Keeping on top of the requirements to equip your team with Personal Protective Equipment can be an administrative hassle at best, and a procurement nightmare at worst. For large and small organisations across the UK, there is a huge amount of regulatory compliance and legislative requirements governing the procurement of safety kit for the workforce. While many PPE providers like SMI can streamline the process and support organisations to stay in line with all of their legal obligations, even this can still not assist many firms to navigate the rules and regulations of the safety sector.

When it comes to medium to large businesses, one of the keyways in which your provider can assist you to simplify the PPE purchasing process is through an effective, intuitive online portal. Here’s the lowdown on the top eight reasons why a provider with a great online order platform can save you and your business time, money and administrative effort…

1) It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

When your PPE provider has invested in a great online platform which you can place all your orders through, one of the key benefits is down to availability. Unlike ordering over the phone via a catalogue, a reliable online portal allows you and your team to place orders at any time of the day or night.

With My-SMI, our online platform, our customers can place orders with us at any time – even when they are offline with no connectivity – as the platform simply connects to the next available network to submit the order on your behalf.  Plus, you can be safe in the knowledge that your products will be with you by the next working day if you order before 3pm.

2) It eliminates the possibility of human error

When you place orders over the phone or via e-mail, there is huge scope for human error which makes it challenging to ensure that you get the right kit, in the right location, within the right timescales. By switching to the full automation afforded by a sturdy online platform such as My-SMI, every time you place an order there is clear guidance for selecting the correct product, with no opportunity for miscommunication. This can be a real bonus when it comes to avoiding orders made in error, or duplication.

3) You benefit from real-time stock and price checks

Through My-SMI, you can gain full control over spend (even down to individual departmental restrictions), and spending caps – backed by truly transparent real-time reporting to afford immediate information as to purchasing habits for each team.   My-SMI also tells you immediately whether or not the products you are after are in stock, so you can overcome traditional delays should you order an item which isn’t currently available from our National Distribution Centre – no more long waits for products, only to discover you have to place a second order once items come back into stock!    Plus, live order updates mean you and your team will have full visibility over the entire order fulfilment process, from acceptance through to delivery with you.

4) You get instant support

A good online ordering facility like My-SMI provides your team with an enhanced level of customer support, through an online helpdesk. You can chat to a knowledgeable member of the team at any time (8am-5pm Mon-Fri), to answer questions about a specific product, or gain technical advice and assistance.

5) You get access to our entire range of products

When you use My-SMI to browse for products, you gain the benefit of having sight of every single product which we stock, at any given time. Unlike waiting for catalogues which are posted out and may be out of date from the moment you receive them, My-SMI provides you with a clear view of over 4,500 PPE, Workwear and Hygiene products with a single click of the search button. Unlike browsing a paper catalogue, you also get to narrow your search results and refine what you are looking for, to identify the exact right product to meet your needs at any time.

6) You can save your ideal kit to re-order

On a great online ordering platform, you can save your purchasing history, to ‘favourite’ those items which you purchase most often for your team. With My-SMI, every time you order it creates a memory so that you can swiftly locate the same products again, the next time you may need them. This can greatly improve the user experience, stopping the inconvenience of having to keep note of the products you like best, and streamlines future orders based upon your purchasing history.

7) You gain full control over your reporting

With a fully integrated online solution for your PPE needs, you create an audit trail of data each time there is activity across your partnership with us. This makes reporting and compliance over the contract a breeze – you simply select the data you most want to see when you’re looking to manage the contract, and conceal the rest, creating real-time, accurate reports online whenever you may need them. You can choose to drill down into activity on the contract, for example identifying spending trends, demand for key products, or spend by department, function of even individual, to afford full transparency over your entire PPE procurement activity.

8) Customise and maintain full control over your PPE process

Whether you are looking to brand your PPE portal to match the rest of your organisation, create a bespoke online catalogue of approved products for your organisation, cap spend by setting a monthly budget, or create wearer packs, online portals let you do it. Through setting restrictions and preferences, you can tailor your PPE procurement process to ideally suit the unique needs of your organisation and be confident that there is no rogue spending on off-catalogue products, unless you approve it beforehand.

My-SMI has truly streamlined the order process for you and your team, by having built-in functionality for approvals and hierarchies.  Through My-SMI, you can set limits on what employees can order, selecting a customised catalogue of your ideal PPE and Workwear items.

If you are still not convinced of the benefits of partnering with a company who can offer you an outstanding online portal for your PPE, get in touch with us today. We’ll walk you through the benefits and show you just how much value a powerhouse of an online platform can deliver to you and your team!

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