With the North American industrial gases industry in the midst of seismic change, from the transformation in ownership and structure, to supply chain challenges and distributor business disruption, gasworld’s North American Conference 2017 discussed Tackling the Rate of Change in Our Industry, which proved a popular theme for the industrial gases community.
Understanding the rate of change, and more importantly making the right strategic moves to respond, will be key to sustainability and future success, it explained.
The event, which took place at the Westin Hotel in Houston, Texas, from 5th – 7th December (2017), also provided an unrivalled opportunity to network with a variety of global players in the industrial gases community.
North American Merchant Market Dynamics – What’s been driving change now and into the future?
The North American market is facing considerable structural and ownership changes. This program opening session will provide an update on the market, explain the current changes taking place, discuss current M&A activity, and provide an insight into what all of these structural changes will mean for you and your company as we approach 2020. Also covered, will be an update on the large merger plans for Praxair-Linde, and the likely divestment fall-out of this “merger of equals.”.
Specialty Gases: Opportunities and Strategies for Growing Your Business
The specialty gas sector is a definite growth market in North America, but it also remains a challenge to both producers and distributors. This session will provide practical information on how you can develop or re-think your strategy, and create consistency, quality and good customer service around your spec gas line of business. Higher valued products don’t necessarily lead to higher profitability. Companies focused solely on specialty gases have evolved and been acquired. Costs for producing specialty gases have come down, and a growing desire of gas distributors to move more into this “gas” space has led to increased labs and production plants. Topics examined include make vs. buy decisions, the dangers of over-supply, capital investment, customer requirements, sales, marketing, and packaging.
The Changing Packaged Gas Model: Investing Right and Efficiency Drivers
Various gas community events have discussed and debated options for trying to reduce gas distribution costs. Some companies have recognized that, to be sustainable in the future and to become more efficient at gas distribution, they must embrace technology. This session will address some hard, core truths to explain how investing right the first time will be a huge benefit in the future. This session content will include information on the HP cylinder investment strategy, timing, what it will cost to upgrade cylinder filling facilities, and what it takes to move up the supply chain into liquid, microbulk, and bulk supply.
Improving your ROI Through Embracing Digital Technology
Digitization and “going digital” are words that have recently entered every day discussion. For a traditional industry such as ours, they also present challenges. Most people believe digitization is expensive, and the gains will be either invisible or small for such an investment. This session will provide practical case studies from companies that are embracing digital technology to improve the bottom line and increase their company’s ROI. Session content will include asset tracking and product monitoring presentations.
Discovering New Sources of Revenue for Your Gases Business
Finding new sources of revenue and new customers is imperative for future success and growth. This session will focus on a selection of end-user applications and sectors that are likely to provide growth opportunities for your company. From capitalizing on new demands for carbon dioxide (CO2), and alternative but realistic possibilities in hydrogen, to oil and gas well servicing and beyond. We’ll examine growth opportunities, and offer practical advice for growing in established markets, highlighting new applications outside the traditional gas distribution business, and tackling expanding supply models.