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Bristol uniforms: Steering a business through a pandemic with managed care services from prima

Ian Mitchell, Joint Managing Director of Bristol Uniforms has written an article for Fire Magazine (Read the full article here) explaining how the company has navigated through these unprecedented times.

The global effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have continued to rapidly evolve, presenting huge challenges for all businesses in the industry. As a supplier of PPE and managed services to the UK’s fire and rescue services, it was clear that Bristol Uniforms would need to continue operating to support this essential service.

Bristol Uniforms has a mature Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Committee, which enabled them to immediately enact contingency plans in case any of their facilities were affected by a coronavirus outbreak.

Preparations for Brexit meant the business had pre-ordered stock from European suppliers in the event that future trading became difficult and this stock was able to fulfil orders until lockdown measures were eased and the supply chain could be resumed.

With two Service Centres operating in different parts of the country (Bristol and London), the business was able to reassure their customers that they would have been able to manage the cleaning and maintenance of kit if one were to close.  They also had a back-up commercial facility in Bath if both sites became compromised.

The two Service Centres have done remarkably well and have continued to operate as normal throughout these difficult months, with their drivers picking up contaminated kit from fire and rescue services (FRSs) around the country and returning it within the guaranteed seven days, cleaned, inspected and where necessary, repaired.

“I’m immensely proud of our staff who showed great commitment and resilience throughout this difficult period and continue to behave impeccably to protect the safety of colleagues and customers. As a business that essential emergency services rely on to support them, we have needed to be extremely robust throughout this period. Having a well-developed Business Continuity Plan has been essential in this regard, but also the need to be innovative, flexible and react with speed has enabled us to find solutions quickly in a fast-moving environment. “

Fully aware that the Coronavirus crisis is far from over and that these challenges are likely to continue for some time to come, the business is confident that as a business entering its seventh decade of supply to the fire and rescue services, they will continue to pull together in their efforts to serve and protect firefighters on the frontline, whatever the future may bring.

Prima Solutions first started working with Bristol Uniforms in 1999, and in that time we have worked closely with the team at Bristol, building great relationships as well as gaining a very clear understanding of their requirements to find the right solutions for them.

The PrimaNet Managed Care module which sits within the Wardrobe Management application tracks the service history of each PPE item, as sent to Bristol each time it needs inspecting, laundering or repairing. As well as providing the highest standards of laundering and repair, Bristol are able to identify each item using a unique barcode to ensure adequate stock availability while other garments are laundered/repaired. The software not only provides total visibility, complete control and real-time information for the entire process, it also delivers a 7 day professional cleaning & repair service turnaround for its valued customers.

Bristol Uniforms has been a pioneer in the development of specialist emergency services Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for more than 60 years. Their world-class design team works with leading fabric and fibre manufacturers to create quality garments, using the latest fabric technology. Their garments and associated PPE are sold in 110 countries throughout the world, via a network of more than 70 experienced distributors, located in major overseas markets.