Airgas has announced it has signed three separate supply agreements with Premier Purchasing Partners, L.P., the group purchasing unit of Premier Inc.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Premier is a healthcare performance improvement alliance that operates a leading healthcare purchasing network and serves more than 2,300 US hospitals and 66,000 other healthcare sites.

Airgas will provide Premier member institutions with bulk gases, as part of a five-year supply agreement, and cylinder gases as part of a three-year supply agreement.

As part of a separate three-year agreement, Airgas will also provide cylinder gases to Premier's 160 ASCEND (Accelerated Supply Chain Endeavor) members.

Airgas serves Premier members through Airgas Puritan Medical and the Airgas market-focused Strategic Accounts programme, which was established to provide sole-source supply and supply chain management services for customers with multiple locations nationwide.

$quot;In addition to supplying Premier members with bulk and cylinder gases, we're providing a variety of services to help streamline their supply chain and improve cost efficiencies,$quot; said Jeff Green, Airgas Puritan Medical national accounts director.

$quot;Upon proper evaluations at each hospital, our OUTLOOK® Managed Services and AIM&trade (Airgas Inventory Management) programmes provide on-site gas management, including cylinder tracking. In addition, MGM, Airgas' medical gas management business, provides architectural and construction services, medical gas piping to points of use certification of gas systems, and medical gas equipment installation and service. These are just a few of the ways that Airgas helps to improve the efficiencies of our customers' supply chains.$quot;

With a strategic focus on specific market segments, Airgas works with customers to fully understand their challenges and provide custom-tailored solutions.

Airgas market segment leaders collaborate with account managers and teams within 12 Airgas regional organisations and more than 850 branch locations nationwide to provide the right solutions for a broad array of industries.

The Airgas Puritan Medical group is working with Premier and its member healthcare institutions.