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Following the sale of its BOC stores to Airgas, international industrial gases producer and distributor The BOC Group plans to increase its focus on its independent distributor channel and has identified opportunities for improvement following a Distributor Advisory Council meeting in Saratoga, NY.
BOC has a nationwide network of 150 distributors who serve a $1 billion market in some 500 locations. Representatives from BOC and 11 of its key distributors from around the U.S. met to discuss improving the supplier - distributor relationship. Attendees identified key areas for improvement, including the small bulk program, cGMP medical gases compliance and the Airco Distributor Association (ADA), and identified a number of promising independent distributor growth opportunities.
"The meeting gave us a better understanding of the issues facing our distributors and the industrial gases industry," said Kevin Baudhuin, president, BOC Industrial and Special Products (ISP), North America. "Despite the recent sale of BOC stores to Airgas, BOC continues to have a very significant gases business in the U.S. We intend to place greater emphasis on supplying bulk gases to our independent distributor network. We are focused as a team to support our distributors' growth.
"Based on the feedback we received during the meeting, the ISP U.S. team is revising our current training programs on bulk gas applications and is developing a training curriculum that will assist distributors in growing their business."
"We want to continue to provide more value for our customers and more opportunities for our employees," said John Zak, chief executive officer, Airweld, Inc., Farmingdale, NY. "We believe this is a good step toward enabling us to do that while continuing to run our business as efficiently as possible."
The BOC Group, the worldwide industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services company, serves two million customers in more than 50 countries. It employs 44,500 people and annual sales of $7 billion in 2003.