Choosing the right CNG equipment can be complex and confusing, but by choosing the right vendor you will be just one step away from adopting CNG, the next big success for your company and your career.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CNG VENDOR?
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Your CNG vendor MUST have been in business for at least 7 years in order to ensure that not only have they mastered the rules, but also the exceptions. Consider that it takes a minimum of 7 years to train an engineer from college to specialization. Why would you require less from the company in charge of helping you deliver your nex big success?
STATIONS BUILTS: The only validation for years in business is the number of stations built. Make sure the vendor you are considering has built at least 3 stations per year in the past 7 years. You do not want a vendor to experiment and accrue knowledge at the expenses of your project.
OPERATE THEIR OWN BRANDED STATIONS: Those CNG vendors operating their own stations will bring a lot more than just well-assembled equipment to your project. They will bring real knowledge and experience about highs and lows of operating a station. They can anticipate and prevent many of the surprises that others will run into. They will train their staff on every single aspect of a CNG facility, every single day, without ever experimenting with their client's projects. They will improve their technology and best practices. They will collaborate with equipment manufacturers and contribute to the industry's technological evolution.
MANAGED LARGE PROJECTS AND ACCOUNTS WITH SIX OR MORE STATIONS: Your company might not need six stations; you might need only one, but when considering a vendor, experience in handling large projects for large companies willl tell you how ready and prepared the vendor is. Their experience tells you that they were up to the challenge in resources, quality, cost control, and scrutiny that a large enterprise will impose on vendor selection and commitment.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT: Added value comes from knowledge, the experience and innovation. The driver for innovation is experimentation. Years in business, dozens of stations built, large projects, owning stations and using them as a live research lab will allow your vendor to bring real innovative solutions and added value to your project.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY & MANUFACTURING: A CNG station will last for many years when built correctly but it will outlast all the other options when built with the right selection of equipment. Your vendor's ability to manufacture a portion of theequipment needed for a long lasting station within a reasonable budget will be a key factor in the succesful execution of your project. Beyond the cost savings, you will find that the integration of elements working as a whole delivers a much higher performance and greater ease of use than trying to assemble a puzzle made of many parts from many diffferent manufacturers.
FINANCIAL STRENGHT: Unlike vehicles, the CNG station is not a disposable piece of equipment with a limited shelf life. Your CNG station needs to be performing at maximum efficiency 24/7 during the next 10, 15 and 20 years. You want to make sure that the company that designed and built the station, will be in business during the many years to come not only for backing up their warranties and solving technical issues that might arise but mostly for assisting you in upgrading the station while your company grows and your fueling needs increase.
TURNKEY SOLUTIONS: Instead of getting involved with the CNG adoption process, you may simply want a company to resolve everything for you, taking your company from a diesel/before to a CNG/after in one step. You might even consider not owning the station at all, because based on the specific needs of your company and its capital expenditure strategy, it's best to simply pay for the fuel you use without further commitment or distraction.
MAINTENANCE & SERVICE PROGRAMS: A CNG station is only as good as its maintenance and service programs. Rigorous programs based on statistical and scientific data built over our many years of experience, in combination with a state-of-the-art monitoring system that reads every critical and essential value in real time 24/7, will ensure a flawless performance. You'll want a vendor with staff members dedicated exclusively to preventive and operatioinal service and maintenance, for assisting you in preventing and resolving challenging situations.
GRANT MONITORING & FILLING ASSISTANCE: CNG adoption is benefitting from many government programs aimed at easing adoption costs for converting your fleet and facility. Some vendors will mention the help but will offer little or no assistance with the process.
PERMITS FILLING AND HANDLING: Building a CNG facility is still a challenge when it comes to the city, fire marshal and other isntitution's approval needed for obtaining a permit. It takes much more than filling out paperwork. It takes years of experience to understand what needs to be ready and what needs to happen in order to obtain a permit without surprises. Is the vendor you are considering ready for this? How many times have they done it?