Mar 24, 2018

Conversation: Rigoberto Murillo

Global Business Development Manager | AMSOIL INC.

What do you do with AMSOIL?

I am the global business development manager. Working with our department VP, Dave Myer, my primary focus has been to advance our company’s global sales efforts. When entering the renewable wind market nearly 10 years ago, our focus was on the domestic, after-market, but as our product continued to gain popularity with proven results, so did our market share. Fast forward to today, and as a global factory fill to some of the world’s largest OEMs, working to stay relative to a global renewable market that’s constantly changing, this is what I believe is anyone’s biggest challenge when competing in global business. I strongly believe that AMSOIL changed the way things were done in the wind-turbine gearbox business by extending the life of gearbox oil. As the industry grew, so did gearbox technology, which made our oil last even longer. This was how we were able to gain the trust of our customers, and they are the reason we’ve made headway in the industry. The industry is continuing to grow, so we continue to grow with it.

Business models change, contracts and terms are becoming longer, three-year oil changes became five-year oil changes, and then they went to condition-based. We’ve grown our technical teams and increased our sales force all to better educate the customer base and listen to them so we could educate ourselves. We are always looking at the market and the market trends and listening to the customers. We have to because our job is to be a partner for our customers, not just sell them oil. There are plenty of others doing that. We are technical and product-driven first, a solutions company. We’re always looking for how to increase the customers’ ROI, the return on their investment. As a quality lubricant, this is how we marketed ourselves in the automotive industry. We weren’t trying to be in everybody’s car, we didn’t expect that to happen. We were trying to be in the enthusiast vehicle or for the kind of owner that cared about seeing their vehicle last as long as possible. That same thinking went into the wind industry. We weren’t looking to make another oil being reevaluated every couple of years with one new formula after another. It needed to be right from the start. We went into it with a lot of research, and I believe our market share has proven the results.

So, with all this understanding behind me, I walk into each day thinking — as a company in this market — how are we branding ourselves? How is the customer perceiving us? Do they still see us as a partner? Do they still see us as the company that will do what we say we’re going to do? That’s my challenge every day. There’s always something developing, something new, something to be relevant with, and we’re used to being first. 

What does AMSOIL do for the wind industry?

We are very technically driven and customer-solutions focused. Whether it be from a sales perspective, any sort of research and development, marketing, and specifically engineering, any one of these people has a mindset of understanding that we are there to bring solutions first. We already know we have the best lubricants in the market, but if you’re just going to put all your eggs in the basket of having a top-tier product, then you’re going to lose your customers because you’re there to earn trust and continue working for their business.

We’re there to offer solutions and ask the right questions like: What are you challenged with? Let’s look at those challenges. Your hydraulic system, your yaw-and-pitch system, your cooling systems, anything that uses lubrication, this is our focus. We’ve turned our customers away from doing oil changes when it wasn’t necessary. We’re in this for the long haul. This isn’t a short-sale scenario. We want their business for life. And that’s the way AMSOIL has built itself up in the industry.

What challenges have you faced while working with wind?

The largest challenge in wind is the industry itself. It’s so active, and it’s changing so rapidly. One company sells to another company. Or you’re working with a customer in the U.S. that has a parent company outside the U.S., or has an engineering and procurement that’s being managed in other areas, and you’re trying to get everybody to talk together at the same time, and then sometimes the message doesn’t always get across. And then you’re working with all different kinds of OEMs that have the same issues. Anyone who has a global presence in any industry will always struggle with that. And that’s being able to communicate down the road. My largest challenge is making sure we find a way to communicate with everybody in time around the world. Once we get our message to the right people, and they see the data, and they see the results, they see that we’re not selling them anything, we’re just showing them the truth, the raw data. And they realize we’re real and not just hype. We’ve earned our credibility in this industry.  

Has anything in the wind industry surprised you?

Not anymore. It used to. I’ve been doing this since 2008, starting off in world of operations, and I have seen my share of changes in the industry. So, for me, I don’t think I’m surprised anymore. When I look at how we’re going to stay relevant, I never allow myself to stay still. One of my favorite quotes is: “Certainty is the enemy of growth.” The minute we become certain that things are going to be a certain way, we stop growing. And when we stop growing, then we are no longer in business.

What pushes AMSOIL to the top of the list in wind?

Our customers. And I say that because it’s the trust that we’ve earned with them, just like in any relationship. We’re not offering a product that doesn’t do what we say it does. We’re not selling anything, to be honest with you. We’re solving problems. That’s the difference. I’m not out there trying to convince my customer that I’m the best. They already know that because they’re using AMSOIL, or someone else they know is using AMSOIL. We didn’t call ourselves the best; our customers have. All they did was validate all the research and all the time and energy we spent to make sure we never have to do this more than once. We hit the market with one product at a time. We took the time and did our due diligence. What brought us to the top was them, the customers. We earned their trust; that you can’t sell.

Where do you see AMSOIL’s relationship with the wind industry in 10 years?

I think we’re always going to have the challenges that the market brings because of the size and magnitude of our competitors. There will always be those folks that are trying to gain the market back. AMSOIL will be looked at as the leader in wind-turbine lubricants, I’m sure of it. We came in as the “little guy” and introduced AMSOIL’s PTN 320, and everyone has been chasing us since.

When you look at our competition, they’re on their second, third, fourth, even fifth rendition of types of lubricants. And we’re still running the same brand. We didn’t come out with new names and new formulas. We didn’t have to. We got it right the first time. And they have continuously tried to keep up with us. No one expected AMSOIL to be the leader. They take us seriously now. We’re always going to be at the top of our game because we’re educators; we’re problem solvers; we help customers reach their goals, and, by the way, we sell lubricants. 

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