When C.I.Agent Solutions® was originally founded in 2000, the company’s focus revolved around our flagship product, C.I.Agent® Solidifying Polymers, and its ability to revolutionize the oil spill response industry. Not like the solutions focus we are today, which benefits the utility industry immensely. Table top demonstrations of the polymers in action became the cornerstone of our marketing efforts, providing instant credibility necessary to prove it offered more benefit than just a “magic trick.” Media coverage of its amazing solidification properties abounded; company President Dan Parker even appeared on “The Huckabee Show” on FOX News and showcased how C.I.Agent® works on an oil spill on water – and Mike Huckabee actually drank the water afterwards!
C.I.Agent Oil Containment Solutions Demo
Fast forward six years to 2016. While our innovative polymer technology hasn’t changed, the way we perform the demo has, which you can see as Meredith LaMaster, one of our corporate sales representatives, walks us through the process. Watch how we’ve changed our focus towards oil containment solutions. This demo is specifically focused towards a solution for the utility industry.
Utility Industry Focused C.I.Agent Oil Containment Solutions Demo
Okay, now that you’ve seen the new demo, you probably recognize some things about it have changed, most noticeably in the language, descriptions and the utility industry highlight that we use. Here are the three main reasons why we recently changed the focus of our marketing cornerstone to highlight the utility industry – the C.I.Agent® Demo.
C.I.Agent Solutions Impact on the Utility Industry
1. “One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.” (Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group)
Utility Industry: A New Found Niche
If you haven’t heard yet, C.I.Agent Solutions is a NEW COMPANY! We are no longer in the spill response industry. We tried that route, and we failed. But we didn’t stand around licking our wounds or scratching our heads. Instead, we regrouped, refocused and moved forward in pursuing a niche that best suits our unique ability to utilize adaptable alternative technologies to solve problems for the electrical utility industry. To reflect our change, the message of our demo has changed directions. It was once assumed that the polymer technology we use was the solution itself for secondary containment, but it turns out it is only a small, but important, piece to our solutions for the utility industry.
2. “Turn a perceived risk into an asset.” (Aaron Patzer, Mint founder)
How We Formed Partnerships to Offer More Effective Utility Industry Solutions
Why reinvent the wheel? Over the past couple of years, we’ve realized there are other like-minded companies with products which our solutions could make significant enhancements to, for the utility industry. We have actively sought out new partnerships that we feel will benefit them, ourselves and our customers. So basically, our goal moving forward is that everybody wins, especially the utility industry!
For example, have you heard about our strategic alliance with Strongwell®? For many years, we considered the world’s largest pultruder of fiberglass structural materials to be our direct competition, because of their COMPOSOLITE® secondary containment wall systems for utility industry needs. However, after engineering a containment design that featured Strongwell® composite walls along with a C.I.Agent® Geomembrane Liner and HFF Oil Stop Valve, we saw the value in a potential partnership. This partnership would greatly benefit both companies and the utility industry as a whole. Lucky for us, they did, too, and now both companies actively promote the COMPOSOLITE® walls with our solution enhancements for the utility industry.
3. “If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer focused allows you to be more pioneering.” (Jeff Bezos)
Utility Industry solution pioneers
We are pioneers in regards to harnessing alternative technology to tackle environmental challenges in the electric utility industry, and that’s how we attract customers initially. However, we keep customers by providing excellent customer service. The utility industry knows firsthand how important it is to keep up customer service.
We’ll be the first to admit, while we know a LOT about secondary oil containment in the utility industry, we don’t know nearly as much about other environmental issues our customers are up against. If it will benefit our customers, though, we’re willing to leverage our relationships with experts in other fields. If we can’t directly assist in solving your problems, there’s a good chance we know who can, and we’re more than happy to make that introduction! For instance, we were approached by a customer who was searching for a treatment method to remove dissolved metals from wastewater discharges from power plants, in compliance with the ELG Final Rule. While outside of our scope of expertise, we happily referred them to Lisa Farmen, chemical engineer and founder of Crystal Clear Technologies, who developed nano-materials capable of removing metals and other contaminants from water. So whether you are in the utility industry or not, if you need a solution C.I.Agent Solutions has your answer.
The Utility Industry step by step guide to the C.I.Agent® Secondary Containment Solutions Demo
6 Steps To Delivering a Stellar Demo of C.I.Agent® Secondary Containment Solutions
As you can see from the video, Meredith LaMaster explains how we use and promote adaptable alternative technologies for secondary oil containment systems for the utility industry throughout her demonstration. She uses actual containment scenarios to exhibit how C.I.Agent Polymers function in real-life applications. This allows the utility industry to better understand exactly why our solution works for them. She also established credibility with the utility industry audience, by discussing our relationships with other companies and industry experts. Keep her performance in mind as we walk through the demo process. The following 6 steps are outlined in the same way we instruct our internal sales team.
Step 1: Establish credibility with the utility industry audience
It’s important to start your demo off on a strong note, which is best done by giving the utility industry audience a reason to give you their attention. Explain that we focus on providing solutions for a small niche within the energy sector, and that this focus has allowed us to secure relationships with other like-minded companies who also provide solutions, just in different interest areas than our offerings. Three examples we recommend using are:
- One of the industry hottest issues today is selenium. We are working with Lisa Farmen out of Portland, OR, to help promote her technology which removes selenium under the presence of high sulfates.
- Another hot button issue is the negative environmental effect of coal. Bobby Chen out of Bowling Green, KY, has come up with an enzyme treatment for coal prior to burning it that helps reduce emissions 20-40%.
- Finally, keeping dissolved pharmaceuticals out of our water supply has become a huge burden. However, through the use of nanotechnology, scientists at the College of Wooster have come up with a method to remove those pharmaceuticals
Once you’ve touched on some specific topics that may have piqued the utility industry audience’s interest, bring it back to the demo at hand. Let them know your main purpose – to specifically showcase the technology used in all of the secondary containment and filtration media used at C.I.Agent Solutions for the utility industry.
Step 2. Set the stage, including the props
Our demo consists of the following:
- A cup, representing the utility industry needed containment – in Meredith’s example, the cup represented Strongwell® COMPOSOLITE® fiberglass walls, but they could also represent our Geomembrane Liner system, a concrete moat or basin with drainage to a HFF system in a nearby vault that flows to daylight, or a number of other applications.
- Water, representing rain water or a rain event
- Transformer oil or diesel fuel, which all energized electrical equipment such as transformers use to facilitate cooling
- C.I.Agent® Hydrocarbon Detection Strips (HDS) – light blue test strips that will wet and darken in the presence of oil and sheen
Step 3. Cue the villain music
Just kidding. But now it’s time to simulate a small leak and a major release that can occur in the utility industry.
- Pour the water into the containment area (cup) – this is to represent a heavy rainfall.
- Test the water with the HDS by dipping one end of it into the water – if no oil is present, it will not wet or turn blue.
- Add a drop of oil within the containment area to show the effects of a small transformer leak. These represent small leaks that our containment solution can handle without the utility industry company sending someone for maintenance.
- Test the water once again with the HDS – this time, the strip should go through a process called wetting, and will turn a slightly darker shade of blue. (Tip: It’s always wise to relate parts of the demo to specific C.I.Agent® solutions or systems. For example, at this point you could say, “A minor leak like this wouldn’t cause an
to completely shut down the system, but it would solidify any hydrocarbons it comes in contact with.”)
- Add a significant amount of oil to the cup of water, to represent a catastrophic transformer failure. The water in the cup is contaminated, which is confirmed by using a new HDS – it will turn a much darker shade of blue. What should the utility industry do now?
Step 4: “It’s a bird, it’s a plane …”
The utility industry needs a hero, to save the site from complete contamination … enter the adaptable technology behind our containment solutions, C.I.Agent Solidifying Polymers.
- Sprinkle a fair amount of C.I.Agent into the contaminated containment area (the cup of water with oil), using a fork to move it through the water.
Explain what’s happening to the utility industry audience, to ensure them it is NOT a magic trick. When it comes in contact with hydrocarbons, whether in this example cup or in an actual HFF like the application we previously mentioned, the powdery C.I.Agent granules solidify immediately, forming a floating, rubber-like mass. The process that takes place is known as microencapsulation. It is a physical reaction occurring on a molecular level, as the polymers grab the hydrocarbons and cling on to them, which will keep the hydrocarbons from leaching out, thus allowing for safe disposal in landfills. Even if an organism is to ingest it, the solidified mass is bio-unavailable, meaning it cannot be metabolized. This is a no risk disposal for any utility industry company.
Step 5: The proof is in the details
And to prove it, we’ll use a new C.I.Agent® Hydrocarbon Detection Strip.
- Remove the solidified rubber-like mass from the water and place it in a clean containment area (another cup of water).
- Use the new HDS to test the water in the original containment cup to test for the presence of hydrocarbons. The strip shouldn’t wet or darken.
- Test the water in the new containment area. The strip shouldn’t wet or darken.
- Test the rubbery mass by rubbing the strip across it. Once again, the HS will stay light blue and will not wet. (you may want to invite a utility industry audience member to test the strip for their self)
Step 6: Wrap it up with a call to action
It’s time for the utility industry to respond!
If you did the demo correctly, you should have impressed the utility industry audience. But it’s important that they know while it’s an adaptable alternative for secondary containment, the polymer technology alone is not the whole solution. To protect your oil-filled transformers and substations with reliable, custom-engineered secondary containment that is guaranteed by an insurance policy of up to $7 million, please contact C.I.Agent Solutions directly.