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Inside the Air Liquide digital transformation

Simplifying and enhancing the experience of our customers and patients

Digital transformation at Air Liquide is about leveraging the power of digital to deliver a world-class customer experience. It involves harnessing data and creating digital solutions to better manage our assets, interact with our customers and patients, and leverage our ecosystems. The value created offers higher efficiency, increased growth opportunities and business sustainability over the long term.

A customer-centric transformation strategy

Air Liquide’s digital transformation relies on the ACE strategy that aims at transforming the way that Air Liquide:

  • manages its Assets (production units, storage facilities, cylinders, etc.) to guarantee best-in market  customer service
  • interacts with its Customers and patients to provide a best-in-market customer experience
  • leverages its Ecosystems (internal communities and external innovation ecosystems) to ensure an agile and performing organization.

By defining a common framework for all its business activities, Air Liquide is leveraging the power of digital to achieve the goals set in the NEOS Company Program, and to offer its customers and patients a best-in-industry experience.

Interview with Olivier Delabroy, Air Liquide - Prix Continuité Stratégique - eCAC 40 (in French only)

Air Liquide stands in the top 5 of the 2018 eCAC40, barometer of the digital maturity

Managing our assets, interacting with our customers, leveraging our ecosystems

Digital Transformation teams

Digital transformation is more than deploying new technologies, it is centered on improving and simplifying the experience of our customers, patients and our employees. And it is achieved by unleashing collaboration between Digital teams, IT, WBL and Operations to make an even more networked and agile organization. It is an inclusive transformation powered by and for people.

Digital Transformation teams notably include:

  • Digital Fabs, cross-functional teams driving the Digital transformation journey of a specific business line or corporate function
  • La Factory, which provides digital capabilities (e.g. data scientists, designers…) necessary to contribute to achieving the Group’s Digital transformation.
  • Alizent,  Air Liquide’s entity dedicated to industrial Internet of Things, which designs and operates solutions that connect assets to provide data and enhance performance.
  • i-Lab, Air Liquide’s innovation laboratory, which explores new markets through a user-centric approach to detect new usages, test and accelerate new growth opportunities for the Group.
Inside Air Liquide's digital transformation

Discover the video to see how Air Liquide is designing its digital transformation

Optimal management of our assets

Integrating the latest digital solutions within its Large Industries business line gives Air Liquide the ability to extract and analyze operational data directly from its production sites. 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 ( from the Large Industries business line, IT, 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.

Discover our asian optimization center

Airgas call center in Pennsylvania. Telesales are part of the multichannel approach.

Interacting with our customers

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.

Ecosystems for an agile organization

As part of its open innovation approach, Air Liquide continues to develop its external partnerships, particularly with startups, to accelerate innovation and the digital transformation for the benefit of  the customer experience.

In 2017, Air Liquide became a founding partner of the Techstars Paris startup accelerator. Collaboration with Techstars startups brings Air Liquide a great value in terms of usages, new practices and technologies. In 2 years, more than 70 internal mentors from Air Liquide have helped accelerate startups. But this collaboration doesn’t stop after the three months acceleration program, as reflected for example by the successful partnership with the startup Wakeo, recognised by the “King of the Supply Chain Innovation Award”.

Two years of collaboration with Techstars

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 ways of working (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.

Open innovation is at the heart of the Group’s strategy.  By connecting to innovation ecosystems around the world, we are able to identify relevant technologies and reduce development time that will benefit our customers and patients.