DANBURY, Conn., June 2, 2003 – Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) today announced the launch of its AccuStarsm cylinder delivery system, an on-board computer for Praxair’s cylinder gases delivery vehicles that allows drivers to process transactions electronically at the customer site. This new cylinder delivery management tool significantly reduces paperwork for both the customer and driver, enhances regulatory compliance and improves billing accuracy.
"Equipping our drivers with an easy-to-use, handheld computer will simplify tremendously the delivery process, saving time, reducing errors and lowering administrative costs at both ends," said Derek Castle, vice president of Operations for Praxair Distribution Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. "It's an important distribution advancement in an industry that’s been conducting business in the same manner for 50 years."
Linked directly to Praxair's mainframe computer system, the AccuStar system provides efficient dispatching of customer orders on Praxair's trucks. Some of the main advantages for Praxair's customers include:
- Reduced invoice error rates — Data flows electronically between Praxair’s mainframe computer and the driver’s handheld AccuStar system unit, eliminating manual entry of part number descriptions, quantities and shipping tickets, and reducing errors.
- Electronic signature capture — Customers can sign right on the hand-held computer screen, which also assigns the person’s name in a legible, typed font for the delivery document.
- On-site invoicing — An invoice can be printed immediately on-site to reduce the customer’s paper flow and save the time it takes matching delivery tickets to invoices.
- Credit card and cash payment — The customer has the option to pay Praxair’s driver by credit card or cash and receive an electronic receipt upon delivery. A single transaction at the customer site reduces administrative costs in accounts payable later.
- Order placement — The customer may place another order with the driver at the time of delivery.
- Regulatory compliance — The electronic delivery document includes up-to-date shipping information as it applies to Department of Transportation and Transport Canada regulations. This service ensures accurate information related to regulatory compliance requirements.
While Praxair's AccuStar system offers clear benefits for customers compared to traditional delivery processing, Praxair also gains the advantage of better information for planning delivery routes, managing inventory and more accurately forecasting customer demand. "That means enhanced order dispatching with improved ability to offer a vendor-managed inventory at our customer sites," noted Ron Maloney, director of Logistics and Distribution. "In addition, the new system has the ability to track medical gases lot numbers in an electronic format, which will help customers comply with the Food and Drug Administration and the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate regulations in the US and in Canada respectively. It’s a clear win-win situation and gives Praxair an advantage in the marketplace."
Praxair Distribution, Inc. and its subsidiaries and distributors deliver a large array of industrial and specialty gases, equipment and supplies, technical expertise, and services to thousands of customers in the United States and Canada. With hundreds of locations throughout North America, Praxair Distribution provides differentiated product and service offerings that help customers achieve their objectives faster, better and at lower total cost.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.