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Podcast Interviews

Emissions and Cooling Solutions

Learn about how one company is on a mission to solve emissions and cooling systems issues for fleets.

Episode 95: In this episode, we discuss emissions and cooling solutions. Marlow Payant works in Operations and Randy Griffith is the Director of Technical Sales at Emissions and Cooling Solutions, and they talked to us about their mission to provide fleets with exceptional service and a data-driven approach to providing maximum uptime.

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The Driving Force

To be successful in business you need to have a mission. Something that drives you forward when you encounter the inevitable challenges of starting and growing a business. At Emissions and Cooling Solutions that driving force can be found internally.

“For us it’s always been about the people at ECS. They have been our driving force to push us to where we are today,” said Marlow Payant of ECS.

Their vision is to be the primary solution provider for commercial diesel systems. To accomplish that goal, they have done three things very well. By being effective, economical, and timely they have been able to serve their customers and over the last ten-years achieved their vision.

Adapting to Changing Needs

“We started in 2010. Back then we were primarily focused on the cooling piece of our name. But at the same time, we saw a huge need from our customers on the emission side,” said Payant.

In response to that need, they created programs and solutions to help customers on the emission side of the business. As the complexity of these systems increased the need to work closely with customers and help them lower their bottom-line costs became a real focus.

Over the last 5-years they have collected data on every filter they’ve put through their system. This data driven approach has provided them with invaluable insights into how to better serve their customers. By incorporating data into how they serve their customers it allows them to adapt to the changing heavy-duty industry, but their vision will remain the same.

Repair, Renu, and Replace

“In our business, we’re very focused on the Return-on-Investment for the customer, and that’s vitally important for the fleets”, said Randy Griffith of ECS.

They provide their customers with three options:

  1. Repair, something not many companies are offering on the aftertreatment side.
  2. Renu, is not just a thermal cleaning, it’s an incorporation of multiple technologies to give fleets a high-quality alternative.
  3.  If beyond Repair or Renu, they offer high-quality replacements without a core charge.

To learn more, go to ECSPart.com.

Complete Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You’re listening to the Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about the heavy-duty parts you buy and sell, and keep you informed about what’s happening in the industry. This episode is sponsored by DPFXFIT a manufacturer of DPFs and DOCs that offer OEM durability and performance with aftermarket affordability. To learn more, go to dpfxfit.com. Welcome to the Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. It takes a lot to keep a commercial fleet running and to keep it at maximum efficiency and really to push that uptime so that the vehicles are earning and making profit for the fleet. And that is a real requirement for fleets today in the competitive landscape that they operate in. Our guests today have made it their mission to provide fleets with exceptional service and a data-driven approach to providing maximum uptime.

And as we all know over the last decade or so diesel emission systems have become a real pain point for fleets along with their cooling systems. And so our guests today are specialists in this. The name of their company is Emissions and Cooling Solutions, and I’m really happy to have Marlow Payant who’s in operations. Marlow welcome to the podcast. And we’ve also got Randy Griffith who’s the director of technical sales. Randy, happy to have you here. So I’d like to kind of start out by getting an understanding of where the business that you have, what’s the why behind it? What’s the motivation? Why is Emissions and Cooling Solutions in business Marlow?

Marlow Payant:

Yeah. So for us from day one, it’s always been the people at ECS, whether it’s the technician in the back, people on the phones, accounts payable, accounts receivable, it doesn’t matter who it was for us internally. It’s always been, they’ve been our driving force to push us where we are and where we’ve came from for the last 10 years. We’ve got the word ‘solutions’ in our name in that really airs to the side of our customers and our partners, who we work with day in and day out. We believe that that’s a real driving force for us, is that word solutions. We just believe that that the customer in the end is really looking for a solution to a problem usually.

Jamie Irvine:

You know, one of the things I’ve noticed in my years in heavy-duty is that sometimes people start to think that they are in the business of whatever service or product they sell. But I think you touched on something that’s so important that the driving force behind companies needs to be the total solution that they offer the industry. And I can really see that from your perspective that is that driving force. That’s moving you forward. I’d like to talk about the vision, the mission of the company, because I was looking at your website and you’ve listed those two things as being separate. And I’d like you to maybe explain to us the difference between the vision and the mission and how that relates to how you go to market with your services and products.

