February 19, 2013 | Vol. 62, No. 04

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Dear PEI Member,

I have attended plenty of management seminars and conferences during my 34 years with PEI. While many of the educational sessions have been directly sponsored by PEI, I have gone to others hosted by other trade associations involved in our industry. And because what's discussed there might help me answer questions from members later on, I pay attention to what the speaker says.

On three separate occasions since November, the speakers have mentioned Michael Porter's 1985 classic Competitive Advantage. The mention of his book resonates with me because it is THE book I refer members to when they want to explore the concept of creating and sustaining a competitive advantage in our industry―and getting compensated handsomely as a result. It has also served as my go-to textbook when I help craft PEI's long term go-to-market strategy.

I asked the last two speakers who referenced Competitive Advantage why they singled out this book when so many others are available. Their answer: "Because it's the best. End of discussion."

According to Porter, a competitive advantage exists when a firm is able to deliver the same benefits as competitors but at a lower cost (cost advantage), or deliver benefits that exceed those of competing products or service offerings (differentiation advantage). Porter's third strategy is what he calls a focus strategy, which is where companies aim to serve a specific segment of a market rather than the entire market, thus achieving a cost or differentiation advantage in that segment that other competitors can't copy. In all these cases, the competitive advantage enables the firm to create superior value for its customers and superior profits for itself.

The worst place to be in Porter's analysis is "stuck in the middle." That's where a firm is not the cost leader and is really not differentiated. The company is adequate at a lot of things but can't rise above the competition. A company stuck in the middle can survive, but will earn attractive profits only if the structure of its industry is highly favorable, or if the firm is fortunate enough to have competitors that are also stuck in the middle. Usually, however, such a firm will be much less profitable than rivals achieving a cost or differentiation advantage.

This is not meant as a review of Porter's Competitive Advantage. That is best left to others. It serves, however, as an affirmation that a book written 28 years ago by a 38-year-old Harvard professor contains ideas and concepts that are considered gospel today.

Porter's Competitive Advantage

PEI's UST Component Compatibility Library

PEI RP Update


In This Issue


PEI and Industry News »





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PEI's UST Component Compatibility Library contains statements from 23 manufacturers of underground storage tank components regarding equipment compatibility with gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol or diesel containing more than 20 percent biodiesel. The compliance letters are used by tank owners to demonstrate compliance with the compatibility requirement of 40 CFR 280.32.

Manufacturers who would like to be included should email their compatibility statements to compliance@pei.org. Manufacturers submitting letters to date include: Acterra, Ameron International, Bravo Systems, Brugg Pipesystems, Containment Solutions, Hamilton Tanks, Highland Tank, KPS, Metal Products Company, Mid-South Steel, Modern Welding, Morrison Bros., National Environmental Fiberglass, NOV Fiber Glass Systems, Nupi Americas, Omegaflex, Owens Corning, Plasteel, Service Welding, Stanwade, Vaporless Manufacturing, Western Fiberglass and Xerxes.

Five of PEI's 15 recommended practices are at some stage of development or revision. Here is a status report on each of them.

  • Installation of Aboveground Storage Systems for Motor Vehicle Fueling (PEI/RP200). The aboveground tank installation committee will meet March 4 to review public comments to the 2008 version of the recommended practice. Expect the 2013 edition to be available this spring.
  • Installation of Bulk Storage Plants (PEI/RP800). The deadline for comments to revise the 2008 edition of this recommended practice is March 18. Those wishing to submit comments can do so online at www.pei.org/RP800.
  • Recommended Practices for the Design, Installation, Service, Repair and Maintenance of Aviation Fueling Systems (PEI/RP1300) is in final stages of proofing. This new publication should be available in March.
  • Recommended Practices for the Installation of Fueling Systems for Emergency Generators and Fuel Oil Supplied Boiler Systems (PEI/RP1400). The generator fuel systems installation committee will meet for the first time February 26-27 in Memphis. Publication of this recommended practice is not expected until the end of 2013, at the earliest.
  • Recommended Practices for Installation of CNG Fuel Systems (PEI/RP1500). PEI's CNG fuel system installation committee has scheduled its first meeting April 23-24 in Baltimore. Target publication date is the first half of 2014. 

Universal Valve Co.
, Elizabeth, New Jersey, has promoted Martin C. Pettesch to president. The announcement was made by Universal CEO Robert J. Milo. Pettesch has been with Universal more than 25 years and has over two dozen patents related to the petroleum equipment industry to his name.
has appointed John Foley to the position of business director of industrial filtration and director of international business development. PetroClear recently combined its filtration business with FRAM Group. This new business group, called FRAM Filtration, employs over 2,500 people and has manufacturing and distribution plants located throughout the world.
Petroleum Solutions, Inc. (PSI)
, Grand Prairie, Texas, has named Eric Hammer as branch manager of its Grand Prairie office. Phone: 972-314-2400. Email: ehammer@petsolinc.com 

Mike Hurley
, Charles E. Thomas Company, Gardena, California, will retire March 29 after spending over 50 years with the company―if part-time and summer jobs while going to high school and college are figured in. He began his career sweeping floors and doing odd jobs. Mike eventually oversaw inside sales, inventory control and purchasing as manager of customer service.

. Bills (SB 560 and HB 579) that are intended to encourage the development of natural gas vehicles were filed January 31 in the Florida House and Senate. The legislation would create a five-year natural gas fuel vehicle investment program that would provide rebates for the incremental cost or purchase of natural gas fuel vehicles. HB 4001, introduced by Florida State Representative Matt Gaetz, would repeal a state law requiring Florida service stations to sell only ethanol-blended gasoline.

