Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.
Becht Due Diligence is a structured process where an expert team using a flexible protocol provides a detailed evaluation of an asset.   Becht Engineering personnel have extensive experience in conducting due diligence assessments -- our personnel have led or comprised teams for over 20 Due Diligence assessments of refineries and chemical plants.

Accurate Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) Can Guide Due Diligence Efforts

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A key element in an effective Due Diligence study is to be able to quickly identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) on a current, historical and projected basis. These KPI’s include safety statistics, operational performance, status of maintenance programs and overdue activities. The KPI’s can be presented in numerical or graphical format however it is important to understand trends in the KPI, comparison to world class performance and in the case of graphical presentation the slope of the improvement or decline in performance. It is also important to understand the basis and calculation method for the KPI. Plant reliability is a critical KPI however we find a variety of methods used to calculate this very important factor. We have done due diligence in plants where just having the lights on or a critical compressor on turning gear is considered running at 100 percent reliability. The devil is truly in the details....
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Negotiating Plant Access for Due Diligence

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Just the Facts Ma’am The famous phrase, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” was often linked to Los Angeles Police Department Sargent Joe Friday who wore badge 714 on the TV show Dragnet. However, according to several sources, the facts are Joe Friday never said this exact phrase on the long running TV show.  The statement “Just the facts, Ma’am” was in a parody of Dragnet by Stan Freberg. Facts can be surprising. When we perform due diligence studies we want to be sure we get “Just the facts” as quickly and accurately as possible. This is only possible if the facility that is the subject of the study is prepared, open and honest and we are able to visit the site. We need to physically walk down the plant, review records and talk to personnel up and down the organization. This blog is a request to our clients who are interested in...
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Due Diligence - Making Rapid, Accurate Judgements

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or  " Kidnapped By My Own Business Team" A number of years ago I worked closely with an Operating Company Business Team and Mergers and Acquisitions group performing due diligence assessments. I often led these assessments and my input on reliability, maintenance, mechanical integrity and inspection was incorporated into a multi discipline team of legal, environmental, finance and operational experts. These assessments could be as long as six weeks to thoroughly evaluate an asset. The adventure I am about to describe was a lot different. My boss called me and asked me to come to his office right away. This was quite unusual for him unless my number came up for a random drug test. I went to his office immediately, closed the door and we started our meeting. He said, “ I need you to be in front of the corporate office at 6 AM tomorrow. Hopefully you will return...
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All That Glitters Is Not Gold - Due Diligence Can Define The True Value

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A few years ago I conducted what might be the world's cheapest, fastest and most cost effective due diligence study ever done. This study took one hour and cost the client about $500.  I was approached by two new members of a well-recognized financial institution. They were assigned to evaluate opportunities to capture low cost natural gas. They had discovered an ammonia plant for sale in an intensely agricultural region in the Midwest-US. Considering feedstock cost, proximity to market and asking price for the plant, they thought this was a gold mine.  Their superiors had some concern about the enormous enthusiasm of these new employees and asked them to evaluate the condition of the asset to determine if it would perform at reasonable rates with acceptable mechanical availability. That is when they reached out to me. A call was scheduled and they explained the situation and “golden” opportunity. They we indeed...
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