The fuel-handling equipment industry has never been static. But some times bring more change than others. By any
standard, this is a time of intense change. New
fuels. New technologies. New entrants into the
market. New regulations. Consolidations and
mergers that are bringing new complexities to
the competitive landscape.
In such an environment, every PEI member
not only has to work in the present but also to
think about the future. This article, we hope,
will help you do just that. We’ve compiled the
perspectives of PEI’s 20 officers and directors
on the year ahead. Where will the biggest
opportunities lie? What dangers and obstacles
could get in the way?
We also asked these leaders to share how PEI
membership has contributed to the success of
their businesses. Perhaps you will find a benefit
or two that could be of value to you, too!
As you read the thoughts of the association’s
leaders, ask yourself what it all means for your
business. Which cautions should you take to
heart? Which opportunities are right for you? The
answers will vary from company to company. Just
be honest, be smart, and be strategic. When you
do, you’ll be well positioned to build a great 2015.
McKinney Petroleum Equipment
If I had to pick two broad
ways in which PEI has contributed to
my business’ success, the first would be
education and the second would be
the strong relationships within the PEI
family. Educationally, the resources are
many—among them, the knowledge we
gain from PEI’s recommended practices, the expertise provided by our
unpaid board of directors, ongoing input from our 10-Group and much-
needed insights from the annual Profitability Survey. Relationally, it seems
that people who get into the industry tend to stay in the industry. As an
example, in past years I have served on the board with Bernie Cooper,
Dennis Rethmeier, Steve Hieber and Kirk Mercer. This year, I will be on
the board with their sons, Tad Cooper, Ryan Rethmeier, Ben Hieber and
Andy Mercer. You really can’t help but become family when you work with
multiple generations for the greater good of our association.
Going into 2015, I think our industry has to be moderately
optimistic. Statistically, many PEI firms report that their return on
investment (ROI) is rebounding. In the months ahead, technological
advances (EMV, alternative fuels, etc.) should provide added business.
So, too, will the new EPA tank rule on testing and inspection. An
increase in competition and the pressure for lower margins will be
near-term tests for all PEI members. However, the long-term challenge
for many companies in our mature industry will be replacing an aging
and experienced workforce. Members that meet these challenges will
find significant success.