Placing value proposition
Engines and fed parts of construction equipment working in India are becoming more advanced at par with global standards. The advancements are characterised in the form of compact, electronic fuel-efficient engines, advanced transmission systems. Coupled with advancements, equipments are being placed to work in adverse conditions for longer hours with extended drain out intervals based on compressed work schedules. In accordance with the emerging requirements, Valvoline is in the process of adopting an innovative approach towards formulating end-to-end solutions, which contributes towards bringing down total operation costs of equipment and finally products placement equally backed by our strong research and development and wide spread market network. One of our new offerings that contribute towards cost effectiveness is our super seal solutions which can be plugged in the radiators to arrest leakages of the coolants. Our other new formulation is additives for engines to flush out dust during the drain out intervals. The additives will ensure efficient working of our lubricants based on the advanced requirements of the engines in India’s highly dusty environments at work sites. To ensure that the newer products being appropriately handled, we are imparting education and training to operators and owners of the construction and mining equipment plant and machinery appropriate safety and product handling practices that needs to be adhered while handling the products. Besides we are training them on proper maintenance practices.
Newer advancements in lubricants offerings and approach behind offering valued products
Some of our newer advancements in lubricants are our new synthetic engine lubricants and new generation transmission oils. With advanced oxidation properties, the oil will be able to work in adverse conditions and provide efficient working of engines at high temperatures. The unique selling proposition of the combination of engine and transmission oil is that it is able to offer better fuel efficiency at least by 3-4 percent. At Valvoline Cummins, we consider value addition in lubricants which is essential as that will significantly contribute towards the brand recall in the competitive market. This is because; India as compared to other global markets has extensively varied geographical territories and extensively adverse job site conditions. The machinery has to provide extended uptime while continuously running in different environments. This can mean humid, hot, dry as well as severe cold conditions. There have to be valued, specialized engine oils and other lubricants for allowing the machines to work in all such conditions. For performance of the engine in varied service conditions, Valvoline offers its most premium product Premium Blue 15W-40 API CI4+ engine oil. The oil can provide advanced lubricant performance in modern low emission diesel engines. The engine oil endorsed by Cummins and meeting requirement of all other leading OEMs, is recommended for use in medium and heavy duty diesel engines for off-highway, construction, mining, marine and loco applications amongst others. The oil has optimum engine oil drain intervals. The properties of the oil include unique dispersive polymer technology with premium group 2 base oil for advanced soot control. It also has advanced cold flow and pumpability properties. The CI-4+ range of Premium Blue oils are especially recommended in EGR engines which are now increasingly used in all modern equipment as mandated requirement to reduce environmental emissions. EGR engines recirculate the exhaust gases back into the engine to reduce emissions into the environment. However, the effect of this is that great stress is then placed on the engine to cope up with increased formation of acid and sludge. It is thus vital that the engine oil for EGR engines be of completely new technology and Premium Blue CI4 oil is formulated to meet these requirements.
Newer offerings in grease and hydraulic oils
We are offering new variant of zinc free hydraulic oil for longer life of the hydraulic systems. Being zinc free it will result towards minimum erosion of the white metal, thus ensuring longer life of the hydraulic systems. Our new grease is water resistant and is ideal for backhoe loaders and excavators buckets in muck and under water usage.
Challenges towards promoting the new products and solutions
Our new valued products ensure that total operating costs of the equipment remain restricted. However, the irony in India is that despite cost of lubricants being less than 5-7 percent of the total operating costs of the plant and machinery, equipment owners stress towards deriving benefits from price per litre. Instead, the emphasis should be hourly output on per litre of lubricants. We are trying to address the issue by providing necessary information to the owners and operators on benefits of hourly output per litre while promoting our new variants of lubricants.
Ensuring on time product availability and support
Valvoline wants to be the most reliable supplier in this segment. Valvoline’s prime strategy towards ensuring brand promotion of our lubricants is ensuring timely delivery of the products at the desired locations. Ensuring timely delivery has allowed us to bring down inventory cost of one of our major customers in mining by Rs.2.2 crores per annum. Valvoline has 400 distributors catering to retail customer and 50+ distributors for B2B segment for ensuring delivery of our products. Valvoline product is available today at more than 50,000 retail outlets. This is an unmatched distribution network that no other private lubricant producer can match today.
Further, focusing towards timely delivery of our products, we are in the process of setting up a customer service cell that will be fully functional by March 2014. The cell will monitor the delivery status of the products. Customer support is being extended through our oil testing facility, which is a value proposition towards our products. This facilitates not only as a preventive maintenance tool but is also used for drain period extension and thus enhancing overall cost efficiency. Oil testing through Valvoline’s POST (Progressive Oil Sample Test) facility in Mumbai and Asansol in West Bengal is one of the most acclaimed used oil testing facilities in the country. Further enlarging our oil testing support, we are in the process of opening a new facility in Noida in Delhi’s NCR.
Valvoline has inaugurated its own fully integrated toll blending facility backed by its research and development wing at Ambernath in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs.150 crores producing 120 million litres lubricants per annum. It will be fully operational by end of 2013. The new facility will ensure long-term and complete delivery and security of Valvoline’s products.