This story comes from Louise Pickett, TrackAbout Senior Support Specialist.
It’s always fun to get out of the office to see what our clients are up to. They are always doing interesting things. And now, with the TrackAbout smartphone app, the tasks are so much easier from anywhere.
It was a beautiful spring day in California, and I was at a client site for a new implementation training. I suggested ahead of time that we visit a customer close by to perform a customer audit to ensure accurate balances. So after lunch at the local burrito place, Bob, Rachel, Umberto and I hopped in the car and headed over to see one of their customers. Mike, our client’s sales rep, met us at the customer location since he had nurtured a good relationship with them.
Mike selected a great customer for this audit. They create displays for all kinds of conventions and trade shows. Their location is a huge warehouse, with stations for welding, for woodworking, for any kind of creating you can imagine!
We all got out our smartphones and started scanning cylinders as part of the audit. When we thought we were done, I logged into the TrackAbout website, right from my smartphone, and checked the customer’s balance. We were three scans shy of what TrackAbout thought they should have. So we walked all over the warehouse, searching for more. In the process, we found Stormtroopers and Pokémon eggs, as well as a two-story, wooden house which was under construction, all right there inside the warehouse. This was pure geek heaven!
This article, written by Rhea Healy, originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.
It seems that in today’s world, the need for immediate and mobile data is now the norm, with smartphones and the internet practically essential to keep connected to the world. Any information you desire is now just one click away in most cases.
As these trends infiltrate everyday life, they do of course also extend into the industrial gas industry, where the role of ‘smart’ technology has become a staple asset in cylinder tracking and similar industrial applications, eradicating the traditional pen and paper method of a seemingly distant era.
More and more high-profile companies are implementing tracking systems with ‘smart’ features, but just how much further can this evolve and what other technological trends could possibly emerge from this point?
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.
TrackAbout co-founders Jim Glessner and Tim Fusco, and Vice-President of Sales, Doug O’Dell discuss the shared vision of eradicating the ‘black holes’ in the industrial gas supply chain.
Founded in 2000 by former Butler Gas Products employee Jim Glessner and software developer Tim Fusco, Pennsylvania-based TrackAbout, Inc. has become a leading authority in industrial gas asset management. The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to tracking, managing and maintaining gas cylinders have filled a significant gap in the market over the past 16 years and helped to put an end to the loss of invaluable data that may otherwise have slipped through the cracks.
It all began from Glessner’s own experiences in the industry, having witnessed just how much time was wasted disputing cylinder balances with customers, correcting data entry and ultimately searching for ‘lost’ cylinders. He realised that gas distributors could gain significant benefits if only they had the tools to manage their business with more efficiency. Against this backdrop, and with a technology revolution rapidly unfolding, TrackAbout was launched.
The company has continued to evolve through an active relationship with its customer base since then, which includes world-class organisations in 17 countries; but there was a time when its future did not seem so certain to be realised. Glessner explained, “Your question about our company’s inception makes me pause because it was never very certain we would ever get off the ground, let alone become a leader.”
One of the industries TrackAbout has found success with is called Packaged Gas. Companies in this particular industry make all types of gases, such as oxygen, helium and acetylene for industry, medicine, manufacturing and research. Gas is placed in cylinders, which are then tracked using TrackAbout. Most Packaged Gas companies charge rent on the containers for as long as they’re with the end customers.
Occasionally a gas distributor finds itself with a customer that just refuses to pay its rental bill. TrackAbout’s customer General Welding Supply Corporation (GWSCO) of Long Island, NY recently shared the following story.
This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of CryoGas International. It is reprinted with permission.
Award-winning author Thomas Friedman said, “Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/opinion/friedman-come-the-revolution.html) Friedman was referring to the “college education revolution” where advancements in technology made it easier for more people to receive a college degree for a lower cost via an online platform. But history is full of big breakthroughs resulting from innovations that filled a desperate need. The printing press gave greater access to information and set the stage for a transformation of social literacy. The steam engine enabled growth of the railroad and boosted intercontinental trade. Electricity sparked a host of other inventions that account for most of our modern life. And now, cloud technology and mobile computing are changing the way compressed gas distributors operate.
I was very honored to be asked to write an article on the history of cylinder tracking for the 25th Anniversary Issue of CryoGas International Magazine. I’m proud that TrackAbout has been a leader in developing asset tracking technology for the industrial gas industry for the past 15 years. That experience has given me a chance to watch this technology grow from its infancy.
I am especially excited that TrackAbout, together with our affiliate company Lockhouse, is helping to build the future industrial supply chain. So the article is also about the future of cylinder tracking, and how technology in use now both creates and solves the increasing demands for better information in real time, all along the supply chain.
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.
This article was written by Stuart Radnedge of gasworld and originally appeared in the May 2015 issue. It is reprinted with permission.
Technology, and the advancement of it, propels innovation – influencing changes for a better, more efficient mode of conducting everyday life. The late, great, co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, once stated, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
This couldn’t be more true a description than that of the humble telephone – or its development into what we now know as the smartphone. Once the wired telephone lost its cabled connectors, boundaries were broken – and a tool for long distance communication between humans suddenly became limitless. It’s only over the last 15 or so years that the smartphone has become the fully integrated companion to our lives.
And in this In Focus… we look into the positive effect that smartphones – and technology as a whole – has had on the tracking, scheduling and telemonitoring sector of industrial gases.
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.
Thanks for taking 10 minutes out with gasworld. What have we interrupted in your schedule today?
I’m travelling back to my home in Lincoln, Nebraska. I spent the past few days in Las Vegas attending Medtrade, a trade show focused on the home medical equipment market and medical gases.
You know, it’s amazing how many companies don’t do a good job of tracking their equipment – especially their medical oxygen cylinders. Knowing the regulations and the risks of noncompliance, you’d think they would be more prepared. In many cases, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) could shut down their business for a failed lot recall or undocumented device inspection, yet many continue to take that risk.
TrackAbout is committed to helping our customers achieve their goals. No matter what industry they serve, all of our customers have common objectives of saving money, increasing revenue and improving productivity. A few of them took a break from TrackApalooza, our annual user conference, to describe how their companies have benefited from our asset tracking software. Hear what they had to say in the video below. Read about other customers on the Stories section of our website.
This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of gasworld.
Smartphones and other sophisticated mobile devices have taken the world by storm – fundamentally changing the way many of us interact and work every day. People can now carry a small, relatively inexpensive powerful computing device with internet connectivity with them wherever they go. This has meant that, for better or worse, more people find themselves ‘always connected’. However for businesses, especially industries that manage lots of assets, these devices are nothing short of a positive game changing force.