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Posts Tagged ‘haun welding supply’

Helium Shortage Puts GAWDA Members In The Spotlight

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Still-Leben Mülheim 10 iesWhen it comes to questions about gases and welding equipment, it’s no secret that GAWDA members have a great deal of expertise. In my experience, they’re also very willing and eager to share this expertise with others. I couldn’t even begin to measure just how much I’ve learned about the industry from GAWDA members.

With the helium shortage all over the news, local newspapers and TV stations have turned to GAWDA distributors to tap into this expertise and learn about the helium supply situation. While a product shortage may not be a boon to business, it has no doubt provided some exposure for these distributors.

Here are some of the distributors who have appeared in recent news stories:

Norco (Boise, ID) has been interviewed by several news sources. President Ned Pontious told KTVB, “Obviously the price on helium has been increasing quite dramatically, but what’s really frustrating is when price is not an issue and you still can’t get the product. We’re willing to pay whatever we can pay to get it, but we can’t get it.” Pontious was also interviewed by another area TV station, and the company made an appearance on news station KREM2.

Mike Storie, vice president of sales at Haun Welding Supply (Syracuse, NY), told The Post-Standard that the company has 1,000 empty cylinders that should be full of helium. “We see no signs of it going backward.” Store Manager Brian McDonald was also interviewed by a local TV station, and Sales Manager Grant Hanlon spoke with an area newspaper.

In Wichita, KS, Lampton Welding Supply President Guy Marlin was quoted in the Wichita Business Journal: “It’s probably not going to change for a while. We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to hang in there.”

nexAir (Memphis, TN) Senior VP Steve Atkins told The Commerical Appeal, “Everything we read and see leads us to expect to see more cost increases in the future.”

“Helium in the earth is depleting, not as much as there use to be, demand has gone up somewhat, and it’s a worldwide product now,” said Melo’s Gas & Gear (Bakersfield, CA) President Dave Melo in an interview with a local TV station.

Noble Gas Solutions (Albany, NY) President and CEO Dave Mahoney told with the Times Union, “The last thing I want to do is see a welding operation lay people off … so I can watch a bunch of balloons at a parade.”

“We are trying to spread it out so everybody gets something,” Michael Sutley, OXARC (Spokane, WA) vice president and general manager, told the Tri-City Herald.

An update on Weldstar’s (Aurora, IL) website was quoted by the Pharos-Tribune as saying, “Along with many other distributors, Weldstar is feeling the effects of a global helium shortage, which is expected to last up to three years.”

In Bend, OR, Airgas Branch Manager Phil Price told The Bend Bulletin, “As far as we know, we could see the end of helium-filled balloons.”

In these interviews, GAWDA members offered some great insights into the helium supply situation. Reading through these articles, I realized that having access to this incredible network of industry members is something that I take for granted at times…after all, I get to speak with members about a variety of business and industry related topics on a daily basis (whereas it takes an event like the helium shortage for mainstream media outlets to pick up the phone) . All I can say is it’s about time that the general public got to see how knowledgeable and well-spoken GAWDA members are.

If I left your company out of the list of news appearances about the helium supply, feel free to add a link in the comments area.

The GAWDA That Keeps On Giving

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Haun Sales Rep John Wilmarth (left) and William Stadelman
Haun Welding Supply Sales Rep John Wilmarth (left) and William Stadelman

With the holiday season in full swing (and the economic scales starting to tip in a positive direction), the spirit of giving is stronger than ever. I want to highlight the efforts of a couple of GAWDA distributor members who have been involved in some great projects that represent the industry in a great way.

Last week, I spoke with Haun Welding Supply, located in Syracuse, NY, who played a major role in making a wish come true for a welding student who is fighting brain cancer. When William Stadelman became too sick to attend classes, he asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help turn his garage into a welding shop so that he could keep up with his favorite subject. Haun Welding Supply outside sales rep John Wilmarth found out about it through Stadelman’s welding instructor, John Shear, and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to make a difference.

In the 8 months since he found out about the wish, Wilmarth worked alongside Miller Electric and Haun’s supplier partners to bring together more than $15,000 in equipment, gases and accessories for Stadelman’s shop. It really shows what can be accomplished when distributors and suppliers come together for a common cause. What a great project, and what a difference it will make for the welding student.

