In 2008, David joined his aunt’s company as an Account Manager. Nine years and a couple of mergers later, he’s still enjoying Polyco Healthline, but has since been promoted National Sales Manager for Healthcare.
David loves working with companies large and small, helping them navigate and choose a complete basket of health and hygiene products. From gloves to toilet rolls, from cleaning chemicals to medical consumables, there are a lot of complexities and standards to comply with. So when he speaks, people listen – especially because it’s easy for his buyers to focus on the wrong things when it comes to providing quality healthcare.
David’s specialty lies in creating a tailored basket of goods for care-home sector companies. In that way, his motivation is in knowing that he too indirectly cares for people through the products he sells.
So David, what questions are you asked most frequently?
- “Am I using the right products?”
- “What would you recommend?”
- “How can I save money?”
I hear those three questions all the time. Education hasn’t always kept pace with the growth of the care-home sector. This means that increasingly buyers aren’t confident about the essentials they need. And often stockrooms have become bloated with products purchased out of habit rather than requirement.
What questions do you wish you were asked more frequently?
“What products will give me the best cost-in-use?”
A lot of people care about a product’s upfront price. But a far better indicator is its cost in a year’s time. Take gloves for example: many customers will look at the price for a box of 100 gloves. But thinner gloves break more easily and result in a worse user experience. The staff then get frustrated and end up using more gloves, which then becomes expensive.
So it’s a balancing act. Of course, we stock and can supply a bronze-quality glove. But I’m always honest with my customers, telling them that perhaps a silver- or gold-quality glove would actually provide better cost-in-use.
What do you feel is the biggest problem within the health and safety industry?
Over recent years there’s been a massive shift in the healthcare sector – the inherent cost benefit challenge.
How do Polyco Healthline’s products and/or services address that problem?
Polyco Healthline is a responsible and innovative supplier. We pride ourselves on offering and only recommending products that will meet the required standards and the needs of our customers.
Many competitors only do a price point range. They don’t go into the healthcare setting as experts. Although we also offer economy product options, we don’t want to be in a race to the bottom on price. Instead, we encourage standards compliance and CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulations. That makes a big difference. And if anything goes wrong, our products are easily traceable and we can quickly isolate the problem.
What is your favourite product and why?
For me, it has to be the SafeDon™ dispensing system. I wish it was used in all healthcare environments. Nowadays, disposable gloves have become a commodity item. But a low upfront cost shouldn’t be the main driver for the product category. Instead, a glove’s primary purpose is to protect the wearer and the patient from cross-contamination. SafeDon goes back to the basics, and builds that purpose into the core of the product – but still at a competitive price.
What future innovation will have the greatest impact on your industry specialism? What will change?
I’ll be repeating myself, but again, it’s SafeDon. This glove system has the potential to revolutionise the disposable glove market. Already it’s been clinically proven to reduce cross contamination by 96%. And in trials, we’ve seen SafeDon greatly reduce glove wastage. It offers a true 21st century solution to disposable glove dispensing.
Why are you proud to sell and represent Polyco Healthline products and services?
I’m proud because we only ever offer products that are fit for purpose. We hold a long-term commitment to customers, forge trusting relationships and are always available for advice.
What project are you most excited about at the moment?
We’re in the process of expanding our product range to become a full one-stop-shop for healthcare. At the moment, we’re plugging the gaps in our range to be ready for the care market in 2018. Overall, it’s a big project, especially because it includes care equipment improvements. But we’re working with larger groups in our sector to make sure we stock everything they need.
How are you able to provide the greatest value to Polyco Healthline customers?
My strength is being able to visit any new healthcare environment with fresh eyes and have an inside-out knowledge of our product range. I’ll meet the staff, open the store cupboards and often learn that they’ve used a product for a long time. But what they don’t know is that the category has evolved and that the compliance standards are changing. My recommendations are always based on that customer’s business priorities – there’s no one size fits all product range. And it’s that face-to-face, personal contact with the customer that makes all the difference in facilitating their patient care.