With the advent of bigger demands and rising competition, the industrial gas industry has come of age to cater to larger and more varied markets. Around a decade back, the supply chains were smaller and business logistics were simpler. The current scenario requires the gas producers and suppliers to be on their toes to meet the ever-rising expectations of the end consumers. Any individual or business entity dealing with gas supply will agree that keeping up with the present times in the industry is increasingly getting difficult. Optimum operations are hardly achieved and the industry players are forever yearning for 100% customer satisfaction.
So, in spite of putting in their best efforts, where are they failing? What exactly is going wrong? Let’s go through some glaring mistakes that gas cylinder suppliers make and how can they overcome them.
1.Overhaul the Management Processes – Many businesses still rely on old-age labour-intensive system that is time consuming and proves to be costlier to the organization in terms of wages and manual discrepancies. Employing cost-effective technology and software applications for crucial tasks will not only save time but will also lead to better performance outputs.
2. Accurately Track Cylinders’ Movement – It becomes extremely difficult to trace individual cylinders and keep a tab on their utilization throughout their life cycle. Many gas suppliers face the problem of wrong delivery, delayed pick-ups and even theft of products in transit. Tracking technology systems like RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) help suppliers accurately trace each cylinder’s whereabouts along with keeping a software based data-base for future references.
3.Let go of Traditional Barcode Technology – Barcode system may seem less expensive but is not feasible and cost-efficient in the long run. It requires tedious man labour and is still not fool-proof. RFID technology on the other hand, is far more viable. RFID is a data collection system that uses electronic tags for products’ identification and a wireless reader device to track it.
4. Up-to-date Record Keeping is Inevitable – Manual data entry takes up a lot of time and can also be erroneous. These days, many companies are outsourcing data management tools designed to effectively store and manage information of gas cylinders. This helps in better stock analyzing and inventory management.
5.Go for Regular Product Testing – According to US regulations, hydrostatic or ultrasonic testing of gas cylinders should be done after every five or ten years, depending on the cylinder. An independent quality agent should be hired for regular safety inspections and quality assurance.
6.Always Adhere to Safety Standards – Bottled gas is always under pressure and may be hazardous if handled improperly. Many companies do not follow adequate special safety regulations which may lead to accidental damage. For their rescue, there are many independent organizations offering installation, replacement and maintenance services by trained personnel.
7.Proper Product Labeling is a Must – If a cylinder is not rightly identified for its various specifications, chances are it might be delivered to the wrong customer or not be refilled at the right time. It’s important that a cylinder has an electronic-based RFID tag for its type, contents, weight, refill and inspection due date etc.
8.Invest in Durable Tracking Products – A trusted, branded, tracking product goes a long way in keeping operations running smoothly. For instance, Trakaid provides high-quality RFID tags specially designed for industrial gas cylinders. Companies using branded RFID readers, tags and bonding agents swear by their long-standing utility.
9.Regular Monitoring is Important – Many gas supply companies fail in keeping a regular tab at their internal and external operations, causing huge monetary and procedural losses. The solution is to engage a specialized organization offering on-site and off-site remote monitoring services. Such organizations have software-based applications operated by experienced staff, helping in regulating all business operations.
10.Get Rid of Discrepancies in Records – There is a huge possibility that there are differences in the information records of manufacturers, distributors and consumers. This may lead to delayed deliveries and wastage of empty cylinders. RFID based asset tracking system involves electronic tagging of each cylinder right at the start of its distribution cycle, enabling all stakeholders get uniform data through their mobile readers.
11.Build and Update Comprehensive Reports – Real-time reporting of all operations will assist in assessing, analyzing and managing business activities in a better fashion. These days, outsourced organization offer built-in, automated reporting techniques, producing customized reports on daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.
12. Seek Professional Assistance – A gas supply company may not be well-versed with modern techniques available and how to use them for their overall infrastructure. Partnering with a professional IT consulting firm like TSPLLC, will greatly enhance a gas supply company’s growth. These professional firms offer comprehensive technical support services, reconditioning the entire supply system backed with web based technologies.
It is imperative for ambitious industrial gas cylinder suppliers to revolutionize their management system from time-to-time, imbibing the latest work methods. If you belong to the gas supply industry, you will definitely agree with it. We invite you to share your views on it. Please give your inputs in the comments section below.