PPE: What to watch for when purchasing N95 Masks, KN95 Masks, Gloves and other personal protective equipment
Why is PPE Still in Short Supply After All This Time?
Since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, every entity, from health care providers to corporations, have competed for personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep their doors open and teams safe. Despite a projected U.S. 2021 industry revenue of more than $6B*, ongoing demand led to an executive order on 1/21/21 to try and bolster production of necessary PPE supplies still scarce across the U.S.A.
As several major European countries recently began requiring medical grade face coverings for their citizens, global demand may increase and the USA may still see an even greater demand for quality PPE than has been experienced to date. The executive order addresses key issues around a national pandemic supply chain strategy, including a strategic PPE stockpile for emergencies, identifying breakdowns in national and foreign supply chains and how to maximize the value and efficiency of public and private PPE manufacturing partnerships.
Source: IBIS World
How to Purchase Quality PPE from North American Suppliers
Do Your Due Diligence
Before you make decisions on your PPE procurement, understand who you’re working with. Look up current business standings and U.S. certifications. Request references on the company’s leadership team and check them for legitimacy. Verify all testing and government safety certifications to ensure the products you intend to purchase meet FDA and/or NIOSH approval.
Check for Previous Deals Gone Awry
Do a deep dive to look for past complaints registered against the entity itself or their principal leadership. A simple Google search can reveal suspicious allegations or litigation against a supplier. When vetting potential suppliers, search the FDA’s databases for anything that looks out of place or negative reports from buyers.
Scrutinize New-to-Market Vendors
Since the pandemic began, many companies began producing N95s and other essential PPE. Manufacturers who lack experience may unwittingly (or even deliberately) misrepresent their manufacturing capabilities, product quality, or delivery timelines. Asking for references and individual quality checks in these cases is a good way to mitigate risk.
Be Aware of Potential Liability
It is not out of the question for companies to come under legal scrutiny if they do not properly vet suppliers prior to purchase and unwillingly supply employees with inadequate protection. Having confidence — and appropriate certifications — that the products you supply your team are legitimate will reduce your company’s long term liability.
Engage ACC to Help
Let us take the guess work off your plate. Despite a market still fraught with new suppliers, counterfeit products and supply shortages, ACC’s relationships with vetted North American-based PPE vendors can prevent supply shortages for your business and keep your team stocked with quality masks and other necessary PPE.
Alliance Cost Containment is a leading U.S. expense reduction consulting firm. We assist private equity backed companies, corporations and institutions of higher education with profit improvement by lowering indirect procurement costs and through PE group purchasing strategies.
In addition to reducing costs, ACC’s approach also instills institutional behavioral changes and adherence to best practices. ACC has performed 3,000 audits on cost savings already implemented.