PPE Supply Issues During COVID-19

Posted by: Carly - Marketing Manager at Amici

COVID-19 is having a major impact on the broader supply chain for products that are critical to the day-to-day operations of organisations in the life science industry.

Routine PPE products appear to be the most affected as demand for these items increases globally. Suppliers continue to allocate PPE – and gloves specifically – to NHS and COVID-19 testing sites as a priority.

The impact of PPE supply issues may be felt well in to 2022 so what can your life science organisation do to best prepare?

Amici recommends the following.

  1. Plan ahead. Avoid letting stock run low before placing new orders and aim to hold around 6-8 weeks’ worth of PPE stock.
  2. Consider alternatives. Where possible, decide what is critical and what alternative specifications you could consider. You should also consider alternative brands and/or suppliers.
  3. Have supplier accounts set up. Proactively setting up accounts and agreeing credit levels with alternative PPE suppliers could mean you are one step ahead when placing future orders. Don’t wait until an item becomes critical.
  4. Be flexible. Allowing flexibility with internal processes, policies and procedures will ensure your organisation can be dynamic with ordering PPE items.

The world’s largest glove manufacturer has seen unprecedented demand for PPE items due to the outbreak. Worldwide, orders have doubled over the last few months, increasing lead times from 30 days to 150 days. In response, some manufacturers are scaling up and increasing manufacturing capacity, however, this will not happen overnight.

It is a similar story for other PPE items. Those with the highest demand currently are:

  • Gloves
  • Face masks
  • Disinfecting Wipes & Sprays
  • Tyvek suits
  • Sleeve covers
  • Overshoes
  • Lab coats

What is Amici doing?

This is a challenging and uncertain time for global and UK supply chains.

We are checking logistics sources daily to ensure we can provide customers with relevant updates.

We reach out to suppliers regularly, particularly those suppliers of key PPE items, and we have tracking mechanisms setup to ensure we have the most up to date information on stock levels and lead times. This allows us to work more strategically and support our customers with continuity of supply chain for PPE items.

Our Sourcing Team is supporting customers with supply issues and sourcing alternative products where possible. We track order patterns to allow us to communicate and plan accordingly for affected products.

Our Order Management Team continues to problem solve, update orders with expected delivery dates and follow up with suppliers on our customers behalf.

We pride ourselves on the unique world-class service we provide, and we promise to support our customers in their life-changing work in any way we can.

Get in Touch.

If you are a current Amici customer and would like any additional support, please let us know. If you aren’t one of our customers but would like to learn more about the unique service we offer, please get in touch.

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