Next, I found out via twitter about nexAir’s donation to help the local Meals On Wheels campaign in Memphis, TN. The company’s employees, all the way up to the executive level with CFO Milton Lovell, showed their support by donating time and money to help deliver Christmas meals to those in need. In all, the company contributed $5,000, which will fund 750 meals. Hats off to you!

With the most recent GAWDA Gives Back campaign exceeding $200,000 for the benefit of Maui’s Child and Family Service charity, it’s no secret that GAWDA members are a selfless, caring group. I am never surprised, but always thrilled to see the projects members are involved in.

How does your company make a difference? Did you take part in any special holiday charity projects in 2010? I’d love to hear about it.

Sales Advice From Another Industry

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Sales Target, photo courtesy of CasitoLast week, I wrote about my tour of Syracuse-based distributor Haun Welding Supply. This week, I tagged along with some of my colleagues for a tour of Liftech Equipment Companies, a distributor of material handling and construction equipment.  President Joe Verzino took the time to show us around, and was glad to answer all of our questions. Although not in gases and welding industry, the company has some very innovative strategies that I think translate across markets.

Verzino explained to us that Liftech’s outside salespeople have a limited number of calls they can make. For his salespeople, it’s around 6 per day, between the time it takes to travel and really take care of each customer. At 6 a day, that’s 1340 sales calls per year. With limited appointments, salespeople can’t waste a lot of time on cold calls; they must maximize every opportunity.

Instead of leaving it up to the salespeople to find all of their own customers, Liftech created a new position—now filled by a former sales manager—who creates a list called the “Top 200.” The list starts off with their “1:2” accounts, consisting of current customers. These accounts have about a 50% chance of leading to a sale. Next are the “1:4” accounts, which include dormant accounts and former customers, and figure to have about a 25% chance of a sale. As customers drop off the Top 200 list, it is populated with leads from the internet, advertising, attending trade shows, manufacturer recommendations and so on. Salespeople get the greatest return by focusing on this list.

By keeping to 1:2s and 1:4s, Liftech avoids the “1:14s,” the name it gives to completely new accounts who have never done business (cold calls). In addition to getting the most out of the call, Verzino says the practice has helped them expedite the time it takes to get their outside salespeople successfully selling.

What do you think? Could something like this work for your company? How does your company maximize the outcome of sales calls?

Cylinder Tracking As A Selling Point

Friday, October 1st, 2010

So many cylinders, so little time.Today was quite possibly one of the single most educational days since I have been writing about the gases and welding industry. Several of us here at Welding & Gases Today journeyed over to GAWDA member Haun Welding Supply, located in Syracuse, NY, where Wayne Brownson led us on a nearly two-and-a-half hour tour. (There was just that much to see!) This was the first time I had been to a fill plant, and I came away very impressed with what I saw.

Haun Welding Supply is in the process of building a new state-of-the-art, automated fill plant at their headquarters—I can’t wait to check it out when it’s finished. While we were talking cylinders, I asked him about their cylinder tracking. Wayne’s eyes lit up as he told me that I was looking at “the original cylinder tracker.”

The company tracked cylinders from very early on using a card filing system, before the system went computerized in 1979. At that point, cylinder serial numbers were entered by hand. By 1991, Haun was using bar code tracking, which helped to eliminate the occasional typographical error. Only a few years later, around 1994, they adopted RFID tracking, and have continuously honed their methods ever since.

Apart from the obvious benefits—losing fewer cylinders and creating customer accountability—Wayne explained an additional benefit I had never thought of: cylinder tracking as a selling point. He told us of one specific example of when he convinced a customer to use Haun’s gases for a large construction project because they could track the cylinders. The customer bought in, and when the project was done, 20 cylinders were still missing.

Little by little, more than a dozen were returned by individuals, some who didn’t know where they came from. Without tracking, Haun would never have known the cylinders were from that customer’s project. The customer didn’t know what to do when they received a credit for the returned cylinders—they were so used to being billed by other companies instead of credited.

Talk about leaving a good impression. Not only did cylinder tracking add value on a service level, it literally saved the customer money. You know that customer is going to come back to do repeat business.