S: At the height of the uncertainty at the very start of the pandemic in March 2020 our order levels dropped dramatically when the first lockdown was put in place.
However, this was only temporary and as our clients adjusted to the new ways of working and as restrictions eased over the course of the year, this was reflected in an increase in orders. What we did find is that many orders that previously were sent to salesforce home addresses started to go direct to clinics and hospitals. This was because hospitals had suspended unnecessary visits, meaning the sales reps couldn’t visit the HCPs as they would normally have done (and fuelled the push for digital materials).
Further issues were also encountered as the couriers were no longer allowed to deliver directly to hospital departments and had to deliver to the central goods inwards area. Initially, this did result is some packages being delayed as hospitals’ internal delivery systems were under stress. Thankfully this issue didn’t last for long. To be proactive, we also started pressing for contact numbers and email addresses so that we could inform HCPs when their delivery was being made.
M: What has also changed since the start of the pandemic is the type of equipment and products that we stock for our clients. We now stock a wide variety of PPE on behalf of our clients including masks, face shields, gloves, and hand sanitisers. These were being ordered frequently last year and it was important that although global shortages were being reported that we managed to maintain good stock levels keep up with the demand.