A DIVERSE CUSTOMER BASE
In 1987 Airgas served roughly 40,000 customers; by 1998 that number had grown to over 700,000. By 2008 the company had more than one million customers, ranging from large national accounts to small mom-and-pop operations. As Airgas has grown, so has the professionalism with which the company serves its clients.
Airgas’ customer base has always been anchored in manufacturing and maintenance and repair operations (MRO). However, an enormous range of customers in many different markets depend on Airgas today. The chemical and petrochemical industries, for example, require large quantities of gases to prepare a host of consumer products found in our homes. The quick freezing properties of liquid nitrogen enable the food industry to prepare and ship local delicacies around the world, without fear of spoiling or sacrificing flavor. The burgeoning biotechnology and life sciences industry relies ever-more heavily on Airgas products, as precision and specimen preservation demand gases like nitrogen and high-purity or high-tolerance, multi-component specialty gas blends.
SERVING THE INDUSTRIES THAT SERVE OUR WORLD
The industries that Airgas serves — manufacturing, construction, medical, chemical, utilities, food and research, among others — are essential to the U.S. economy and American infrastructure. In supplying its customers with gases, hardgoods and value-added services, Airgas does not provide “nice-to-have” products — it provides essential ones.
When a bridge is built, workers put on protective equipment supplied by Airgas, and they weld with Airgas hardgoods and gases. When a highway is repaired, construction crews stay safe with Airgas eyewear, earplugs, high-visibility safety vests and respirators. And no customer is more grateful than a hospital patient who, to breathe, relies on Airgas’ medical oxygen.
Behind the scenes, many Airgas associates play key roles in staging major sporting and entertainment events, providing fog and special effects. Motorsports is by far the largest event-related business for Airgas, which provides nitrogen to fill tires and run pneumatic tools, welding gases and equipment to build car components, and safety equipment for the shop teams. Airgas is also part of the support crew for many concerts throughout the country. Airgas welding gases have helped build stages for the band Yes and provided fog and pyrotechnics for country music stars Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, as well as for the University of Texas–Austin football team.
As a customer-focused company, Airgas is honored when customers show their appreciation. Among the many accolades received:
• Pinnacle President’s Award (2002) Mine Safety Appliances Company
• Circle of Excellence Award (2002) Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc.
• Supplier Excellence Award (2003) Eastman Chemical Company
• Supplier Excellence Award (2005) – Airgas East Shire Pharmaceuticals
• Gold-Level Performance Excellence Award (2008) Boeing
Out of 10,000 Boeing worldwide suppliers, fewer than 50 won the gold distinction. Airgas Safety performed in the 99.99 percentile of Boeing's suppliers.
“We listen and work closely to help customers with their problems. We can never lose sight of that, or we’re just a commodity company.”
Mike Molinini, Executive VP and COO