LDA added six new distributor members in 2015.

The Linde Distributor Association (LDA) recently held its annual meeting at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mark Falconer, LDA co-chairman and President of Minneapolis Oxygen Company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, said, “This year, we held the meeting in the spring to get away from the heavy fall business meeting schedule and found a marked difference in attendance. The greater turnout was a critical factor in the increased interaction between the distributors and vendors and the overall success of the meeting. So much so, we plan to hold future meetings in the spring.” The 2016 meeting will be held on June 5-8 at the Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The LDA annual meeting provides the opportunity for LDA members to share ideas for business improvement and to network with preferred vendors. Established in 1993, LDA enables its independent gases and equipment distributor members to leverage their purchasing power to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates from equipment suppliers.

Thirty-eight member companies and 32 preferred vendors were in attendance. Of the six new distributor members the LDA added this year, four attended the meeting: Daigle Welding Supply, Opelousas, Louisiana; Trico Welding Supplies, Woodland, California, Tulsa Gas & Gear, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Volunteer Welding Supply, Nashville, TN. “Volunteer Welding actually joined our meeting as a guest and was so impressed, signed on the spot and became a member,” Falconer said.

At the meeting, Harris Industrial Gases of Sacramento, CA, was also approved as a member by the LDA board. LDA also welcomed a new preferred vendor, TrackAbout, Inc., which made presentation on its Cylinder Tracking Software.

During the general session, Robert R. VanKirk, head of Distributors, US PGP & Caribbean, gave a presentation on Linde’s Customer Focus Organization as well as an update on Linde’s Supply Chain. Terry Hall, co-chairman of LDA, presented a plaque to Modesto Welding Products, recognizing the company’s 40th anniversary as a Linde distributor and for attending all LDA meetings. In accepting the award, Buzz Rasmussen president of MWP, said “It’s been a great ride for 40 years. I couldn’t have done it without all my superb employees and the support of my family and the Linde organization. Looking forward to the next 40 years!”

Since its inception in 1993, LDA has enabled independent distributors to leverage the purchasing power of an association to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates. Linde LLC provides the LDA with administrative support, participates in vendor selection and programs, manages committees and provides guidance on best practices and changing trends in the industry.

LDA has 62 member companies who have over 400 retail locations throughout the US. Combined, LDA members have made over $1 billion in annual purchases and have earned some $27 million in rebates since the group was established. Products purchased include welding and cutting equipment, consumables, and gas containment and handling equipment.

This year’s LDA meeting was sponsored by preferred vendors Chart Industries, Cryovation, Direct Wire & Cable, Dynaflux, Flame Technologies, Gas Innovations, H & H Sales, Hypertherm, Metabo, Norris Cylinders, Norton Abrasives, ORS Nasco, Ratermann Manufacturing, Safe-T-Cart, Miller/Gas Equipment Company, John Tillman Company, Label Solutions, ESAB/Victor Technologies, Washington Alloys, Weldcote Metals, CK Worldwide, Worthington Industries, 3M Hornell, American Torch Tip Company, ArcOne, ACE - Associated Equipment Corp., United Abrasives/Sait, Cyl-Tec, Hougen, Aztec Coatings, TrackAbout and Welding Material Sales.