Meeting Customer Expectations

InsightFuel team and material loaded and heading to job site.

InsightFuel team and material loaded and heading to job site.

Your Contractors and Suppliers are Your Business as far as Your Customer in Concerned

For me, when I eat at a restaurant, the waitress or waiter is the restaurant. The fella that takes care of all of my lawn care needs is the lawn care company. And the garden center where I buy my trees and shrubs is the grower of the trees and shrubs that I bought. If something goes poorly with my meal because of the service, the restaurant could fall off my approved list. If my grass gets burned out because the technician set the equipment incorrectly, I may be looking for a new lawn care company. If the trees and shrubs die because they were of poor quality or diseased, I’m likely buying my shrubbery elsewhere.

So here’s my point… The quality and delivery of the materials you provide to your customer must meet the expectations of that customer. The quality and timeliness of the work done by the subcontractors you hire must meet the customer’s expectations. The people who are employees of your company and who are making direct contact with your customers must meet the expectations of the customer.

As an aside, please note my use of the phrase “meet the customer’s expectations” instead of “exceed the customer’s expectations”. Of course I want my customers to be thrilled. Through speaking with our customers about their experiences with suppliers and contractors, I have found that they tend to set their expectations high in comparison to what they will accept. So, meeting those expectations means I am not pricing my product or service higher than what my customer is willing to pay, and my customer is thrilled because their expectation was met. Okay, back to my point.

Here are 4 ways to stay on your customer’s preferred supplier list:

Continue Reading

Bringing Lean Concepts to CNG Fueling Station Construction

Look for the 'Bright star in the dark night'.

Look for the ‘Bright star in the dark night’.

Let me start by stating what is obvious to any companies that are operating in the CNG-for- Transportation industry in North America…it’s a bear.

As we at InsightFuel begin the process of setting our course for the next 1-3 years, we find ourselves using creative business planning discussion phrases like “looking for the bright stars in the dark night” and one that our owner, Jeff, was recently introduced to, “Strategy under uncertainty”.

Although uncertainty abounds in our industry right now, one thing I am certain about is that these times call for extraordinary execution in planning, designing and operations. No one is carrying underutilized resources. Nobody has “extra” money (you know…like my kids always used to ask me for when they were young).  As well, programs and projects cannot have unexpected cost overruns and lengthy schedule delays. We’re all “Leaned-up” just to protect our businesses.  It’s for those reasons that Lean concepts have a clear place in the construction of CNG fueling stations.

Now, I have to come clean on one thing before I continue pronouncing the value of Lean concepts… I hate (okay Mom, I strongly dislike) Lean terminology. All the terms like “Muda”, “Heijunka”, “Kaizen”, “Poka-Yoke” and the like irritate me and so, I will not be using any of those in describing opportunities to improve execution.

Below are four ways to improve project execution:

Continue Reading

The National Clean Fleets Partnership Grows to Include 18 Member Companies

What do Best Buy, Johnson Controls, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Veolia Environmental Services have in common? Each company has been added to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, a public-private venture that assists the country’s largest fleet operators reduce the amount of gas and diesel they spend nationwide.

“As part of [President Obama’s] approach to reducing fuel costs for helps American consumers and businesses, the National Clean Fleets Partnership leading U.S. companies reduce their fuel use, save money, and become models for fleets across the national to improve their efficiency,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Continue Reading

Station Mid-life Crisis

abandoned gas station

Abandoned gas station.

Is your station having a mid-life crisis?

Many are, as they reach their service midlife.

Stations built 10-15 years ago were designed with the materials available at the time.  This means smaller diameter tubes, less efficient gas flow, and slower filling rates.

Standards have evolved since then as well.  Current standards can be easily incorporated during a station upgrade.

InsightFuel can upgrade and repair your CNG fueling station in just a matter of days by the following process.

Continue Reading

Unveiling at Midwest Green Fleet Forums

CNG Time Fill Hose Nozzle

Our CNG time fill hose nozzle.

A reminder that we will be at Midwest Green Fleet Forums next week, August 1st-2nd, in Columbus, OH. Join us at this exciting show and network with clean transportation stakeholders from throughout the midwest who are dedicated to reducing emissions with alternate fuels and saving money.

Continue Reading

Come see us at Midwest Green Fleets Forum

Come see us at Midwest Green Fleets Forum August 1st-2nd! We will be sharing details of two new programs available to existing NG fleet owners – a fueling hose refurbishment program and a minimally-invasive station expansion program.

Continue Reading

Maintain Coalescing Filters to Prevent Poor Engine Performance


Extensive sludge discharge shown in the photo below the coalescing filter indicates it is poorly maintained

There is so much information available about selecting the right coalescing filter type and size. You can read for hours about how coalescing filters work and where to place them in order to reach the desired outcome for the oil carryover and cleanliness in high pressure CNG fuel lines.  Coalescing filters are positioned in multiple locations along the fueling station CNG lines, in the fuel dispensers and in the CNG vehicle high pressure fuel system lines.  The specification sheets for coalescing filters are full of details including the oil carryover Parts Per Million weight (PPMw) and micron size of the particles that will be trapped.

Continue Reading

Preventing Damage Caused by Linear Expansion

The photo above shows damage cause by linear expansion of stainless steel tubing. Linear expansion can lead to damage ranging from unsightly workmanship to connection leaks and complete failure on CNG Fueling stations, CNG vehicle fuel delivery systems, CNG tube trailers or any system where high pressure CNG stainless steel tubing is being run and significant temperature changes are present.

Continue Reading

Prevent CNG leaks with the Right Knowledge, Skills and Experience


Don’t let high pressure become your weak link

From a safety standpoint, nothing is more critical to successful station commissioning than properly installed high pressure gas lines.   Involving experts who have specific knowledge, skills and experience with the materials, components and installation methods can add value to the station project from design through commissioning.

Continue Reading