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Purchasing PPE During Covid-19 Pandemic: Beware Of Faulty Products From New “suppliers"

The NZ market is being flooded with new “suppliers” of PPE (gloves, mask and clothing), with these businesses and individuals taking advantage of the pandemic and in many cases hoping to make a quick profit, often at the expense of those who are desperately in need of products. They can have no previous supply history or experience in sourcing, and have no knowledge of their products, their quality, or where they are coming from, or indeed if they will even arrive. Deposits of 50% and more are demanded.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exponentially grown the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is now far surpassing supply and resulting in limited stock availability for key industries and frontline workers. Some industries are so desperate for PPE they are sourcing from unknown suppliers without first conducting product or supplier due diligence and the products received, haven’t always been what was paid for.

Authorities have begun seizing counterfeit and faulty Chinese-made face masks and other protective clothing, while governments have rejected defective Chinese-made equipment designed to combat the coronavirus. These are real problems for frontline workers reliant on these products to prevent contracting Covid-19.

Sourcing and supplying PPE isn’t simple and takes years of experience, working with suppliers, to establish good relationships and receive products of consistent and reliable quality. Steve Ardagh, CEO of glove and clothing specialist supplier Eagle Protect, commented, “establishing good supplier relationships is paramount in reliable sourcing of quality gloves and clothing. Almost anyone can buy a container of products at a fairly reasonable price, but in some cases are proving to be faulty or reject products. These are demanding times, and for everyone’s safety, it is important to know these vital PPE items are made to specifications and will actually work to protect the wearer.”

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