As a key component of Group innovation, our digital transformation strategy is integral to the customer-centric transformation strategy stated in the NEOS Company Program.
In terms of the Group's core businesses, this strategy is designed to transform the way Air Liquide:
By defining a common framework for all its business activities, Air Liquide is leveraging the power of digital to achieve the goals set in its NEOS Company Program, and to offer its customers and patients a best-in-industry experience.
Integrating the latest digital resources within its Large Industries business line gives Air Liquide the ability to extract and analyze operational data directly from its individual facilities. This data allows us to anticipate incidents, optimize equipment maintenance and facilitate decision-making to continue improving our performance in supplying industrial gases to our customers.
By automating and centralizing its operations, the Group can also optimize plant performance - especially in terms of energy consumption - to deliver higher efficiency and to reduce its environmental footprint (in terms of indirect CO2 emissions avoided).
The creation of the LI Fab as a multidisciplinary team of experts (drawn from the Large Industries business line, Information Systems, Digital Transformation and R&D) contributes to accelerating the rollout of the production unit optimization program “Smart Innovative Operations” (SIO). Our digital predictive maintenance tools have already been rolled out in a multitude of Group sites around the world. This program adds a new level of richness to the experience of our customers by providing them with a service that is more tailored, more reliable, more flexible and more responsive.
Beyond technological competencies, operational excellence and efficiency, customers expect consistent offers from the Group, regardless of the channel through which they choose to make their purchases, as well as transparent access to data and an efficient response to their requests.
The multichannel model demands detailed knowledge of the customer journey. That is why Air Liquide has introduced and rolled out its program "Voice of Customer" which provides real-time gathering and analysis of customer experience feedback.
Airgas has also contributed its expertise on customer journey implementation through its multichannel model, which includes distributors, telesales, local stores and an e-commerce gateway for online sales of gases and equipment.
In accordance with its commitment to open innovation, Air Liquide continues to develop its external partnerships, particularly with startups, to accelerate innovation and the digital transformation in ways that serve to improve the customer experience.
In 2017, Air Liquide joined the Techstars Paris startup accelerator. The global Techstars program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to work on a daily basis with partner companies through a process that majors on mentorship. It also provides privileged access to the best startups in artificial intelligence, Data, the Internet of Things, mobility and cyber security.
i-Lab, the Air Liquide innovation laboratory, also plays an important role in exploring new markets: its teams use a user-centric model to identify new usages and test and accelerate new growth opportunities.
Facilitating the development of an even more agile organization also depends on improving the experience of our internal communities. Designed for and with employees, new working methods (collaborative tools and agile methods) are therefore tested and developed within the Group. For example, real-life video tutorials have been produced in conjunction with the startup SpeachMe to provide easier access to technical procedures and help technicians during breakdowns and/or routine repairs.
Beyond technology-based solutions, the Air Liquide digital transformation aims above all else to simplify and improve the experience of our customers, our patients and our employees. This transformation is made possible by collaboration between different teams, for example from Digital, Information Systems, the business lines and Operations that work work closery with customers. In short, this is a transformation driven by and for people!