Marlow Payant:

Yeah. So for us, our vision is to be the primary solutions provider for commercial diesel systems. So that’s a pretty bold, big statement. And, and in order to accomplish that, we believe there’s really three things that we have to do well and be in the most effective way, the most economical and the most timely solution. And within those three tenants, that economical piece for us is really, really important. We’re big believers in not trying to solve problems by throwing parts at it, or, you know, just saying we’ll throw this on or that on; really we’ve spent years and years of labor of trying to figure out what is the most economical solution for the customer in order to increase his bottom line rather than just saying we want to increase our sales so we’re going to sell you a new part. It’s how do we come up with a solution to really help you, and create a long-term partnership with you.

Jamie Irvine:

Right, there’s no room for shotgun repairs in this industry, especially with, you know, it’s a different scenario with commercial work vehicles too, because these things are a work vehicle. They’re there to make money. They’re there to create a return on an investment. And they have a very important job to do that really supports our society, whether they’re delivering raw materials or finished goods or medical supplies. So it’s a great industry to be in. And we can’t take it from like that shotgun approach where you’re just throwing parts at the problem. It’s really about finding the solution for the customer. So your company’s been in business for many years now. I’d like to hear Marlow a little bit about the history of Emissions and Cooling Solutions.

Marlow Payant:

Yeah, so we started in 2010. We were primarily at that point on the cooling piece of our name. So radiators charge air coolers, heat exchangers, stationary power units. So in the early years there was a big focus on the cooling piece, but at the same rate, at the same time, we saw a need come from our customers on the emission side. So it was really at the very beginning stages of when the aftertreatment system was being introduced. So from an early on we’ve tested and cleaned and worked with customers on creating programs and solutions on the emission side, in order to help their bottom line.

Jamie Irvine:

I love to hear the origin stories for companies. And I can just imagine the company starting in 2010 being focused on the cooling part of the truck. And then as diesel emission systems became more and more important and more and more of a pain point for fleets, I could see how you pivoted and your company took advantage of that opportunity to be able to provide expanded services and products to your customers. So with that history behind you, and now it’s 2021, and you look to the future, what does the future look like for emissions and cooling solutions?

Marlow Payant:

Well, you had mentioned it earlier. When talking about the ROI for fleets, that’s a big piece for us in our value proposition of thinking about how do we create value for the customer and in your intro you mentioned the data-driven approach for us. So when we think about where we are today in all the change that is going on in the after-treatment world over the last five years we’ve collected data on every filter that we’ve put through our system for every customer that’s come through our system. And that is a piece of where we believe that the market is changing and things are going on that are out of our control. But we do see ourselves in the same position as we were five years ago, when we came up with DPF for new in the sense of a lot of things are always going to be changing, but we believe our vision and our mission of what we started off with is going to stay consistent with where we are today and moving forward.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re just going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by DPFXFIT a manufacturer of DPFs and DOCs that offer OEM durability and performance with aftermarket affordability. To learn more, go to dpfxfit.com. We’re back from hearing from our sponsor. And I’d like to talk to Randy now a little bit about your company and about the role that you play. So, Randy when I was on your site, I noticed that you had three categories listed there. It said repair, renew, and replace. And then the renew was spelled R E N U, which caught my attention right away. Can you explain to me what that stands for and what’s the thought behind that?

Randy Griffith:

Yeah, and in our business, like Marlow just said, we’re very focused on the ROI for the customer. And I think that’s vitally important to the fleets and all the folks that we deal with. So we do have those three options. So we have a repair option, which is something that not a lot of people are doing on the aftertreatment side of things. And then the renew is really the option for folks that are looking for the best quality product at a good price. So with Cummins leaving kind of the aftertreatment world, now with them canceling their reman program, we see renu as a product to fill that void. And so the renu program is not just a thermal cleaning, it’s not just a liquid cleaning and it’s not just a blast only. It’s an incorporation of multiple technologies to give you the closest to an OE reman as possible with your own parts.

