MSC encourages manufacturers to review supply chains during pandemic
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Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy. Many aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, and other sectors are playing a direct role in combatting COVID-19 by providing essential services and materials needed to fight the spread of the virus. Therefore, it’s vital for people working in hazardous manufacturing environments to protect themselves with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). However, the supply of PPE to the healthcare sector is understandably being prioritised, with estimates of a 2,000 per cent jump in demand in recent days.
Tom Coleing, product manager here at MSC, said: “The pandemic has led to a huge increase in demand for PPE, which has left many manufacturing businesses scrambling for any equipment that they can get their hands on. The risk with this is that they might be using masks and other PPE that do not adequately protect workers from the hazard, may not fit correctly and may not even be certified for use.”
Despite the demanding circumstances, every organisation has a responsibility to comply with occupational health and safety legal requirements. As a result, manufacturing organisations are in a difficult situation; they are under pressure to produce the essential products and components that are having a direct impact on fighting the virus, yet they are struggling to source PPE and other industrial consumables due to limited stock availability with their supplier.
Therefore, UK manufacturers need to challenge their supply base to continue supporting the economy while growing their business. It is vital that parts are available to keep manufacturers operating and suppliers who are failing to provide the manufacturing industry with the items they desperately need are letting their customers, and most of all, the industry, down.
Tom added: “The team here at MSC have been engaging in conversations with our customers about the fundamental drivers of their businesses and compliance is one of several areas we frequently talk to them about and support them with. Most recently, manufacturing organisations have been telling us that our industrial vending solutions have proved critical to business operations during this time of unprecedented demand. It has provided them with the ongoing supply and peace of mind that workers are using the correct PPE for their application. Not only do we replenish the stock, but we also make sure the stocking levels meet business requirements, and we’re able to set parameters to make sure workers only vend items approved for their use.
“When choosing a supply partner, it’s essential to consider how they fit your business strategy and help you meet your objectives, especially during these uncertain times. Because the health and safety of employees is more important than ever, we would encourage manufacturing businesses to ask themselves if their existing supplier is doing enough to support them. Are they helping in terms of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of your workforce and recommending the right solutions?”