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A new era in the PPE supply chain

As trusted suppliers to businesses for the last 15 years, we have benefited from the wondrous world of global supply chains, seamlessly linking suppliers with end consumers with 24, 48 hour shipping times!  As a result, this just-in-time manufacturing model has helped many business companies, including ours, control profit margins, drive down costs to be able to compete in the marketplace.   With limited spare stock sitting on warehouse shelves, distributors have been able to meet the demands of our customers with fairly low risk investments on stock. 

Along comes COVID 19 and  PPE stocks are wiped out overnight

Overnight, the demand for personal protection demand wiped out all the UK stock held in various warehouse locations for distributors and manufactures alike.  With a 8-12 week timeframe for replenishing the main personal protection products (PPE) the likelihood of being able to secure products for our existing customers was going to be a tough task.  Add to the mix the containers already in shipment the stocks were sold while on route or in some cases being diverted to other global locations. Eliminating the possibility of new stock replacement.

Government intervention redirects existing PPE stock

Very quickly and rightly, the UK Government entered the market and all incoming stocks stopped and were redirected to the NHS front line. There were no PPE stocks left offshore for general business use and what was at sea went straight to the medical services frontline staff. This left the majority of SME and corporate procurement teams, who had traditionally bought just-in-time supplies, facing an uphill task to secure personal procurement equipment to protect their work force. 

The result, the supply chain costs for freight skyrocketed and the market was inundated, and continues to be, with fake ppe products. 

Global powerhouse demand for PPE products forces up prices

Mix in the US buying power and global demand for a select number of PPE products, we are witnessing a global scramble for PPE manufacturing production slots that has been unprecedented.  With wall-to-wall TV coverage about the global PPE shortage and the Government’s across the Globe keen to demonstrate their ability to resolve the issue, some production slots in the main manufacturing hubs have now been bought 6 months in advance, some are even longer. 

In addition, with limited UK PPE manufacturing establishments set up, this leaves UK businesses and local authorities facing an uphill struggle to secure quality controlled PPE products, 

What do SMEs and Corporate procurement team’s need to do 

Current Government policy states:  

Current procurement process needs to shift from the just in time mindset to 6 weeks ahead on key items and upto 2 months on products such as disposable gloves. 

Prepare now to get back to work. 

Call us today to discuss your PPE requirements

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Life Sciences Hub Wales: Press Release – PPE experts ensure NHS Wales’ equipment is fit for purpose

Read below Life Sciences Hub Wales press release about our involvement with the supply of critical PPE into NHS Wales – we are super proud of the team for all their hard work over the last few months. 

Life Sciences Hub Wales – Press release 14.07.2020 

As the Covid-19 pandemic sparked unprecedented global demand and competition for personal protective equipment (PPE), a Denbighshire-based protective equipment specialist has leveraged its international supply chains to ensure Wales has access to sources of essential equipment. 

Established in 2005, Workplace Worksafe is a major UK supplier of workplace PPE and protective workwear. As one of the largest independent distributors in the UK, the company typically sells more than 250,000 products to customers operating in a range of sectors across the country and Europe.   

Responding to a call issued by Life Sciences Hub Wales for industry support in Wales’ battle against the virus, PPE experts at Workplace Worksafe utilised their relationships with an international network of PPE and protective clothing manufacturers to establish a pipeline of productive equipment, including masks, scrubs and fitment tests, into the country.   

The Covid-19 emergency has seen businesses across Wales rally to ensure NHS Wales and frontline services can access PPE equipment that will protect those working to save lives and serve their communities. To date, partnering with Life Sciences Hub Wales has enabled Workplace Worksafe to supply over 27,120 pieces of equipment into NHS Wales via the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.      

Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:

“Our call out to Welsh industry generated a phenomenal response from businesses operating in a range of sectors across the country.  Workplace Worksafe are a fantastic example of how Wales has been able to create partnerships that unlock specialist expertise and facilitate collaboration that results in new supply chains into NHS Wales. Our work with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has enabled us to secure safe and certified products that will play a vital role in protecting both patients, and those working on the frontline of our health and social care sectors.” 

The achievements of the Workplace Worksafe team goes beyond the ability to source PPE. Their expertise and experience alongside partners at Life Sciences Hub Wales has enabled them to ensure that the equipment sourced meets the standards required for use by NHS Wales.  

PPE equipment, such as masks, can only protect an individual if it fits correctly, forming a secure seal when worn. For this reason, Workplace Worksafe also worked to secure FIT Test kits that help NHS Wales staff ensure that they find the type of mask that best fits and protects them.  

In addition to producing and sourcing equipment for Wales’ healthcare and frontline services, Workplace Worksafe is also helping employers across Wales to access the PPE they need to keep their teams and customers safe. 

Workplace-Worksafe’s managing director, Rhian Parry, said:

“As a Welsh business, we are passionate about moving the production of PPE and other critical goods back to Wales. Our team in Ruthin have been working extended hours, seven days a week to secure supplies and we are proud that we have been able to help with sourcing much-needed resources for healthcare teams across the country. Working with Life Science Hub Wales is allowing us to ensure that the equipment, that our teams have worked tirelessly to source and create, goes directly to where NHS Wales needs it the most. That work isn’t over as we continue to secure regular shipments of PPE for NHS Wales, with new containers arriving each month.” 

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters said:

“Welsh businesses continue to play an absolutely crucial role in helping us provide the vital PPE supplies our healthcare workers need. Suppliers like Workplace Worksafe have really risen to the challenge posed by this pandemic and are key in ensuring we have a long-term supply of important items. 

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has played a key role in the supply and distribution of PPE to Health and Social Care sites across NHS Wales. 

Any businesses looking to submit offers of support in the fight against coronavirus should do so via the Life Sciences Hub Wales online portal. 

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Working in partnership to NHS Wales

Workplace Worksafe in Ruthin Denbighshire work in partnership with the Welsh Government, Elite Clothing Solutions, & Brodwaith PPE (scrubs) to NHS Wales.

Work to produce medical scrubs for the NHS is underway at three sites across Wales, with Workplace Worksafe, Elite Clothing Solutions & Brodwaith working closely with the Welsh Government to set up the product PPE to supply into the NHS Wales.

Continue reading Working in partnership to NHS Wales
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The global scramble for PPE and what we can do now for Wales

Workplace Worksafe back Mark Drakeford call to action for Welsh business to create a new Welsh supply of PPE to support NHS and social care staff.  We need to act now!  MD calls local business firms to get in touchifyou have the availability on production lines or capacity to make PPE products.

Continue reading The global scramble for PPE and what we can do now for Wales