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Executive Interview

Q&A With David Boer, Vice President, Global Marketing And Strategic Business Development At CRC Industries

In this Q&A, Boer talks about environmental regulations and how they shape CRC’s product development.

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AMN Editor Amy Antenora has been reporting daily on the automotive aftermarket since 2002. She also is editor of AMN Global and serves as managing editor of Counterman magazine, AMN’s sister publication for the parts distribution segment. Prior to joining Babcox Media, Amy began her career as a newspaper reporter and went on to work in public relations for two state universities. She is a graduate of Kent State University and in 2009 earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from Northwood University’s University of the Aftermarket.

As Vice President, Global Marketing and Strategic Business Development at CRC Industries, David Boer leads the company’s global marketing efforts to accelerate growth, innovation and commercial strategy alignment worldwide. He is responsible for the global marketing and product management initiatives for the brand. Boer has worked in the automotive aftermarket industry for more than 20 years, holding various marketing, product management, sales, and business development roles with several aftermarket companies, including Dorman Products, Wells Vehicle Electronics, and NGK Spark Plugs. Most recently he was vice president, Business Intelligence & Strategy at MotoRad Automotive Products.

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Boer is a member of Marketing Executive Council (MEC) and holds a BSBA in Marketing and Management fromKutztown Universityand an MBA in Entrepreneurship/New Business Ventures, from Penn State University.

In this Q&A, Boer talks about environmental regulations and how they shape CRC’s product development.

VOC regulations are a complex issue in the brake cleaning products category. Can you give us a brief breakdown on this and how CRC handles this complexity in the marketplace with its portfolio of products?

Yes, regulatory requirements for VOCs are increasingly complex across many categories of maintenance and repair products in the automotive aftermarket and the other industries that CRC serves. As you can imagine, for a wholesaler or retailer selling to customers in multiple states that have varying requirements, this can be very challenging to manage. CRC provides best-in-class regulatory leadership to help our customers navigate these complexities, and this is a key competitive differentiator.

We have an internal team with extensive technical expertise who diligently monitor regulatory trends to anticipate changes, prepare our customers, and reduce their risk. Our top priority is to protect the interests of our customers and end users, and we work closely with regulatory agencies to ensure that their needs are met.

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In the brake parts cleaning category, we offer our signature product CRC BRAKLEEN, the number one selling brake parts cleaner worldwide, in eight unique formulas. Because of our commitment to providing the best product efficacy, BRAKLEEN users can be confident they’re getting the maximum cleaning performance available for their region, backed by CRC’s knowledge and expertise to keep them in compliance.

We’ve also seen a very positive response to our new CRC BRAKLEEN Pro Series line that was developed to meet market demands for larger cans of BRAKLEEN for the professional user. The new, professional-size cans have increased fill weights with up to 50% percent more product, which means fewer cans in the shop, and less can recycling required.

As the industry leaders for brake maintenance products, we continue to engage with our customers and end users to gain insight into their needs and bring innovation to this important maintenance category.

States currently publish their own VOC regulations, but do you foresee a national mandate taking precedent any time soon? Why or why not?

There is already an interplay between state and federal regulations regarding VOCs. The state VOC regulations are the result of federal requirements to maintain ground level ozone below established limits. The EPA sets standards for air pollutants such as ozone, and the Consumer Products VOC Regulation is one of the tools that states use to reduce ozone and comply with EPA standards. This is why we see so much activity on the state level, and why there is a lot of variation from state to state. This activity is likely to continue, but we are not aware, at this time, of any plans for new national regulations on VOCs.

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Talk to us a bit about new products CRC has released recently and how they fill a changing need in the marketplace today.

We continually strive to innovate by developing new solutions for maintenance issues and addressing our customers’ needs both now and for the future.

As an example, we identified a need in the marketplace to solve the unique maintenance issues that have developed as vehicle manufacturers have shifted to Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology. GDI engines can deliver greater power and fuel efficiency, but they also have a tendency to suffer from carbon buildup on intake valves, which results in hard starts, rough idle, poor acceleration, reduced fuel economy, excess emissions and power loss.

We developed CRC GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner, a revolutionary aerosol product that cleans GDI intake valves when applied through the engine’s air intake or throttle body and delivered directly to the back of the valves.

