http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.20Change: 0.11
R/$ = 11.08Change: 0.00
Au 1216.40 $/ozChange: -0.63
Pt 1339.00 $/ozChange: 4.00
 
 
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 Oil and Gas News
Zukie Siyotula, Wandile Mseleku and Govert Rietema.
African investment management firm Thebe Investment Corporation has acquired a 15% stake in Burgan Cape Terminals, which was, last year, awarded a 20-year contract by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to develop and manage fuel storage and distribution...
Lafarge Africa, Finland's Wartsila and the World Bank's IFC have agreed to build a 220 MW gas-fired power plant in Nigeria to boost electricity supplies, they said on Wednesday. The trio said in a statement their plan was to help fast-track increased power supplies...
France's Total SA, Europe's second largest oil company, has put one of its offshore Nigerian oilfields up for sale again, the company said, after a 2012 deal with Sinopec Corp failed. Total has hired BNP Paribas to find buyers for its Usan deepwater oilfield located...
More
 
 
Latest News
President Jacob Zuma would next month officially launch the Dube Tradeport, in Durban, as an industrial development zone (IDZ), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced on Friday. At the launch event, which was scheduled to take place on October 7, the...
JSE-listed York Timber Holdings on Friday said it expected its operating profit for the year ended June 30 to be between 25% and 30% lower than that of the prior year. As a result of the lower operating profit, combined with a 1% increase in the company’s biological...
Engineering solutions provider ELB Group has reported an 18% increase in turnover for the year, boosting overall income, from R1.9-billion in 2013, to R2.3-billion for the 12 months ended June 30. Describing this as “a satisfactory result, given the current difficult...
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
MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY Reliable Transformers designs and manufactures dry-type and oil-filled power and distribution transformers up to 3.5 MVA
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
GHAREEB SAAD Kaspersky Lab products contain strong heuristics engines that monitor suspicious file execution to detect attacks
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
MICHAEL FLETCHER Real-time information available to government when citizens use publicly funded Wi-Fi networks will enable it to communicate with citizens and provide services
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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