For those of us who have spent a long time in Packaged Gas, we often hear affective pronouncements: “Our cylinder balances aren’t accurate and can’t be trusted! The customer is upset because their cylinder balance is inaccurate! We don’t know how many cylinders we have on site so how would we know how much to sell! ”
But this is also where we yell cut.
Strong cylinder management is the cornerstone of a well-run Packaged Gas business - yet, it is only too easy to mismanage one of the most vital and valuable asset bases. However, there exists a solution - cylinder asset tracking. In the world of Air Liquide, we know it as Servitrax. Although we are a little late to the game, we have caught up pretty quickly.
So how does Servitrax work? Once a cylinder is barcoded and initialized in the system, our operators and drivers scan the cylinder at each stage of the supply chain process that encompasses filling, delivery, return, sorting, and testing, to ensure the proper localization of the cylinder. This is synonymous with placing a microchip in your cat and knowing exactly where it has been and what it was up to. This process, coupled with accurate document confirmation, creates a fool-proof, closed-loop process.
With the tracking of cylinders enabled, all sorts of meaningful information can be gleaned from it, improving the accuracy of cylinder reporting and balances, bringing about numerous benefits and savings to both customers and to Air Liquide.
Servitrax is a useful tool but relying on it alone cannot fix all cylinder management issues. It couples with our strong product management practices, audit counts and the stringent adherence to processes and procedures that are to be carried out consistently and accurately.
Servitrax is a vital step in the right direction, which will bring about a new level of visibility and information to properly manage assets not only for the benefit of Air Liquide but also in satisfying customer requirements.
With Servitrax - we are confident that cylinder mismanagement is a thing of the past and you will no longer be hearing those all-too-often comments any longer.
'Delivery on Track: Leveraging Servitrax to strengthen our cylinder management practices' is contributed by Michael Brillinger.