Six new vendors were introduced to the 35 industrial gas distributors who attended the 17th annual meeting of the Linde Distributor Association (LDA) held in Austin, Texas, in late October.

The annual meeting provides the opportunity for LDA members to share ideas for business improvement and to network with preferred vendors.

During the two-day meeting, 25 vendors had plenty of opportunities to discuss their various services, product lines, promote rebate programs and introduce special sales available only to meeting attendees.

This year’s agenda included best practices seminars on social media, supply chain management and risk management, and well as a tour of LDA vendor Flame Tech corporate office and production facility in Cedar Park, Texas.

Abydee Butler, GAWDA Membership Services Chairperson and Vice-President of Butler Gas Products Company, McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, spoke to the group about the benefits of GAWDA membership, which drew favorable comments from several LDA members.

“I was very impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by all meeting attendees,” said Mark Falconer, LDA Co-Chairman and President of Minneapolis Oxygen Company.

“Vigorous participation by distributors and vendors in the various meetings created an atmosphere that maximised the effectiveness of the meeting and enhanced the all-important networking activities.”

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. New Jersey-based Linde North America provides administrative support to the LDA.

LDA has 70 member companies who have over 400 retail locations throughout the US. Combined, LDA members have made over $1bn in annual purchases and have earned some $27m in rebates since the group was established. Products purchased include welding and cutting equipment, consumables, and gas containment and handling equipment.