Speedway LLC
, Enon, Ohio, has a capital projects budget of $225 million for 2013, according to the company's fourth quarter earnings report. Speedway president Anthony Kenney told the Dayton Business Journal that the company is focused on "taking our 1,460 convenience stores and looking at which ones need a face-lift or to be rebuilt."
Royal Dutch Shell's downstream division posted a profit of $5.3 billion worldwide during its 2012 fiscal fourth quarter. That is the best profit Shell's downstream division has posted since 2006. Overall, Shell's fourth-quarter earnings came in at $6.67 billion.

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and David Vitter (R-LA)
introduced legislation last week that would overturn EPA waivers that allow gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks. It would also prohibit the EPA administrator from granting any waiver for a blend above 10 percent ethanol.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris
has filed a civil lawsuit against BP West Coast Products, BP Products North America Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. for allegedly violating state laws by improperly monitoring, inspecting and maintaining underground storage tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale. The lawsuit also asserts, among other things, that leak detection devices were tampered with and the companies failed to test secondary containment and leak detection systems. The complaint was filed February 1 in Alameda County Superior Court and joined in prosecution in Alameda, San Bernardino, Glenn, Merced, Nevada, Newell, Placer, Stanislaus and Yuba counties.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is considering petitioning the Supreme Court to block the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of 15-percent ethanol blends (E15) in post-2001 model year vehicles after a divided federal appeals court recently rejected a bid from oil and food groups to reconsider an earlier finding that they lacked standing to bring suit on the matter. API has until mid-April to petition the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Missouri distributor
. Schwob Energy Services, Commercial & Industrial Fueling Division, 1625 Swift Avenue, North Kansas City, Missouri 64116, has applied for distributor division membership. David Burgoon is western regional sales commercial and industrial fueling for the firm, which was established in 2011. The company represents APT, ArningInd, BravoInc, ClayBailey, CntmtSoltn, EBW, FEPetro, Flex-Ing, FuelMaster, GPI, HighlandTk, IRPCOinc, LSI, Lincoln, Morrison, Smithpipe, OPW-FMS, OPW-ES, PemcoFL, Pneumrcatr, RedJacket, Samson, Simplex, Tuthill and VeederR. Schwob Energy Services offers complete turnkey fueling system design and construction. Sponsored for PEI membership by Kelly A. Mulligan, Morrison, Dubuque, IA. www.schwob.com
Guyana distributor. INDESCO - Industrial Equipment & Supplies Co., 19 Lambard Street, Werk-en-rust, Georgetown, Guyana, has applied for distributor division membership. Peter Ross is managing director for the firm, which was established in 1989. The company represents Blackmer, ChampLabs, Gilbarco, GPI, LqdCntrols and Tuthill. The company sells, installs and services petroleum marketing equipment. Sponsored for PEI membership by James D. Ether, Dalrymple, Saratoga Springs, NY.
Tank gauge manufacturer
. Zhengzhou Windbell Electric Co., Ltd., No. 9, Changchun Road, High-tech Industrial Development Zone, Zhengzhou City, Henan, China 450001, has applied for manufacturer division membership. Emily Hu is sales manager for the firm, which was established in 2004. The company manufactures automatic tank gauges which are sold through distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Yu Wang, SankiPtr, Beijing, China. www.windbellatg.com
Brazil filter manufacturer
. Oleofil Filtros Industria E Comercio De Equipamentos Industrias Ltda., Rua Das Industrias 131, Parque Industrial, Rolandia, Parana, Brazil 86600-000, has applied for affiliate division membership. Sergio R. Cobra is a director of the firm, which was established in 1998. The company specializes in manufacturing filters for diesel, biodiesel and oil/water separators. Sponsored for PEI membership by Jay Walsh, Franklin, Madison, WI. www.oleofil.com.br
Mississippi consultant
. Kevin Henderson Consulting LLC, 59 Summit Place, Brandon, Mississippi 39042, has applied for affiliate division membership. Kevin Henderson is president of the firm, which was established in 2011. The company consults to the petroleum storage tank industry. Sponsored for PEI membership by Wayne Geyer, STI, Lake Zurich, IL.
CNG retail fueling infrastructure developer
. VNG.co, 150 Monument Road, Suite 500, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004, has applied for service and construction division membership. Bill Mitchell is director of operations for the firm, which was established in 2010. The company is a full service CNG provider. Sponsored for PEI membership by David E. George, GatewayPt, Hatboro, PA. www.vng.co
Singapore service company. JS Solutions(S) Pte. Ltd., No. 1, Yishun Street 23, YS-ONE Building #05-36, Singapore 768441, has applied for service and construction division membership. David Chia is sales consultant for the firm, which was established in 2010. The company provides pumps and flow meters to integrate systems for a complete solution. Sponsored for PEI membership by Richard Yap, PacificRim, Singapore.
Sudan installation company. MH Technical Industries, Industrial Quarter No. 35, Sothern of Local Market, Khartoum, Sudan, has applied for service and construction division membership. Mustafa Hashim Abu Zaid is managing director for the firm, which was established in 2002. The company installs turnkey equipment projects. Sponsored for PEI membership by Marissa Huguet Bello, Gespasa, Balaguer, Spain.


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© 2013
Petroleum Equipment Institute
P. O. Box 2380
Tulsa, OK 74101-2380

The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.