Why Pay Premium Marine Lubricants if you can Get it Cheaper?
July 24, 2014
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The Marine Industry was still not at the strength way back in 2007 / 2008 and many ship owners were still fighting with low charter rates which hardly pay for the operational cost of their vessels.
The reason most lubricants distributor faced every now and then questions from their customers “why should they pay a premium for Shell Products & your Services if we can get it cheaper around the corner from one of the local blending plants?”
The lubricants distributor such as Hamburg Trading House understood their challenge since customers have to be very cost conscious in order to survive.
And this is not a new challenge. Most people are facing these kinds of challenges everywhere and not only related to marine lubricants or marine Lubrication. It is part of our daily lives to evaluate offers, compare it with others before making a decision.
But if we are honest, what are we going for when we make decisions for our private use. Let us take for example a new private car. Should we go for the cheapest price or should we look at the total cost first before making a decision. Means to say for instance if you buy a new car, you would check of course the price for the car itself, but you would also look what are included in the warranty offered for the price, or the service intervals for the car to maintain the warranty. What are the cost for the service and spare parts compared to other makers? So you would probably check what the medium to long term total investment is and consider also the re-sell value of your new car / investment.
And this is exactly what companies should advise to their customers. They may save a couple of US$ on the initial purchase but do they also have all the OEM approvals( Original Engine Manufacturer ) to maintain the warranty?
The local blending plant is using virgin base oil or recycled one. Have they ever done own R&D on the products they are selling? Do they stand in for their products with a Product Liability that a marine lubricants distributor should do?
What about their technical advice and used-oil analysis? Can they extend the oil change time / drainage frequency through used oil analysis? Can they help you with the interpretation of the used-oil analysis results and draw conclusions on corrective actions?
Lubricant distribution business should not be only about selling lubricant products such as shell products. It should be about understanding costumer needs and adding value to their operations. At the end it can be justified that the small premium customers may pay established lubricant distribution business such as Hamburg Trading House compared to the around the corner local blender can even save your assets and your business.
According to HTH president, “We have the in house knowledge plus the tight relationship with the Shell Technical Team being an authorized Shell Marine products distributor; to assure you timely and professional support. One thing our customers very much appreciate are the technical seminars we are conducting twice a year in Dubai. It is a great mix of how and where lubricants are produced, the many different applications onboard ships, the correct sampling of used oil analysis and what happens with the customer samples at the laboratory plus the use and the reason for Oil Management Systems equipment such as Tribomar Test Equipment on site test kits for lubricants. The broad range of items we are touching and the interactive way of conducting the seminar are one reason for our customers to send their staff to our seminars.
“We love our business and we are here to stay and grow with our customers.”
Please feel free to call Hamburg Trading House for a meeting and they will talk you through their complete offer which they can tailor to your specific needs. This is one of the many ways how they can differentiate from “Blending Shops”, also from “stiff” Oil Majors sometimes.
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