Noria Corporation, the publisher of Machinery Lubrication
magazine and its sibling publications Practicing Oil Analysis
magazine and Lube-Tips e-mail newsletter, is an unconventional
publisher. Why? Because in addition to publishing and providing
conferences and training, Noria provides a range of services
related to machinery lubrication and oil analysis. Our entire
editorial team is comprised of practicing professionals that
make up the leadership of Noria’s consulting and service
team. In fact, Noria’s service practice represents the
largest part of its business.
Noria’s Business Model
Because Noria is so vertically integrated in the machinery
lubrication industry, its efforts in one part of the business
can sometimes overlap other parts of the business. For example,
Drew Troyer, senior editor for Noria Publishing actually moonlights
in this capacity. His day job is co-founder and vice president
of Noria's rapidly growing services organization. Likewise,
Jim Fitch, the editor-in-chief for all of Noria’s publications,
is a founder and the president of Noria Corporation. As Noria’s
most experienced and well-known consultant, Jim spends most
of his time in highly specialized consulting activities and
failure investigations, or serving as a mentor to the rest
of our highly skilled technical team. Mike Ramsey, the other
founder and vice president of Noria Corporation, runs the
publishing division and serves as Noria’s operations
Noria's service division has strategic relationships with
several companies including the Allied Services Group, because
they represent a collection of complementary maintenance service
providers. In this alliance, Noria provides the lubrication
and oil analysis part a total reliability and maintenance
service offering. Likewise, Noria has, or has had strategic
relationships with several lubricant companies such as Dow
Corning-Molykote, ChevronTexaco, Shell, Lubrication Engineers
and others. If a lubricant company wishes to offer a service
at which Noria is particularly good, it often opts to resell
the Noria service under a co-branding arrangement in lieu
of reinventing the wheel by developing the offering themselves.
Noria enters into strategic partnerships to take advantage
of synergies that enable us to better serve our clients. We
are attracted to strategic partners who possess complementary
core competencies, have a strong presence in a geography in
which we have not yet penetrated, possess foreign language
and culture skills and/or specialize in a particular industry
in which we’re interested. For instance, Noria’s
partnership with the Allied Services Group provides us with
core competency in thermography and vibration analysis by
our association with the other member companies, which enables
us to remain focused on machinery lubrication - our core competency
Our partnerships with lubricant companies provide us with
a greater reach into the marketplace via the lubricant companies’
vast networks of distributors and business development specialists.
Noria maintains only one hard, fast rule when it comes to
working with strategic partners - vendor neutrality. For instance,
we are happy to work with any lubricant company, but not at
the exclusion of any other.
Depending upon their scope, our strategic partnerships might
encompass any combination of the following services offered
Lubrication Program Design - Entirely design and document
a machinery lubrication and oil analysis program, including
equipment modifications, detailed procedures, task periodicity,
Education and Training - General or specific training on
a range of machinery lubrication and oil analysis topics.
This includes live, facilitated online and self-directed online
methods of delivery.
Contract Lubrication Technicians - For many clients, we place
skilled Noria lube techs on-site on a full-time basis. They
work for the client under the direction of Noria’s senior
Regional Lubrication Engineers (RLEs) - Many clients want
the benefit of a lubrication engineer, but don’t want
or need to staff it on a full-time basis. RLEs are apportioned
to several plants/sites that get the benefit of a highly skilled,
full-time lubrication engineer without the full-time commitment.
Premium Oil Analysis Program (POAP) - Noria doesn’t
operate a laboratory, nor do we wish to. There are lots of
good labs already in existence. Rather, Noria offers (POAP),
a remote oil analysis diagnostic service to help bridge the
gap between the oil analysis lab and the in-plant work planning
system. Our diagnosticians know how to turn oil analysis data
into work orders and communicate effectively with the team
at the plant, including mechanics, planners, engineers and
other condition-monitoring specialists to solve problems.
Miscellaneous Consulting - Includes any consulting services
that don’t fit neatly into one of the business activity
categories, such as failure investigations, expert witness
services, strategic/technical marketing consulting to companies
who wish to enter or improve their effectiveness in the machinery
lubrication and oil analysis market, etc.
You might ask “why would a publisher also operate a
service business?” From the start, Noria’s business
model was conceived around, and it continues to center around,
knowledge dissemination. We believe that practicing in the
field about which we publish improves the quality, timeliness
and usefulness of the editorial content in our publications.
We don’t just write about lubrication and oil analysis
- we actually do it. Likewise, consulting and the provision
of other professional services require that Noria’s
consultants and technicians possess effective written communication
skills, which we continuously hone and improve through the
publishing process. In other words, every part of the business
positively affects one or more other parts of the business.
It’s a business model that works for us.
Another activity that is near and dear to our hearts at Noria
is our support of the International Council for Machinery
Lubrication (ICML). ICML is a not-for-profit organization.
Its mission is to serve the machinery lubrication end-user
community. Several Noria team members were involved with the
founding of ICML. It now operates on its own, completely separate
from Noria, providing technical certification in alignment
with ISO, recognizing excellence in various aspects of machinery
lubrication with awards, participation in standards activities,
etc. To show support, Noria, like several other companies,
is a sustaining member of ICML. However, ICML has its own
board of directors, which is made up of lubrication and reliability
professionals from such companies as General Motors, Goodyear
Tire & Rubber, Cargill, ExxonMobil, Shell, etc.