http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.26Change: 0.05
R/$ = 11.29Change: -0.02
Au 1208.92 $/ozChange: 0.23
Pt 1301.50 $/ozChange: -0.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 31, 2012

Gas supplier launches online LPG locator

Back
Engineering|Africa|Afrox|System|Africa|South Africa|Liquefied Petroleum Gas|Local Retailer|Product|Retail Outlet|Service|Services|Web-based Information Service|Brett Sauerman|Infrastructure|Johan Schoeman
Engineering|Africa|Afrox|System|Africa||Service|Services||Infrastructure|
engineering|africa-company|afrox|system|africa|south-africa|liquefied-petroleum-gas|local-retailer|product|retail-outlet|service|services|web-based-information-service|brett-sauerman|infrastructure|johan-schoeman
© Reuse this



To ease customer frustration this winter, JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) developed the Handigas availability checker – a Web-based information service that allows customers to confirm product availability at their local Afrox Gas & Gear outlets.

Last year’s significant liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply shortage did little to increase customer satisfaction with LPG marketers and producers such as Afrox. “It was more frustrating than anything else for customers to arrive at their local retailer, only to discover there was no gas available at that specific store,” says Afrox customer self-service manager Brett Sauerman.

In response to customer frustration, Afrox designed and developed an interface for the availability checker. After running the system internally for two months to confirm its efficacy, Afrox officially activated the service in May.

The Handigas availability checker was designed in-house by the Afrox information services team, by using a combination of existing infrastructure, services and skills in delivering a useful service to its customers.

The locator provides confirmation of stock availability at any Afrox retail outlet. When a user selects his or her province, city and preferred cylinder size, the service provides information about the nearest outlet and stock availability, as well as the phone number and physical location of the store.

“In cases where a particular outlet may be difficult to locate, the service assists in providing directions and a map,” says Sauerman. He adds, however, that the service is strictly information-based and does not contain an ordering service.

The availability checker provides information on the full range of Afrox Handigas cylinders, including the 9 kg, 14 kg and 48 kg cylinders.

Sauerman adds that the service also enables customers to contact Afrox and communicate their supply issues. “While the service does not allow customers to buy or reserve stock online, it does facilitate the process of finding Handigas stock in South Africa,” he says.

Challenges

The Afrox team’s greatest challenge in developing the locator was deciding which platform would be best to launch the service on, says Sauerman. The team debated using the Internet, taking into consideration that they will not able to reach customers who do not have Internet access.

Ultimately, Afrox decided to proceed with this platform. This was encouraged by the perceived steady growth in Inter-net accessibility and because the company will, at the very least, limit any inconvenience to customers who do have access to the Web.

Market Acceptance

While the availability checker is still relatively new to the market, website statistics reveal a spike in the number of Web users that visited the interface between June 22 and June 29. Statistics have also indicated that 90% of these Web users were new visitors.

Sales numbers correlated with the increase in site visits and Sauerman confirmed that sales increased during the cold spells in June.

He believes the newly implemented service improved Afrox’s standard of customer communication and adds that the overall sales improvement can also be attributed to the addi- tional measures taken in increasing the availability of stock.

“This year, we have bolstered local supply with imports to ensure the availability of Afrox gas during winter. “Also, we were able to provide enough cylinders this year,” he says.

Business process manager Johan Schoeman says Afrox will continue to move with the natural progression of technology, adding that the technical team will investigate the possibility of turning the Handigas availability checker into an application for smartphones and tablets.

Sauerman concurs, adding that the positive response from Afrox customers is a clear indication that there is a need to expand on this platform. He assures Engineering News that the technical team will respond accordingly.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Gas News
Welding and construction-related equipment supplier Renttech South Africa’s acquisitions of East London-based gas and welding supplier East Coast Industries (ECI), in July, has offorded Renttech South Africa a far greater presence in the Eastern Cape. “With branches...
COLD BOX The cold box, which weighs almost 100 t, was designed and manufactured by Germany-based Linde Group
South African gas company Afrox’s R300-million, 150 t/d air separation unit (ASU) in the Coega industrial development zone of the Eastern Cape, is more than 75% complete, Afrox MD Brett Kimber tells Engineering News. Major equipment, including the cold box and...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 6 hours ago Information and communication technology services group Gijima on Tuesday announced that it would undertake a rights offer and restructure its existing trade receivables securitisation funding programme to ensure that it had sufficient working capital to underpin the...
Lynne Brown
Updated 7 hours ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has urged that the best candidates be nominated to serve on the boards of State Owned Entities (SOEs). “Help me identify your brightest and our best,” said Minister Brown as she launched an initiative to obtain the best pool of...
Updated 7 hours ago The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has brought art and science together in an exhibition celebrating ancient humanity’s appreciation of the night sky. In a first for the SKA Organisation, indigenous and local artists from South Africa and Australia have collaborated in...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu.  Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.
With South Africans facing the challenge of reducing electricity consumption, the biennial Eskom Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition, to encourage the integration of energy efficient lighting in architectural, engineering and interior design, received a...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks