Close collaboration plays a key role as companies move through growth milestones and tackle new opportunities.
When Volvo Penta first approached Blue Star in 2011, the companies immediately found common ground in their commitment to business ethics. These are the seeds of a fruitful partnership that has only grown stronger over the past decade.
“Right from the start, the Volvo Penta team showed tremendous respect and dedication to our business,” said Doug Fahrforth, Founder of Blue Star Power Systems Inc. been that transparent and that’s a great testament to how they do business.
The partnership has served as a valuable springboard for Blue Star Power Systems’ steady year-over-year revenue growth. Shared values have been the basis of successful business collaboration, as evidenced by more than a thousand engines delivered and installed across North America.
Today, Blue Star Power Systems uses Volvo Penta’s full range of Tier 3 and Tier 4 end solutions, including D5, D8, D11, D13 and D16 engines, for prime power and a growing number of mobile applications. . Volvo Penta Tier 3 D13 and D16 engines are primarily sold in their standby stationary applications. The generators serve a growing customer base in all sectors, from agriculture and government projects to banks and supermarkets.
Establish a connection
The critical importance of open lines of communication became evident early on. Direct access to Volvo Penta’s engineering and product development teams has given Blue Star Power Systems the resources to better differentiate its diverse offering of power generation solutions and strategically serve specific applications and customers.
“We have always relied on Volvo Penta to be more than just an engine supplier,” said James Kirtz, engineering manager at Blue Star Power Systems. “Whether it’s a unique design needed for a specific application or strategic advice for a major product deployment, we know their team will be there to answer the call.”
This approach has been the catalyst for the success that both companies have achieved with the introduction of Volvo Penta’s highly anticipated Tier 4 power generation solution. The companies have coordinated a collaborative testing program to facilitate product launch while ensuring that Blue Star Power Systems is well positioned to support deployment across its entire distributor network.
“Having the opportunity to get hands-on with the product helped us better understand all the features and benefits before launch,” Kirtz added. “This information allowed us to go to market with confidence that we were doing it smartly for our customers.”
A factor of difference for the distribution
Becoming one of the first electricity generation providers to enter the market with Tier 4 Final solutions has enabled Blue Star to strengthen its credibility with distributors in its network. Sales Director Scott Johnson and his team see potential for continued growth in this area with a power generation solution that helps users meet new demands for sustainability and reduced carbon footprint.
“Volvo Penta engines are at the heart of our offering as an advanced and competitive Tier 4 Final solution,” said Johnson. “The portfolio combines emission reduction targets with increased productivity and availability, making it perfectly aligned to meet a variety of customer needs.”
Already a requirement in many applications, Tier 4 standards also serve as a benchmark for organizations looking to advance green infrastructure initiatives. The close collaboration between Blue Star and Volvo Penta will ensure that they are ready to meet increasing sustainability requirements, as well as new legislation and government incentives.
“The world is changing rapidly and we have to be ready to change,” Johnson added. “Volvo Penta has been at the forefront of technological advancement, and we are confident in our collective ability to progress and meet new environmental standards.”
bring it home
There’s no place like home for Blue Star Power Systems, as the company has settled into its new 85,000 square foot headquarters in North Mankato, Minnesota. The new building will be an incredible facilitator as the company moves forward with new projects to support its next phase of growth. With business growth and continuity in mind, Blue Star Power Systems installed a Volvo Penta-powered generator set at its site. In addition to providing backup power when needed, the unit will be used for hands-on technician training during Blue Star Power Systems distributor training courses.
“The standby generators will help us conduct extensive training while ensuring the continued availability of our facilities,” Fahrforth said. “Employing Volvo Penta for the unit was a no-brainer because of our business relationship and the number of Volvo Penta products we have in the field.”
Blue Star and Volvo Penta are proud of the precedent they set together and how it has shaped industry perceptions. Their relationship is a great example of how partnerships should work.
“When your collaboration is based on shared values, the recognition you get together should benefit both brands. This has been the foundation of our success on over a thousand engine deployments and will be for the next thousand,” Fahrforth said.
“Volvo Penta is a smart organization that does business the right way. We will always know where things stand and we can draw on their expertise, which just gives us more confidence as we embark on the journey ahead of us,” he added.
—Darren Tasker is vice president of industrial sales at Volvo Penta, where he oversees the company’s development in the power generation and off-road multi-purpose equipment segments in North and Central America and the Caribbean.