OnDeck fuels Infrastructure Management Australasia local pivot
Like many Australian businesses, supply chain snags in the wake of COVID caused Fuel & Infrastructure Management Australasia (FIMA) to pivot into new commercial opportunities.
Based in western Sydney, FIMA, led by Director Nick Caltabiano, produces and markets additives that make all fuels more efficient. Their flagship product Fyrex Ci is a fuel enhancement technology suitable for all diesel engines.
According to Nick, there are big opportunities within the trucking and mining sectors with the technology providing data for reduction in emissions. This has been reported recently as a reduction in CO2 for a Euro 6 truck by as much as 31% and reduction of CO2 emissions in a Euro 5 truck by as much as 43%. He goes on to say that the product is not new. “Trials have been undertaken all over the world for many years which all confirm that Fyrex Ci enables a standard diesel engine to run more efficiently and provide many more benefits and cost savings to the user.”
Pivoting into local markets
The firm was exporting its additives to New Zealand, the UK and other parts of Europe and Asia. But then, in the aftermath of COVID, shipping costs went through the roof, and the export business wasn’t viable.
At this juncture, FIMA started eyeing domestic users of fuel additives, such as local mining companies and even Australian government departments that have large numbers of vehicles and need to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
As part of the new market push, FIMA decided to seek approval for its products with the Australian government and the Clean Energy Regulator, the government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement in Australia. This approval was secured in September 2022, with a launch date of November 1st, and as an approved method for reducing emissions, companies using FIMA’s product can now claim emissions rebates on their diesel use.
How OnDeck lent a hand
While FIMA received its approval in September they could not start the project until 1 November. In the meantime, the company needed to prepare for the expected surge in local demand. Nick explains, “Our clients weren’t allowed to make a financial investment until after 1 November. But we had to start getting the additive tanks and dosage units ready, which can get technical. This can involve working out volumes of diesel usage in our client’s depots that weren’t set up to receive our additive.
“Tank and equipment setup is an outright cost for our business when a customer agrees to get on board with the Carbon Abatement project we have set up.”
Nick continued, “We were running out of money as we were hit with a trifecta of challenges.
“Firstly, getting the approval from the regulator took longer than expected. At the same time, our export business had slowed dramatically, and then many of our domestic clients were hit with so much rain that they could not use machinery or trucks.”
Seeking financial support
Nick says that in his opinion it’s never easy for any owner to ask for money for a business.
“And the most challenging aspect about asking for money is that it’s always when you need it or are more desperate. You never seem to ask for money when things are going well.”
Thankfully OnDeck couldn’t have done more for Nick and FIMA at the time. “The whole process with OnDeck is super easy, and the approval process is super-fast.”
Nick believes many small business owners would benefit from working with OnDeck. “I remember going to a bank a few years ago when we first started the business, and we were considering our options. Approaching a company that’s a multibillion-dollar organisation, they’ve got all the money, and you’re going to them cap in hand.”
However, Nick says that when dealing with OnDeck, the reverse is accurate, and respect is a significant part of the leading small business lender’s point of difference. Better still, FIMA received the finance it needed to keep the business moving the same day Nick applied.
“I honestly love OnDeck, and what they were able to do to help our small business. It was amazing and I would recommend them everyone.”
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