We recently interviewed Shawn Cronin, Sales Manager, at All Battery Sales and Service, a battery distributor in Everett, Washington. We sat down with him to learn about their business and how Flux Power lithium-ion battery packs have transformed their business.
Flux Power: Can you give a quick overview of your company?
Shawn Cronin: My name is Shawn Cronin, I am the Sales Manager of All Battery Sales and Service. I have been with the company since 2002. All Battery is a multi-battery business. Within the industrial sector, we sell both lead acid and lithium-ion batteries.
FP: How long has your company been in business?
SC: All Battery Sales and Service, on the industrial equipment side, has been around since the early 90s.
FP: How many sites do you service?
SC: We service thousands of customers spread out between our 5 branch locations. We have more smaller businesses than large ones.
FP: What is unique about your dealership?
SC: I would have to say our service support is really what differentiates us. We keep 150-200 batteries on stock at our facility. Most customers will wait until the last minute for a replacement battery. By then, it’s too late, the customer doesn’t realize that the waiting time to get a replacement battery right now is around 20 weeks. So, we keep batteries in stock for when that happens.
FP: How long have you been working with Flux Power?
SC: We have been working with Flux Power for about 3 to 4 years.
FP: What challenges did you come across in your industry that led you to look for lithium-ion solutions?
SC: Lithium-ion started growing more popular because of their ability to fast charge, no maintenance, and their long lifespan. We started to sell lithium around 4 years ago when we were approached for a project. We also had many of our customers asking about lithium which made us decide to pivot our business to supply and service lithium batteries. From that point on we have learned a lot about the technology and which lithium suppliers are the best.
FP: What makes lithium-ion a good fit?
SC: Well, I like to look at customer application. Do they have multi-battery operations? What is their usage? Do they do a lot of maintenance? Can they benefit from opportunity charging?
From there I will look to see if there is opportunity for them to eliminate space, eliminate maintenance, and eliminate the fumes during charging. If all the boxes are checked off, I offer lithium.
Most customers come in knowing and pushing to try lithium-ion technology. Sometimes customers want the technology even though it doesn’t make sense to integrate it in their application because of the low equipment usage in their facility. But these days businesses want to go green and that is probably the biggest push when customers come to me looking for a lithium-ion battery.
FP: How did you determine that Flux Power was a good fit?
SC: We started using other competitor batteries and we never got the best support from them. Our customers were just having too many issues with other battery supplier’s batteries.
FP: Can you describe your selection process of why you chose to partner with Flux Power?
SC: I am the type of sales guy to sell a product for the customer’s benefit not because of the commission. I really do want what is best for my customers, so I only want to sell the best product on the market.
Flux Power has outshined everyone with their product support, quality, and design. Especially the battery management system (BMS) and telematics. I base what type of lithium-ion batteries I sell by the battery supplier’s BMS. If the BMS is designed well it makes servicing the battery smoother and the customers don’t lose productivity. Different lithium battery suppliers have different BMS. Some are harder to service than others.
Not only does Flux Power have a quality BMS they have some of the best support when it comes to customer service.
FP: How do you measure the value that Flux Power products provide?
SC: The BMS and telematics measures it all. It makes servicing 10 times easier. Customers can make decisions to improve operations based on the data they see.
FP: What is your overall opinion of lithium-ion vs the traditional lead acid battery?
SC: I am completely surprised by the efficiency, longevity, and the fast-charging capabilities lithium has compared to lead acid batteries. Yes, the upfront cost of them is high, but what you get out of the product is worth it. When customers find out how much lithium costs they immediately back off and look into the new type of lead acid, TPPL. But the issue with TPPL is that it is double the price of traditional lead acid, the cycle life isn’t the best, and it only has a 60% depth of discharge. Paying double for a lead acid battery that doesn’t last as long doesn’t seem reasonable.
FP: What do you see for the future?
SC: I see lithium-ion becoming more of the first choice. It will be a slow transition from lead acid – mainly because of lithium prices. There are way more smaller businesses than large ones, who cannot necessarily afford the upfront cost. I do not think lead acid will go away any time soon, but the lack of maintenance and the longevity of lithium batteries is a huge driver to businesses wanting to make the switch.
FP: Thank you, Shawn for your insight.