Our Most Frequently Asked PPE Questions

You asked - we answered!


Q: How long has Spectrum been in business and who do we sell to?

A: We have been in business for over 30 years (since 1989) and for the last 25 years have focused on scrub sales and medical equipment for the wholesale promo industry. 


Q: What is the best way to contact someone at Spectrum?

A: Reach out to your sales rep, or if you don’t have one yet, give us a call!


Q: How do we calculate freight?

A: We have a system that uses a matrix to calculate the algorithms for determining freight cost. For all orders over $250, we ship for free in the contiguous U.S.


Q: How do I know how much inventory Spectrum has?

A: By contacting your sales rep or our customer service team, we can provide you with current inventory for specific items based on our internal system that has live updates. You may also have access to this information with an exclusive login if you have a Spectrum account. 


Q: Where does Spectrum Uniforms ship from?

A: We ship from our warehouse in Houston, Texas. For larger quantities when we don’t have enough of an item in stock in Houston, we will drop ship from our team on the ground in China, who we’ve worked with for many years.


Q: Does Spectrum decorate PPE products and how?

A: We do in-house customization, embroidery (recommended), heat transfer, and we have screen-print capabilities as well. We do not decorate our 3-ply disposable masks or KN95 masks. We use UV printing technology on thermometers and pulse oximeters because it allows for a much more consistent quality in comparison to pad printing. We can also do customized packaging for large quantity orders.


Q: Who is still buying PPE?

A: Everyone buys PPE in one way or another! A lot of residential, accounting, retail, B2B, and grocery corporations have been in need of it this year to protect their employees and customers. You just have to figure out who your target market is, research who has a need for it, and be able to maintain the partnerships you’ve developed to keep filling that need.


Q: How do I hang onto my customers once Covid-19 is over?

A: Right, now, while you have these relationships with buyers and they’re starting to turn away from PPE, start investigating who their promo buyer is and who in their organization would be interested in marketing products you have to offer. You have to start networking within these organizations and create goodwill with buyers in order to get more market share with each company.


Q: Why have other medical suppliers not performed as well as Spectrum during Covid-19?

A: A lot of companies buy through group purchasing organizations (GPO’s). There are few big medical companies that have a monopoly on supplying these products. Essentially, those companies went into stock allocation as early as January. Supplies were going out to government and healthcare organizations that needed them, as well as many other companies that were already running at a deficit and needed more supplies but never received as much product as they needed. In short, other medical suppliers did not have enough product, they weren’t prepared, and they had a monopoly on their markets, so there wasn’t enough diversity of suppliers. Spectrum was prepared. We allocated supplies quickly from many different sources so that we could get the necessary supplies out as needed and we were able to help a lot of organizations.


Q: What does an FDA importer do?

A: FDA importers have an FDA certification number which allows them to bring in certified products. At Spectrum Uniforms, we have always done this and renewed our certification number every year. As of March 26th this year, however, The CDC began to allow everyone to bring in products without having a certification number, as long as the products remained FDA certified and followed those guidelines, for the purpose of getting supplies like PPE out quickly.


Q: What is the difference between NIOSH, the KN95 and CE approved?

A: NIOSH is the approving body for Osha. It’s an American regulator. A non-American certified product such as the KN95 mask or FFP2 will not have a NIOSH marking because NIOSH is an American governing body. The KN95 and other non-NIOSH approved items are basically other countries’ equivalents to NIOSH approved. Since March, the FDA allowed companies to bring in products authorized by other countries. These include authorized guidelines from European Unions like CE, and other guidelines from Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.