allowed you to be successful with our customer?

Nicholas: A lot of our customers have had dealings with a NRCS or USDA or some other type of government agency. So a lot, a lot of times that kind of opens the door for, the, them understanding that, that you, you may know, kind of the ins and outs of, of what they do and understand their programs and their, their regulations and their standards and stuff that they, that they have to stick to.

How Much Time Do You Spend Helping Our Customers Understand How To Plant That Seed?

Rob: How much time do you spend helping, our customers understand how to, to plant that seed?

Nicholas: You know, it’s different for every customer. Typically, you know, whenever they, they first call in, a lot of times they, they have no idea what, what they’re, what they’re trying to accomplish, or they, they want grass there, but they have no idea what they, what they need to do to get it established. So, that’s typically kind of what, what I start off with. Like, what equipment do you have available, how many acres are we working with, what do you want it to look like with when you’re done? What sort of, what sort of price point are we, are we trying to stay in? Are you, you wanting flowers out there? Are we talking just grasses? So, you know, it’s, it’s different for all of them, but you know, after the first time that they buy and order, they call back the next time, you know, they, they kind of already have the, the process down of, of what they need to do and how they need to do it.

What Surprised You Most About Bamert / Industry?

Rob: Great. So, thinking back, I think you said eight and a half years ago when you, when you started, what surprised you most when you first got here about the company and then maybe about the industry also.

Nicholas: I would say kind of together, what surprised me the most was maybe how, how well Bamert is known industry-wide. Cause I remember one of the first things I had to do was call and order in some seed. And, I call, I was calling three or four different places to get pricing on seed. And these people didn’t know me, but they knew Bamert Seed and, and it wasn’t like I was calling Lubbock, like I was calling different states like North Dakota, Wyoming. And these people knew who Bamert Seed was. And, they didn’t ask me any, any sort of particulars. They was just, what, what do you need? Here’s your price. And whenever it came time to order the seed, they just shipped me several thousand dollars worth of seed that, and they didn’t know me from, from anybody, so I was like, man, Bamert Seed is, is well known industry wide. So I think that that was kind of what really blew me away.

How Has Bamert's Reputation Grown?

Rob: Yeah, and I, I’ve seen that too. So, over your eight years, what, what what changes, as, as far as as Bamert’s reputation do you think you’ve seen, do you think it’s grown outside of, the industry, the wholesale industry into, more of the end user, the, and, and different industries reclamation ag? Where, where do you start?

Nicholas: Definitely, definitely. I, I would say when I first started, it seemed like we were more, not so much focused on wholesale, but that was kind of where a lot of it was. And it was also a lot of, folks calling in and knowing exactly what they wanted and just placing that order. Whereas now it seems like we’re more of, um, fixers like folks call with, with problems and, and want to visit, wanting to know what they need to do to fix a particular problem or, a specific blend and us making specific blends for, for their needs. Versus just being more of a, this is what I want and ship it. And definitely nowhere near as much wholesale as it was, you know, eight and a half years ago. 

What Problems Do We Solve For Our Customers?

Rob: Sure. So maybe to that point, what challenges, what problems do you think, uh, that we fix or that we solve for our customers? And I’m sure those vary across industries, but what are the main challenges you think we’re able to fix?

Nicholas: I, I, I think a, a big part of it is, getting them, you know, ground stabilization or, you know, just some sort of vegetation started and a lot of times using like the least amount of equipment possible. Cause a lot of times, you know, folks don’t have the, the, the ideal seeding equipment for, for the kinds of grass that we have. So trying to get them to be successful with, with what they have available to them versus having to go out and buy a, an expensive piece of machinery to get the job done.

What Do You Enjoy Most About Your Job?

Rob: Sure. What, what do you, what do you enjoy most about your job? What’s the best, what’s the best part about coming in every day besides seeing me?

Nicholas: Man, you took the words right outta my mouth. You know, I, there’s a, I guess maybe a two-part answer. Years later, whenever people call in and say, you know, I don’t, I don’t order much seed, but I ordered seed, you know, two or three years ago, and that, that seed, that project really took off and it, you know, over the last six months, it’s really, you really develop into it really good looking pasture. I take pride in, especially if it’s a blend that, that we helped develop. If they didn’t have, they have no, no specs and, and no idea what they, what they need to be planting. If, if we start from nothing and, you know, a year or two later they have, you know, a really good established, pasture take, I’ll take a lot of pride in, in knowing that, that we, that we, that we had a, a big role, a role in that. 

