Founded in 1940, nexAir serves as one of the largest privately-owned suppliers of high-quality industrial, speciality, medical and bulk gases, dry ice, welding equipment, welding supplies, and medical equipment in the US.
The Memphis-based company was started when Robert McEniry purchased Standard Welders Supply which then later merged with Mid-South Oxygen to form nexAir.
Now operating out of 77 strategically placed branches across the South East of the US, the company employs over 800 people.
In order to find out what the company has planned for 2020, gasworld took the opportunity to talk to Milton Lovell, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel at nexAir to discuss new innovations, hot topics and more.
gasworld (GW): What are you most looking forward to as a company in 2020?
Milton Lovell (ML): nexAir is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2020.
As part of our milestone, we are looking forward to honouring and celebrating our heritage but are focused on continuing our tradition of investing the time to truly understand our customers’ needs so we can provide them with the products and know how to help them grow their businesses.
I look forward to sharing the nexAir culture with our new employees and customers as well.
GW: What do you think will be a hot topic for nexAir this year?
ML: As a result of an acquisition we completed earlier this year, we intend to spend some time dedicated to integrating this acquisition into nexAir’s operations.
We also will continue to focus on serving all of our customers across our entire operating footprint and offering increased services to all customers as a result of this acquisition.
Attracting and retaining talent at all levels is always an important issue at nexAir and we are committing to keeping nexAir an employer of choice in all areas in which we operate.
GW: Which sectors of the business do you expect increased demand in this year?
ML: We expect to see increased demand across all sectors nexAir serves, and we are prepared to meet that increased demand.
Naturally, the healthcare sector will be increased for nexAir this year as we have taken on a number of new customers in this area due to our acquisitions.
GW: In 2019 nexAir acquired the LifeGas locations from Linde North America. How do you think this will affect nexAir this year?
ML: The acquisition is extremely positive for nexAir and our entire customer base.
nexAir is now positioned to offer a wide range of products and services to all customers, whether they are new to nexAir or have been with us for all or part of our 80 years and whether they are from the medical or industrial segments of our business.
GW: Do you have any new innovations in the pipeline for 2020?
ML: nexAir has spent the last year or so developing various offerings to increase efficiencies for our customers, focusing on deliveries, cylinders and payment solutions.
We intend to fully implement our routing software this year which will allow customers to receive real-time updates about their deliveries.
We also have several other offerings we are planning to address the needs of our expanding customer base.
GW: Are there any industry events that you are particularly looking forward to?
ML: nexAir is participating in the GAWDA Management Conference in Austin this year and I am looking forward to learning what other companies are focused on this year and how they are addressing the current customer and business environment.
In addition, there are a few other professional and industry organisations, such as the National Association of Wholesalers and Distributors, at which I am looking forward to engaging with companies and peers outside nexAir’s immediate industry.
GW: Anything else planned for 2020 that you would like to share with our readers?
ML: nexAir is looking forward to another strong year and celebrating our 80th anniversary of being dedicated to delivering solutions to our customers.