Due to the increased demand for PPE following the COVID-19 pandemic, price gouging has become a real concern. Sellers are continually inflating the prices of goods, services, or essential commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. This comes amid a report from J. Wallin Opinion Research that found an overwhelming number of Americans (more than 95%) say it’s important for first responders to get COVID-19 supplies/equipment. Resounding the same, Blue Flame Medical believes in America’s health systems, including paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders should get the medical supplies and equipment they need. At the same time, Blue Flame Medical is concerned regarding the current reality that price gouging and faulty supplies are running rampant in the PPE supplying space. Nevertheless, the company is keen to see that they provide products that are designed to meet the unique needs presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. To accomplish this mission, they have partnered with Pro Football Hall of Famer Coach, Mike Singletary in what has been called, “America’s Largest and Fastest PPE Supply Chain Partnership.”
The PPE Pricing Puzzle
Price gouging, an event that occurs after a demand or supply shock, refers to a situation where necessary parties increase the price of necessities after natural disasters. Although the term is similar to profiteering, gouging can be distinguished by being short-term and localized and by being restricted to essentials such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and equipment needed to preserve life and property. The fact that pricing for PPE and supply chains that provide PPE are extremely volatile has made them a perfect target for unscrupulous brokers. This problem is illustrated daily by price fluctuations in the marketplace. That is why experts at Blue Flame Medical recommend that if you are working with a broker, ensure that you understand how their pricing works and the impact this will have on your company or state’s bottom line. At Blue Flame Medical, they advise procurement teams to consider establishing a relationship with their preferred vendor with a commitment to integrate the broker into the supply chain. Simply put – you get better prices when you make a long-term commitment to a manufacturer.
Serving 100 Million First Responders per Order
Blue Flame Medical only works with qualified manufacturers to ensure their clients get the very best and safest products available. According to the company’s co-founders, strong partner relationships have enabled them to quickly supply high-quality, lifesaving PPE to millions of Americans across the nation. In fact, Blue Flame Medical vows “to work tirelessly to ensure first responders, healthcare professionals, and clients receive the critical supplies they deserve.” Currently, the company is processing large orders that are enabling it to provide vital PPEs to 100 Million first responders with every shipment. Citing the seriousness of the issue, the co-founders reiterate that the Coronavirus pandemic “is not merely a public health crisis – it is a crisis of resources,” observing that “If every American had access to high-quality masks, testing kits, and the dozens of other medical supplies they need, we would have flattened the curve of infection already.”
Setting Priorities Straight
These organizations often fail to catch the attention of buyers since there are so many big players in the market. To address the issue, the company that typically supplies large orders has now turned its attention to smaller buyers because no one was paying attention to their needs.
Blue Flame Medical has been able to ramp up capacity by building relationships with domestic apparel manufacturers who agreed to convert their factories for full-time production of personal protective equipment.
In addition to the pricing issue, there is also a growing concern about the quality of products being shipped into the country. Blue Flame Medical recommends that you ask for copies of FDA and CE Certification Standards and Test Results for the requested product or products to confirm that you are dealing with certified goods. Also, you should be in a position to obtain copies of NIOSH Certification Standards and Test Results of the requested product or products. Furthermore, it is also important to review the provisions of the broker’s policy, should the goods turn out faulty.
The leadership of Blue Flame Medical is concerned that the shortages of COVID-19 PPE are particularly being felt by small organizations, which will only continue to increase in difficulty as the pandemic continues unless more is done to speed up the process, while still maintaining ethical practices and high-quality service.