http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.04Change: 0.03
R/$ = 10.66Change: 0.03
Au 1292.98 $/ozChange: 10.18
Pt 1429.00 $/ozChange: 9.50
 
 
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|Gas|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|gas-company|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 Energy News
If approved, the much debated Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill, currently before President Jacob Zuma for final endorsement, was likely to create ambiguity and uncertainty around the overarching legislation governing the oil and...
Coatings and linings provider Sharpshell Industrial Solutions’ Godfrey Pangeti has urged oil and gas project developers on the continent to incorporate strategies to protect their infrastructure into the design phase of a project, preventing costly downtime, and...
Article contains comments
Government says it is ready to regulate and monitor companies that have expressed an interest in exploring shale gas in the country. Thibedi Ramontja, the Director-General of the Mineral Resources Department, said the draft regulations will, once finalised, be...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 13 minutes ago The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Copper Theft Barometer decreased to a level of R12-million in July, down from R12.2-million in June and R15.4-million in May. This was the second monthly drop since February, with Sacci expressing...
Updated 20 minutes ago Murray & Roberts (M&R) has closed the book on its three-year recovery and growth phase and has now turned its focus to a longer-term “new strategic future” of “engineering excellence”. The past three years have seen the international engineering-led...
Updated 34 minutes ago JSE-listed RCL Foods on Thursday reported a headline loss from continuing operations of R332.6-million for the financial year ended June 30, compared with a profit of R18.8-million previously, with results having been significantly impacted on by one-off costs...
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...
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
MODDERFONTEIN NEW CITY Modderfontein New City will aim to exemplify an integrated city node and improve infrastructure utilisation through mixed-use spaces
The multibillion-rand development of the Zendai Modderfontein New City, east of Johannesburg, will aim to exemplify an integrated city node, says property group Zendai South Africa COO Wenhui Du. The development will focus on the Modderfontein Gautrain station to be...
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hopes to have finalised regulations for the flying of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) – also designated Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) and popularly called drones – in the country’s civilian airspace by the end...
Various stakeholders have expressed optimism that the Small Business Development Ministry, created after the national elections in May, will add much needed impetus to enterprise development in South Africa, where a strengthening of the entrepreneurial culture is...
BOB SCHOLES To ensure that emissions plateau by 2020 and then decline until a net negative emission level is achieved by the end of the century, CO2 capture and storage in addition to major emission reduction efforts will be needed
Capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) is the only way through which the world will achieve the lowest of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global warming predictions, called the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6....
PARKS TAU Ongoing investigations had identified at least 30 large power users in Johannesburg as having defrauded the city
The City of Johannesburg has recovered R107-million following the arrest of 22 people allegedly involved in corruption, collusion, fraud and tampering with the city’s electricity systems, which had ultimately cost the city R200-million in lost revenue.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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