We see it as a way to bridge the gap between new parts and just a cleaning. The reason why it’s spelled that way is because it’s really, like you said, it really stands out when you see it, when you read it, the reman world, you know, there’s common misconceptions as I’m sure you know, of what a reman is, whether there’s new cores in it or all that stuff. And so we went with renu because we feel like that really encompasses kind of a new era kind of beyond the reman.

Jamie Irvine:

There’s big changes with this, with this decision by Cummins. Like there’s big implications with that decision, because I think for a long time, even just the use of the word reman with a DPF filter was just not accurate because it wasn’t really a core being completely stripped out and rebuilt with new parts like the remanufacturing I did with pneumatic controls, when I first started the industry, it really was just a cleaning of that filter. And so really more, it was an exchange program. And so with, with companies like you being able to provide your customers with the ability to have that DPF filter cleaned, what are the advantages of retaining ownership of that filter and not giving that up in an exchange program?

Randy Griffith:

So as Marlow alluded to we’re very data-driven and the way we handle this, we feel like that’s the way the industry’s going. A lot of people are reading data to do analytics and to do preventative maintenance with the data. So with the DPF renu program, we actually tracked that part by the serial number. And if that’s not possible, we do our own Emission and Cooling serial number or a renu serial number. And we can take that part and we can track it from the first day it comes in to one of our facilities. I don’t care if it’s here or in one of our other seven facilities, and we can actually track that part. So previously, when you bought a reman from Cummins, you had no idea what you were getting. It could have a million miles on it.

It could have 500 miles on it. You had no idea what was going on with it. And that was one of the major flaws that we saw in the OE program. And the other thing is cost on a reman. The cost of poker has gone up. So you no longer have an option of a Cummins reman. You have either a new unit, or you have a local cleaner cleaning your parts. Some guys are giving you really good data, other guys aren’t. So the DPF renu kind of wraps all that in the same package and gives you about a 70% savings over what it would cost to replace it with a new filter.

Jamie Irvine:

Wow, that’s great. And then when it does come to a time when that particular filter is at the end of its life, then you have the ability to provide them with a replacement part that enables them to continue with maximizing uptime. Is that correct?

Randy Griffith:

We talk about this all the time. You know, there’s a lot of noise in the market right now, and there’s a lot of different suppliers out there. And our goal as a solutions provider is to provide a customer with an economical and very, very good product. You know, we don’t always sell the cheapest stuff out there. We really do try and source really great products from really great partners of our own, which is very beneficial to the fleets because you can get some stuff that’s not as good or some parts that haven’t had the OE problems fixed, but a lot of the aftermarket guys have fixed a lot of those OE problems that we’re seeing. And so it’s really beneficial to the fleets and our customers to be able to buy an aftermarket product especially without a core charge. You know there are guys out there that were chasing, they had people in buildings in their corporate offices chasing nothing but core charges. And so if we can alleviate that problem for them that’s another added bonus for us.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. And I like what you said about when it comes to the purchase price of a product that is really only one of the metrics you have to look at, what that part is actually costing the end user customer, because there’s a lot more to it than just that initial purchase price.

Marlow Payant:

Yeah. Five years ago, when we solidified our DPF renu process, we worked with some OE engineers on coming up with this process. And that was a big piece of it for them was this core mentality when they were in our shop and we were developing this, it was thinking about, okay they’re dealing with all these core issues. And so that was one of the big drivers behind DPF renu was this idea of the core. And after the Cummins reman, we’ve seen that was a big downfall of that program.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So you have been working with fleets, but you’ve also earned the trust of truck dealerships. Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with dealerships? How does that work?

