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    Friday
    May132011

    Green CEO Interview with Greg Battle

    Greg Battle, CEO of Coolant Control

    Coolant Control was founded in 1976 and started controlling sump systems at Ford Motor Company.  As we reviewed the problems that Ford was having with maintaining proper coolant levels we decided to get involved with coolants from a manufacturing stand point. Today Ford Motor is our largest customer and 65% of our business is automotive. P&G, Kroger’s, Macy’s Cintas and 3000 other companies make up the other 35%.

    Coolant Control knew that it would only be a matter of time before our customers would demand Green products so ten years ago we developed products using Canola oil to substitute for mineral oil. Canola oil has the same ability to with stand the same abuse as mineral can in machining operations.

    Our unique green solutions for our customer’s is to provide Green cleaners and lubricants using canola oil made from corn.  Our customers and their customers want Green products. The reason green is important is a no brainer.

    Coolant Control’s response to the argument that going green is more costly is simply, green has been more expensive in the past because of the energy required to turn stock products into Green products. The price of oil has sky rocketed and now canola oil is lower priced. Our customers have come to realize that when they ask for Green lubricants they pay a higher price but for those that want Green products the extra cost are a cost of doing business. We share our cost with our customers so that they know the truth about the higher charges.

    Green cleaners are the most popular Green products we currently make. Prior to selling Green cleaners we do an assessment of the area they want to clean using a Green product. Sometimes Green cleaners don’t work for certain applications and often we find that none of our cleaners will clean everything. If Green products work we usually give the customer 5 gallons to test the product for themselves. We find that customers often use too much or not enough product and it makes a difference.  The industry talks a lot about going Green but we know it’s mostly talk.

    We can convert / turn over our entire manufacturing facility into a green manufacturing site. We have the ability to quickly switch from one to the other and not cross-contaminate the fluids. When they get ready if they ever do on a large scale we are ready.

    Coolant Control’s biggest challenge to green implementation, delivery and practice and competitive advantage is that there is very little competition. It seems that most of the billion dollar companies are waiting for more customers to step up. We have found that our competitors that do make Green products make a product that is impossible to waste treat and thus has to be burned to dispose. Coolant Control has the only product that can be waste treated on site reducing the cost to the factory.  We have a patent for our own chemistry.

    The three most significant developments that we see effecting Coolant Control are (1) Our largest customers want to consolidate their purchasing in one place. We find that this centralization is not good for us because they want to only buy the lowest priced products and these purchasing people don’t understand our value proposition. (2) The EPA and OSHA are pushing lubricants companies like us to test products using more expensive equipment and more tests requiring we hire more people for testing. This will cost us money. (3) The current chemist we have has vast knowledge of our business and will be retiring and taking that intellectual property with them. We have had to re-hire some of our retired chemist at higher rate of pay than when they previously were employed. The next generation of chemists has theoretical knowledge but little applied experience which will take time to acquire. This is a very serious problem.

    In reflection of our business in today’s market we rate our organization on a scale from one (1) to ten (10), 10 being the highest in green aptitude when considering Coolant Control’s processes, systems, delivery and our supply chain as a firm 10 for sure. We know how to go Green quickly and sustain ourselves. We are waiting on the industry to move.