Prior to the CRC invention, cleaning GDI intake valves was a costly, labor-intensive process, requiring engine disassembly to remove the valves for manual cleaning or walnut-shell blasting. Now the service can be performed up to 75% faster than previous methods and without engine teardown, freeing up valuable bay time for shops and saving hundreds of dollars for consumers.

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Our CRC GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner was awarded a patent by the USPTO earlier this year.

Eco-friendly is a big buzzword, however CRC has a product line that truly addresses this growing trend. Tell us about the CRC SMARTWASHER.

CRC SMARTWASHER is a bioremediating parts washing system designed to clean dirty parts during repair and maintenance operations. The SMARTWASHER system is at the heart of a CRC global initiative to develop eco-friendly products that utilize sustainable technologies and keep the health and safety of the user and the environment at the forefront.

What makes it “eco-friendly” is the system’s unique use of bioremediation in the parts cleaning process. Bioremediation is the treatment of pollutants or waste by using naturally-occurring microorganisms that consume and break down undesirable substances and process them into harmless byproducts. It’s nature’s way of cleaning the environment. This same technology has been used in clean-up efforts following major oil spills and other environmental disasters. 

The CRC S SMARTWASHER system employs a highly-effective, water-based degreasing solution called OZZYJUICE that is as effective as traditional solvent parts washers but is non-hazardous, non-flammable and won’t irritate the skin. The cleaning solution passes through an OZZYMAT filter that traps any particulates and also contains bioremediating microbes. The microbes break down and eat the oil, grease, and carbon-based contaminants that have been washed off the parts. This makes the system self-cleaning. There is no changing or hauling away of cleaning fluid, and it eliminates the need for ongoing purchase of solvents, handling of hazardous waste, and hazardous waste removal contracts. The CRC SMARTWASHERsystem is highly effective, safer for employees, better for the environment and can provide substantial cost savings over other cleaning methods.

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We’ve recently released a compact, mobile bioremediating parts washer called the BENCHTOPPRO that is designed for smaller shops, mobile service operations and the home garage. Just launched this summer, the BENCHTOPPRO has already received an industry award as one of the Top Tools of 2019 and will be on display in the New Products Showcases at both AAPEX and SEMA.

CRC has a very cool campaign going on right now benefitting the Morgan Adams Foundation, and the story of how this campaign came about is even cooler. Can you share this story with AMN readers?

In 2018, CRC celebrated 60 years of business, and to recognize this milestone, we wanted to launch an impactful campaign that would showcase our full range of products, bring awareness to the unique maintenance needs of GDI engines and also give back to the community. We had the unique opportunity to do a car build with the Honest Assembly team, a group of college students-turned-amateur-builders based in Colorado.

CRC challenged them to do an engine swap in a 1988 BMW E30 M3 with a 425-hp GDI engine from an F80 M3. Installing a modern GDI engine in the classic BMW would be the first swap of its kind in the world. The ground-breaking build was completed in 11 months and earned a Top 12 finish overall, and top 3 in class, in SEMA’s prestigious Battle of the Builders in 2018.

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With much anticipation, we will be releasing a video series on The Drive that documents the build and will raise funds for the Morgan Adams Foundation, an organization chosen by the student builders that supports laboratory and clinical research in the area of pediatric cancer.CRC will donate $0.05 per view for the first 1,000,000 views of the Honest Assembly videos on The/Drive YouTube channel. The ultimate goal for the team is to raise $250,000.

We are proud to continue our support of the Morgan Adams Foundation at this year’s AAPEX show. Show attendees visiting the CRC booth may receive a t-shirt featuring a design with the BMW project car for a minimum donation of $1.00 to the Morgan Adams Foundation. CRC plans to match donations up to $5,000 for a total fundraising goal of $10,000 at the show.

I understand educating future technicians and supporting tech training also are important to CRC. Tell us about the company’s partnership with Universal Technical Institute.

CRC is a proud partner of Universal Technical Institute and supplies all UTI locations with a variety of CRC products as well as training materials and workshops to UTI students and instructors. We have designed CRC branded classrooms that are being installed in each of the UTI campuses around the country.

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UTI is known for providing state-of-the-industry programs and education, and we are privileged to have CRC products used in their classrooms and labs and for facilities maintenance at their campuses.

CRC is committed to investing in the education and training of current and upcoming professionals in the automotive industry. Our partnership with UTI is the result of that commitment, and it’s extremely rewarding to see our products in the hands of students as they develop their skills as the next generation of technicians.

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