Keeping PPE equipment and medical supplies in stock during a global pandemic is no easy task. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, protective equipment was swept up in a massive panic buy that saw empty shelves stretching across retail stores all over the world. But the run wasn't taking place just in retail stores. Medical supply companies all over the world felt the strain as they had to slow down operations while providing medical professionals with the PPE that they needed.
As the pandemic wore on, things weren't getting any better. The general concerns of COVID-19 shut down dozens of manufacturers, leaving a hole in the supply chain that would need to be filled as soon as companies got word that it would be safe to begin operations again.
During this time, care providers were struggling to find a way to get their hands on more PPE equipment. When they could find it, it was often overpriced due to limited supply. Seeing this desperate situation, we knew that with Amazon’s resources, there had to be something we could do to help alleviate the strain that medical workers were feeling. So we found a solution to help keep PPE in stock for medical practitioners.
One of the biggest issues of the pandemic was how it impacted supply chains all over the world. In particular, standard medical supply chains were strained as the demand rapidly increased while the supply of both products and workers who could make medical products dwindled. To make things even worse, there were contracts in place that often kept medical companies from buying products from manufacturers that they did not have an agreement with.
Noticing the issues plaguing the medical community, we stepped in and leveraged our supply chain innovations in order to get medical suppliers the PPE equipment that they needed. We were able to create COVID-19 supplies by onboarding thousands of accredited hospitals and government organizations and building these materials ourselves.
By working outside the traditional supply chain, and leveraging our massive amount of resources, we were able to give frontline medical practitioners the PPE equipment they needed to keep themselves safe while saving lives.
One of the biggest flaws of the medical supply chain as it existed was that care facilities would often only be able to buy from a particular provider. As the supply chain strained and supplies quickly sold out, care facilities found themselves scrambling to provide their workers with the PPE that they needed.
Fortunately, at Amazon we enable purchasing departments to buy from multiple suppliers. Because our stock consists of goods from many manufacturers, we were able to pool resources from several different companies in order to get customers what they needed.
This was a particularly valuable benefit when it came to buying goods that were out of stock from one manufacturer, but not out of stock worldwide. Take for instance surgical masks. These products were hard to come by during some of the earlier days of the pandemic. But not everyone making these masks had sold out. By using our platform, many purchasing departments were able to get the masks and other medical supplies they needed even if their usual supplier was out of stock.
When disaster strikes, it's crucial for organizations to remain agile in order to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. However, many purchasing platforms don't enable people on the ground to make decisions. But really, they are the ones closest to the situation and most aware of their needs.
An Amazon Business account enables multiple user accounts. Here’s how this can be extremely useful — in a situation like this, the needs of the doctors and nurses on the front lines can rapidly shift. Thanks to this multiple account feature, front line medical workers can now get their hands on the materials they need quickly.
Additionally, the administrator of the Amazon Business account can set up unique permissions for users that enable purchase limits, so you don't have to worry about staff making financially significant decisions without consulting someone higher up. At the same time, you also won't have to worry about your inbox getting clogged with routine equipment requests that you were guaranteed to approve. Now, you can pass some buying power to your front line workers to ensure that they always have the materials they need — without slowing down themselves or hospital management in the process.
Even with all the other benefits that medical practitioners can get with an Amazon Business account, it only matters if they can get their hands on the medical supplies they need in a timely manner.
We've spent years developing ways to get our customers the products they want as quickly as possible. So we are able to leverage these developments to get vital PPE and equipment to medical practitioners as soon as they need them.
This proved to be extremely helpful as hospital staff found themselves running low on PPE while the pandemic continued to worsen. When care facilities began to notice that they were running low on equipment, they could rely on us to get their order to them within a matter of days. This was lifesaving compared to having to wait for weeks, just hoping that their stock of supplies would be able to handle the influx of patients.
We take great pride in the role we have played, and continue to play, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical workers who have saved countless lives are real heroes, and we're thrilled that our developments in the fields of manufacturing and logistics have enabled us to play a crucial role in getting them all the equipment they need.
If your care facility is struggling to fill their PPE equipment needs, or you find yourself running low on medical supplies, Amazon can help. Get a free Amazon Business account today to see how you can benefit from our wide range of products and services.
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