Steele Glenn, CLS of Kluber Lubrication produces specialized blends of lubricants to solve various problems within the machinery market.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys. Welcome back to the show. Texas Business Radio, texasbusinessradio.com being the website. I’m your host Matt Register. Jake Curry had to step out of a little bit. In his place is George Walden, my business partner. George, what do you think, man?
George Walden: Oh I love the Turbomachinery Show, and think about it. Things around us here are turning very rapidly and there are products out there that keep those things turning. We’re about to have a discussion about that. We’re talking to a lubricant company today, and this is going to be a lot of fun.
Matt Register: No, it certainly is. 47th Turbomachinery and 34th Pump Symposia here at the George R. Brown. We’re talking about rotating equipment, pumps and turbans and compressors and all kinds of things that go round and round, which is a very big part of the economy here in Texas. We are joined now … Kluber Lubrication is a company. Steele Glenn is the guru here in the booth here. What do you think Steele? Welcome to the show.
Steele Glenn: Well first of all Matt … Good morning George. Good morning. Thank you for having me. Guru may be a bit of a compliment, but I thank you for having me on your show.
Matt Register: So you are in the lubricant business. Talk to me a little bit about that because you guys are a blender of lubricants, so from what I understand … Tell me if I’m incorrect. You guys buy available lubricants, you combine them together, you put additives in there and you help solve a problem that somebody has. Is that accurate?
Steele Glenn: The problem solving is the biggest component of our business. You are correct in that we are considered a compound blender in that we purchase base oils and additives and then we blend products to our own formulation.
Matt Register: So this is a highly engineered solution. I mean, you guys come up with a solution. You find out that a certain problem is occurring. You engineer around it. You patent it. You now have a product that you sell through distributors or direct to consumer? How do you sell this stuff?
Steele Glenn: Most of our sales are through distributors. We find that it’s a tremendous partnership to work with a distributor, because they know their accounts better than we do and they can take us right to where we can help them the most.
Matt Register: Interesting. Talk to me a little bit about your R&D. How do you identify with what problems are out there in the market that you can then come up with a solution for?
Steele Glenn: Well, we have to first and foremost listen to two groups of people. First, our distributors and then our sales force because they’re always out on the streets hearing about what the latest and greatest technology is, and a lot of that is driven to solve problems. You’re looking for the longer life lubricants. You’re looking for reducing heat, increasing component wear, doing things, and the distributors bring those issues to us. And then we react from there to develop a product. We work very closely with them. We will talk to them. We will say, “Here let’s try this product and see what it’ll do.”
Matt Register: Okay. No, that’s interesting. Of all the problems that are out there in the market, which ones are the ones you are going to spend your time and energy on?
Steele Glenn: That priority is more driven by our distributors. Again, when a distributor comes to us, first of all, we want to sell to a broad base, okay.
Matt Register: Sure. Very few people have a very unique problem, right?
Steele Glenn: Correct.
Matt Register: I mean, generally if they’re having a problem, other people are having a problem as well.
Steele Glenn: Absolutely. So we want to sell to as many people as we can, where it makes sense to use synthetic, okay? So, the distributors will often identify those needs.
Matt Register: Okay. No, interesting stuff. Talk to me a little bit about the history of your company, because this is a German company?
Steele Glenn: Well, it goes back, I believe, to 1982. It was formed by two gentlemen who held on to it and in fact, their sons are still officers in the company and then it was purchased by Kluber in 1996. I joined the company in ’98. I think my history is correct on that.
Matt Register: All right.
Steele Glenn: And then from there, we’ve been a part of the Kluber organization ever since.
Matt Register: Interesting stuff.
Steele Glenn: It’s been a great partnership.
Matt Register: Yeah, I’ll bet. Steele Glenn is the Marketing Manager for the pump industry for Kluber Lubrication, here at the Turbo Show. What is the easiest way for somebody to learn more about you guys, should they want to learn more?
Steele Glenn: Please go to our website, klsummit.com and/or you can call us (800) 749-5823 and we’d be happy to talk to you. We always have a live receptionist.
Matt Register: All right. Wonderful. Klsummit.com, and we’re going to have that linked right from Texas Business Radio, if you’re driving and can’t take notes. What do you think George?
George Walden: Oh I enjoy talking about things that make things better. If you can extend the life of a product by creating the right synthetic to go in and lubricate, you are doing a service to all of us.
Matt Register: Yup. No doubt about that and there’s a whole lot of people making things better here, solving problems for customers and finding solutions that didn’t exist before. Hey, God bless America.
George Walden: That is what makes this show so exciting.
Steele Glenn: Absolutely.
George Walden: It’s what makes the Turbomachinery Show just an exciting event to get to.
Matt Register: Absolutely. Steele, thank you for joining us very much.
Steele Glenn: Thank you so much. It’s been a privilege.
Matt Register: Yeah, absolutely. Hey guys, we got to go take a break. We’ll be back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more from the 47th Turbomachinery and 34th Pump Symposium. We’ll be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.