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Service to the max

The steel sides of a humble gas cylinder conceal a great
deal more service
than one would suspect. The variety
of gases is mirrored in the diversity of
customer demand
for associated services – from information about the

cylinder gases to delivery to the construction site or the
doctor’s practice
through to tailor-made safety training.

Messer is a company that has widespread operations and
sells its gases in over 30 countries. In all of these countries,
it has filling plants where cylinders are filled with gases and
subsequently sold to consumers either directly or via partners.
The demand for cylinder gases is particularly high for
welding and cutting in workshops and on building sites, but
they are also used in the baking trade as well as in pubs and
restaurants, doctor’s practices and laboratories. Specialty
gases can even be manufactured in accordance with individual
customer specifications. The quantity delivered ranges
from the pressure can to the cylinder bundle.

500 different products: a huge range

The product range encompasses some 500 different gases
– but this also includes gases of different purities. For example,
medical oxygen for human use has to meet very special
requirements and is tested for specific impurities, unlike
industrial oxygen. In all combinations with all available cylinder
sizes and different pressures, a total of 8,000 materials can be
bought from Messer – a huge range. Of course, not every
cylinder size is available in every country, the situation with
cylinders being similar to that with different sockets in Europe:
the technical specifications are not the same everywhere, and
Messer adapts to its customers as well as to the local conditions.
Given this variety, it goes without saying that the sale of
gases in cylinders has to go hand in hand with good service in
each country. Messer intends to make this service even more
transparent now.

Services across the board

Messer has a modular system of services in different areas.
These are consultancy and process optimisation, transport,
safety, engineering, e-services, training and information as
well as measures to enhance customer satisfaction. Each
entity provides detailed information about the services it
offers its customers. The initial service involves the accept-
ance of an order: whether by phone, by e-mail or – using the
method preferred in the past – by fax. But it can also be done
entirely electronically: anyone who uses classic apps such as
the “spirit level” or “torch” on their smartphone knows how
straightforward and practical apps can be. Messer’s E-Order
App allows customers to make paperless and environmentally
friendly orders for cylinder gases to be delivered to their
usual delivery address. Repeat orders are also possible: this
simply involves scanning the barcode on the cylinder. The
“Customer Container Tracking System”, or CCTS, is another
Internet application for cylinder management. It allows real-
time monitoring of stocks, consumption levels etc. at
different locations in the company – workshops, building
sites or hospital wards. Messer can also check cylinder
stocks by means of remote monitoring – in this case, Messer
simply makes further deliveries when required. Gas cylinders
can always be collected at the point of sale, but of course
there is also the option of delivery to the customer and
connection, if required. In some countries, Messer even
offers round-the-clock delivery by courier, for instance to
hospitals. The “highly individualised delivery service” also
allows time-critical deliveries or on-site delivery direct to
the welder.

Safety concept

Safety is the number one priority when handling gases.
Aimed specifically at users of cylinder gases, Messer has
recently published a series of Safety Pocket Guides which
provide information on, for example, the safe transportation
or correct handling of gas cylinders as well as about identification
and labelling. Any hazard identification is only as good
as its degree of comprehensibility. In some countries, Messer
offers the “Be Safe Concept” with training, audits and
demonstrations. Messer experts can also carry out an on-site
safety check at the customer’s premises or train whole
groups of staff.
Consultancy for increased efficiency
To increase added value, reduce costs and minimise the
environmental impact, the Messer experts conduct
“High-Efficiency Process Consultancy” sessions at production
plants that use gases in cylinders. The “Private
Optimiser Service” goes even further: this on-site analysis
for selection of the right product, type of supply and supply
technology is a targeted specialist consultancy session
aimed at problem-solving. Of course it is also possible to
train staff directly, for instance in the sphere of medical or
specialty gases, but the consultancy service has particularly
proved itself for the selection and application of the right
gases for welding and cutting. After that, regular newsletters
bring the users up to date with regard to the latest
technology.
Service and price are equally important
A representative study carried out in Germany last year on
behalf of a major energy supplier showed that as many as
51 per cent of customers were interested in a company’s
sustainability credentials. 60 per cent emphasised the
importance of a company having a good reputation. However,
the consumers rated service as the most important aspect,
with 80 per cent of the respondents indicating that it is an
important consideration. This makes it on par with price,
which got 81 per cent. Messer therefore began expanding
its service for customers three years ago. The first step in
this process was a customer survey on targeted internal
improvements in performance. This provided information on
what is most important to our customers. And, indeed,
service came out on top. An intensive service campaign will
now focus specifically on the existing tools as well as the
new ones.

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