What Do Your Focuses Provide For The Customers?

Rob: Yeah. You know, one, one of, one of the things you definitely bring to the team and, one of the ways you lead is, your, your focus on the, on the turnaround time and the way you’re able to, quickly get back, and provide service, to our customer, no, no matter what to ask. What do you think that provides for, for our customers?

Nicholas: I think that, you know, instills in them that, that we, that we’re here for them and their time is important to us. You know, if, if they’re having the wait, to, to get a quote, or if they’re waiting longer for their seed to me, that that meant maybe they’re thinking like, these guys don’t think that they we’re important. So no matter what size the order is, no matter if, you know, it’s a, you know, 32 square feet front yard or something, like, we’re, we’re going to get you your seed. So no matter what size of the project is, you’re, we’re, you’re important to us.

Rob: Yeah, I agree. And I, and I think our customers recognize that and the rest of the team does too, and that rubs off and, and I know, timing is seems to be an issue for a lot of our, of our customers, and you’re able to help them meet those restraints very well, very well.

The Dynamic Of All 3 Parts Of The Company

Rob: So in, in your perspective, tell me a little bit about, the dynamic, uh, of, of all three parts of our company, kind of the way we have ’em arranged, the production, the warehouse, and the sales, the dynamic, how, all three of those groups work together, and then the value that each brings

Nicholas: Sure. I, it, it’s really amazing how well all three of those groups kind of converge into one big team. You know, there’s, there’s the production, the warehouse cleaning and the, the order fulfilling, and then the sales. But it seems like more often than not, they just kind of converge into whatever needs to be done, you know, that that’s where we’re, we’re focusing all our, our time and energy. So it, it’s really amazing that that many different individuals can come together and, and really work for the whatever needs to be done and, and focus on, on that particular item.

Rob: Sure. I agree. It, it is how amazing and how each other, all feel accountable, accountable to each other.

Nicholas: Sure, sure.

Rob: And, it seemed like we’ve kind of all adopted getting, getting better every day, and it seems like you, each group continues to get better every day and, and be, because we feel accountability.

Nicholas: Sure, sure.

What Excites You The Most About The Future Of Bamert?

Rob: What’s excites you most about the future of Bamert Seed?

Nicholas: You know, it probably their, just their ability to, to think outside the box and constantly, asking what can we do to improve what, what technologies are out there, what ideas are out there that we, that we can, you know, grab ahold of and, and see how we can improve what we’re doing day to day. It’s really, it’s really, amazing how, how the Bamerts take that to heart. And they, they listen to, to all of us. And whenever we have any sort of, you know, input and new ideas and, and they really, they, they seem to, to want to do the, the, the biggest and the best and the newest. So it’s really, it’s really comforting to know that, that, that we’re working for people that that, that are willing to think outside the box.

Rob: Yeah. It’s fun to be a part of it.

Nicholas: It is, definitely is. Yeah.

What Common Questions Do You Get?

Rob: It’s fun to be a part of. So what, what are some of the common questions, that you get asked, from people outside the industry about what you do for a living?

Nicholas: Typically folks will just say like, so you sell grass seed? Yeah. So you sell grass seed. Well, that, and I, I tell ’em like, that’s maybe the end game, like you were selling grass seed, but we’re fixing people’s problems. Like, like, and, and that’s typically what I tell folks is like, there’s like a, there’s a list of questions that I ask, like, like, where are you at? What are we working with? Is there anything growing there? Now what, what are you wanting in in the future? Are we gonna graze this? Are we gonna hay it? Are you just wanting it for ground cover? So, I mean, it’s more of, fixing a problem than just, just selling the seed.

Rob: Great.

Nicholas: Like, the size of the, the order the size of the customer is not what’s important. It’s, it’s more or less them, them feeling like they’re important no matter if it’s a, a, a 30,000 acre job or a, you know, know a a thousand square feet front yard job. Like just them realizing that we’re here for them no matter what, what size their, their project is.

What Else Should We Know About Your Role?

Rob: Great. Yeah. I think you, accomplished that. Is there anything else that you think, everyone should know about your role here or about the company industry that we missed?

Nicholas: Man, it’s just a great family oriented company. Places I worked before, they’ll say they’re family oriented, they’re, but to, to come to a place where people actually ask like, how, how’s Poppy doing? Or how, how’s your wife? Or, did y’all have fun at Disneyland? And sincerely actually mean it. It is really an amazing, amazing feeling.

Rob: Great. Thanks man.

Nicholas: Yes, sir.