Manchester Inward Investment Agency, (‘MIDAS’) led a Greater Manchester task force sourcing PPE for local authorities including the National Health Service (NHS
Focus around the major issue Greater Manchester faced in March around the supply of PPE into the NGS and other public/private bodies.
Prior to pandemic, PPE largely produced overseas at low cost.
Demand for this soared with supplies not getting to the UK or at inflated costs – breakdowns in supply chains and national shortages.
The UK faced Daily news headlines reporting the shortages.
There was a need for a co-ordinated effort of identifying organisations already producing PPE in the region to increase their output and for others to move into production.
MIDAS (part of Growth Company and sister to Business Growth Hub) led a task force sourcing PPE for the NHS, police, fire, TfGM, care homes and most vulnerable.
The task force provided a strategic lead on
- Supporting existing supply chains
- Identifying new supply chains
- Brokering supply chains into GM
- Allocating centrally sourced PPE across public agencies
- Providing clarity of advice from PHE
- Understanding current and projected shortfalls.
The Manufacturing Team at the GC Business Growth Hub contacted their large network of GM based manufacturing businesses.
Regional manufacturers whose current business model was suffering in the pandemic started producing PPE with the support of business advisors to support the national/local crisis as well as protecting themselves.
Regional manufacturers who were already making PPE increased their outputs and together the demand was met.
It is difficult to put an exact figure. The process involved a number of key business support agencies redirecting existing resources as required to develop the new PPE partnership
Evidence of success
Manufacturing businesses were introduced to each other to collaborate to overcome supply chain issues. (For example, factories making hand sanitiser worked with those making bottles to store this in.)
A new network and database of 141 regional PPE suppliers was established.
There was a huge logistical headache in identifying the businesses that might be able to cooperate, however work in previous years to better understand the regional business ecosystem meant that a lot of the information had already been collected
Potential for learning or transfer
This is a model that could easily be transferred to other business support networks at both a regional or a local (city) level. This GP is process driven that is easily transferred using a central business support agency and their knowledge of the regional economic ecosystem then using their experience to form the partnerships. It can easily be planned in advance of ecosystem shocks. Any business support agency can analyse their businesses and identify complimentary businesses that may be able to cooperate in the future. Furthermore networking events can be established across sectors to support businesses in creating their own relationships that might be used in the future.
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