Randy Griffith:

We have some partner dealerships that we work with and one of the major benefits to doing that for both them and for us and for the end user or the fleet, is because their name is on the side of the building or their name is on the front of the truck, or their name is underneath the hood of the truck, people feel like they need to go back to those folks to buy their parts, which is just kind of part of the way the industry is as opposed to the automotive where everybody goes aftermarket. One of our major pushes is to work with these OE dealers so that they have a great quality solution in DPF renu to provide to their customers. And that really speeds up the process because with a trusted dealer who they buy their trucks from and they buy all their other parts from, it just makes it easy for those guys to pick up the phone and have one of the local reps that deals with that particular truck brand to help them. And so we kind of use that as a segue, into bringing a good quality product to fleets that are otherwise closed off to the aftermarket world.

Jamie Irvine:

Right and it’s important to have options available for customers because of course every fleet is working in different vocations and they’re at different life cycles of the trucks. And there’s so many factors that a fleet has to take into consideration when they’re purchasing parts. So you’re providing these dealerships with the opportunity to provide their customers with an alternative. And also, I mean, that’s a real nod to how much they trust your organization and the products that you’re selling that they want to partner with you. That’s fantastic.

Marlow Payant:

One thing that we’ve always found too is in the aftertreatment world, there are so many things that have changed and continue to change. The things that we do know, we are huge into whether it’s the fleet or the dealer, the technician is the one that’s hands are on these parts and are trying to figure out how to solve these problems. And so we work really closely with technicians at dealerships, technicians at fleets, in order to give them solutions or train them on how to really work hands-on with these systems.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, that’s great. That’s one of the things that I’ve talked to a lot of people in the industry across the United States and Canada, and it’s very consistent that technical training and really helping technicians get access to good quality information is a real need in the industry. So I thought it’d be great, Randy, if you could share with us, I know your background, you were a technician, maybe you could share with us a technical tip or hack that will help anyone who’s listening, who is responsible for repairing commercial vehicles.

Randy Griffith:

Yeah, so I did start my life as a technician straight out of high school and been in the fleet world for a long time, family ties to it. One of the things that is kind of new to this aftertreatment and how it works in the fleet business is most people try and pinpoint things based on diagnostic trouble codes. And so one of the things that we, that I find when I’m doing hands on training, which we provide to all of our partners, is everybody wants to go to that specific component. The problem is 10 out of 10 times in the aftertreatment, all the problems start upstream. So we utilize technologies like the Redline, HD PowerSmoke machine, which I use all the time. It’s one of the greatest diagnostic tools in my opinion. And we find upstream leaks that people never tie back to the aftertreatment problem that they’re having.

Number one thing that, that we give to our customers is hey guys, let’s think about this as a full system. And then it’s also three systems in one, right? So you have the engine component that creates the soot. Then you have the DPF system that traps the soot. And then you have the SCR system that deals with the gasses on the backside. There’s nothing magic. It’s nothing other than a trashcan on the DPF side. And everybody wants to point to their DPF filter as being the problem, but it’s never the problem, it’s always happening upstream.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah that’s a great tip. I think the more technicians can look at trucks as a total system and try to take a step back from just kind of throwing parts at the problem. The more effective they will be in repairs. You know, people often remember what we say last, what is one thing that you just want to make sure people remember about Emissions and Cooling Solutions?

Marlow Payant:

For us innovation has always been a big piece of what we do. So as Randy was just saying this, this industry is always changing, not just the aftertreatment system, the whole heavy-duty industry, the parts, the electrification of it. So it doesn’t matter what’s going on. For us, we’ve always really tried to hone in on thinking about innovation, whether it’s through equipment, through repairs, through renu. So for us, we’ve always looked at our customers and our partners and our team at ECS, and really tried to drill that home about always wanting to innovate and to think about where we are and where we need to go.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And we’ve been speaking with the team at Emissions and Cooling Solutions. To learn more, go to ECSpart.com. I will include links in the show notes. Marlow, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day and talking with us, I appreciate it.

Marlow Payant:

Thanks, Jamie.

Jamie Irvine:

Randy, really appreciate you sharing your technical skill and knowledge and expertise with the audience and thank you for being on the show today.

Randy Griffith:

Thank you for having us.

Jamie Irvine:

Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode of the Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And I just like to remind everyone to focus on cost per mile. And let’s keep those trucks and trailers rolling.

Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 


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