Our Top 5 PPE Planning Tips

At Spectrum Uniforms, we recognize the fact that there are so many great lessons to learn from 2020 - what a wild ride it has been! We know it's important as an industry to focus on how we can prepare for the coming months, which is why we’ve created a list of the top 5 things to consider for PPE planning!

1. School has begun.

The big question for distributors is how can you be there to help clients if and when they run out of supplies? It’s essential to consider the needs of all school programs, including K-12, medical programs, technical programs, what products they want, and who to contact. When it comes to elementary, middle and high schools, we have to think about how to keep teachers and kids safe when they’re back in person, if not already, and who is providing them with the PPE they need. Do parents have to provide their kids with gloves and masks, do the teachers provide hand sanitizer, or does the district pay for it? These differ by state and district mandates, so use your resources!

2. It’s almost Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

This means buckling up, putting your pink stethoscopes on, and reaching out. Are healthcare organizations doing fundraisers, offering additional services, promoting pink items, or searching for pink embroidery on scrubs and lab coats? Are they promoting on a state, local, or national level? We need to be aware of what these promotional events look like, how many of their promo items are healthcare related (pink thermometers, hand sanitizers, pen lights) and if the goal is to give people items they’ll keep. Most importantly, we need to keep building those relationships, and know how to be the best possible asset right now.

3. Be a resource for healthcare and government organizations.

The needs of healthcare and government organizations are going to be high as we head what looks like a challenging Fall. We have to know who to contact within the purchasing departments, how fast these organizations are burning through supplies, and when they will need more. In April and May of this year, Spectrum sent out 120,000 units of scrubs to help fill the gap where front-line workers were needed exponentially. Retired nurses were brought back to work, isolation clinics started popping up, and we had to figure out what to do in order to avoid future panic. We’ve realized that PPE has become more than hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and eyeglasses. Scrubs have become an extremely useful part of PPE, such as disposable scrubs and antimicrobial ones like our WYND scrub line. It’s crucial to prepare ourselves and clients with equipment to monitor and protect ourselves and each other, such as pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, and IR thermometers.

4. Less than 100 days until the holiday season…  

Now is the time to start looking into hospitality programs, corporate gifting, who is sending gifts to their employee’s homes, and what holiday parties will look like for larger organizations. With the hospitality industry, it's important to look at how they are providing safety and instilling confidence for their employees and guests. Many companies have been equipping cleaning crews with scrubs for protection. Additionally, what will shopping behaviors look like this winter? When it comes to keeping staff and customers safe, we will likely see an uplift in white labeling, smaller packs of masks being available, distributors reaching out to retailers, pulse oximeters becoming more widely available, and so on. We have to prepare for how to have these items retail ready under a white label. 

5. The dreaded term “New Normal” … 

Lastly, a major theme we have seen since the start of stay at home mandates has been the term “new normal.” How can we help customers so they are prepared and no one is surprised by what comes next? We will continuously have to be ready with more masks and items like pulse oximeters for monitoring health at home. We still don’t know when a vaccine will be available to the general public. As far as we’re concerned, 3-ply masks are the safest choice in the meantime while we remain in the unknown. Make sure you aren’t running low on any stock, and most importantly, be prepared to remain calm.