Whether you work for a large organisation in the health care industry, are part of a small team gallantly delivering excellent service in your community, or are even a one-man band, you’re going to need medical supplies. But, when the stakes couldn’t be higher (the medical industry is a sector that’s heavily regulated and controlled – and rightly so), good quality and complete sterility is essential. So, how should you choose your supplier? Here’s a few tips…
First, get an overview of the market. The medical supply industry is a large one. There are many manufacturers providing an array of tools and materials, which inevitably means that there’s variation in quality and costs. So, to ensure that you have equipment which is fit for purpose, great value and long lasting, you should first get a good overview of the industry. Identify as many suppliers as you can from the UK as well as further into Europe (provided doing so complies with rules and regulations), gathering key information, licensing permissions and honest reviews as you go.
Then, once you’ve narrowed your suppliers to a choice of only a few, interview their customers. A supplier’s current customers will be able to tell you whether or not they’re satisfied with the products and services they’re receiving at the moment, and could present you with an insight that you wouldn’t be able to gain in any other way. If you’re struggling to find current customers, request that the supplier provides you with a list of those who are happy for you to be contacted: a manufacturer with nothing to hide will be only too glad to put you in touch with people who are currently using their products.
Also, weigh up costs vs quality. With so many cuts to healthcare services and a huge number of patients to serve, it’s not shameful to admit that costs play a big part in choosing a medical supplier. Suppliers will offer tools and equipment to suit a range of budgets (such as gloves a bit like those manufactured by Brosch Direct), but beware of anything that seems unusually cheap; low priced products could indicate that a compromise has been made on the quality or customer aftercare, and sometimes you could be better off buying directly from a source you know and trust – even if you have to pay a little more.
Finally, make sure you’re happy with the after-sales service provided. Hopefully you’ll be completely satisfied with the medical supplies you buy, but if for any reason you need to return them or exchange them for something else, you’ll want to feel confident that your supplier is going to work with you to get you what you need. Enquire about a supplier’s returns policy and ask about whether or not they have a team of people dedicated to handling your account, orders and future requirements. Think twice about buying from a supplier who doesn’t have an after-sales plan.