Authored by Angela Ihrig:
Industrial gas is critical for operational success and outcomes in many industries, from beverage-grade CO2 gas for food and beverage to medical-grade oxygen gas for healthcare, and acetylene for brazing. However, this essential industry is undergoing unprecedented change due to ongoing obstacles from the pandemic and other external factors. These factors result in challenges on both the supply and demand side that companies are trying to navigate. At the same time, gas customers are navigating concerns surrounding the need for suppliers who can scale to meet growing demand.
So, how can supply and demand efforts be optimized to better support companies? The answer lies in identifying partners that align with your business objectives and growth strategies to provide unique benefits.
The Power of Long-Term Gas Supply Partnerships
While gas customers are experiencing growing demand and expecting gas suppliers to help them respond accordingly, traditional supply companies – which remain vital to the supply chain – are also facing challenges.
Emerging gas supplier networks, which are attuned to adapting to the business requirements of customers of all sizes, are the answer. The potential benefits of these long-term partnerships can be powerful incentives. They include:
- Profitable growth over the long term.
- Ability to compete successfully for market share during a period of market consolidation.
- Access to national accounts and new vertical markets to expand the footprint.
- Company-wide performance metrics and industry benchmarking to understand performance against industry standards.
- Technology enhancements to adapt to changing customer needs.
- The combined industry expertise of the partners.
Take, for example, our partnership with Arc3 Gases, a regional supplier of industrial, medical, and beverage gases serving Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Carolinas. The company is a part of our supplier network that takes a modern approach to gas supply. Through this partnership with EspriGas, Arc3 Gases can meet customers’ evolving needs and scale to meet their demands, enabling the business to grow exponentially.
“We entered into a partnership over 20 years ago,” said Jeff Johnson, Vice President of Sales at Arc3 Gases. “We did not know if a national network business model was good for us because we lost direct control of the end-user customer relationship. Over the years, it has proven very successful; our business has grown exponentially. Our integration with the national network was smooth. The two teams met regularly as the rollout occurred to ensure all hurdles were addressed.”
“Partners like EspriGas cater to customers with a nationwide footprint,” said Johnson. “As a regional supplier, we cannot do that. The end-user customer likes dealing with one group to negotiate consistent pricing and terms and conditions for multiple locations. EspriGas was the driver for us to implement electronic data interchange (EDI) ordering throughout our branches. The EspriGas IT team worked closely with our IT team and our software provider to build an automated and efficient system. It was a major business process improvement for us.”
Arc3 Gases has seen great results; this is in part because EspriGas and Arc3 Gases aligned on the following objectives:
- Created a strategic partnership that will foster long-term growth.
- Commit to exceptional customer service, which is the foundation for further growth.
- Embraced every customer’s technology needs and worked together to meet those needs.
- Expand the service footprint over time as the partnership evolves.
By creating long-term strategic partnerships, companies will be able to realize the same benefits as Arc3 Gases, including improved growth strategies, new operational efficiencies, and more resources for continued expansion. These advantages and more will help suppliers better meet the needs of their customers – even in the face of new and evolving obstacles. Gas supplier networks are changing how the industrial gas supply industry operates for the better.