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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.

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...
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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...
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Due Diligence - Front End Loading for Plant Acquisitions

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In many cases operating companies and financial institutions utilize Due Diligence studies for critical input on “Go/No Go” decisions for plant acquisitions.  Once the decision is made to purchase the plant, the Due Diligence study is often put on the shelf.  The company purchasing the new asset then faces significant challenges integrating the asset into the enterprise culture, implementing enterprise procedures and standards, capturing and implementing best practices and evaluating the quality of the team at the new plant.  A well executed Due Diligence study can play an important role in the rapid integration of a new acquisition into the existing enterprise from an expectations and culture standpoint.  This process using the Due Diligence study as a road map can be viewed as a type of “Front End Loading” for plant acquisitions.  An experienced Due Diligence team can quickly identify a number of issues that the new owner will have...
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Expert Witness - A Becht Engineering Service to Avoid

Expert Witness - A Becht Engineering Service to Avoid
Becht Engineering personnel have significant experience in serving as Expert Witnesses for a variety of legal matters.   However, litigation can be costly, time consuming and often times the outcome is unpredictable.    It should be avoided if at all possible through implementation of proper controls and oversight. A much better strategy than after the fact litigation is to put contracts, systems, specifications and personnel in place to assure there is a good outcome on a project.  This will also assure that issues are addressed in timely fashion and resolved quickly.  Several years ago I wrote a paper titled “ The Top 10 Myths of Reliability Management. ” The first myth was “You can always trust your contractor.” While many contractors are quite competent, it is important to have a clear understanding of the expectations and the contactor must be monitored to assure the work is going according to plan.  Becht...
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