26. Nov 2021
Supply chains have been hitting the headlines recently, with concerns ranging from energy supplies to Christmas toys. Many manufacturers of products like clinical surface wipes have historically relied on manufacturing in China and transporting products to the UK. Unfortunately, a myriad of problems in China is stifling production and ultimately supply to the NHS.
Last year, Covid put the spotlight firmly on product sourcing for healthcare providers, particularly infection prevention goods. But the pandemic highlighted deep fragilities in these networks, with disruption in one part of the chain having a ripple-down effect on all parts of the chain. Many manufacturers of products like clinical surface wipes have historically relied on manufacturing in China and transporting products to the UK. Unfortunately, a myriad of problems in China is stifling production and ultimately supply to the NHS.
The risks of single sourcing from China has been brewing for years, but they bubbled up even more during the pandemic. The rapid spread of the virus prompted shutdowns of industries around the world, adversely impacting on global supply chains. In early 2020, manufacturing and supplier operations in many parts of China ground to a halt. Even now, supply chains that were disrupted during the global health crisis are still facing huge challenges and are struggling to bounce back.
The problem in China has been compounded by power shortages which have affected production in recent months, but the situation is getting worse because of a perfect storm. Its industries are facing huge pressure from soaring energy prices, and from Beijing to tackle carbon emissions.
Manufacturers solely relying on China for goods may have to find alternative sources of supply. When it comes to clinical grade wipes, this might not be straightforward to achieve, as wipes need to meet certain standards like EU norms if they are to be safely used for infection prevention in UK hospitals.
All schülke surface wipes are manufactured in Europe to the highest EU standards, this means our supply chain is consistently robust and reliable. It does not rely on shipping products half way around the world. schülke’s healthcare supply chain management strategy involves producing products in the required quantities, managing supplies, and delivering goods to health providers. We aim to ensure that providers are not left without essential products like clinical grade medical wipes.
Whilst waiting lists are currently more of an NHS priority than Covid, reliable supply chains for vital products remain as essential now as they ever did.