When reports of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS workers began to emerge, Warrington-based medical industry supplier, Crest Medical Ltd was quick to act.
With a 20-year track record of delivering supplies to the NHS and a network of trusted PPE manufacturers across the globe, the company has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak to boost the supply of NHS-specification PPE.
Due to the urgent and significant increase in demand for PPE, Crest Medical adapted its supply chain to switch from sea freight to air freight, reducing the delivery period from China to the UK from around four weeks to four days.
The company also sought help from Yorkshire Bank to provide the financial facilities required to place international orders. Yorkshire Bank provided a short-term import loan within 24 hours of receiving the request, enabling Crest Medical to make an upfront deposit payment to its supplier in China and commence manufacturing immediately. In addition, the bank significantly increased the company’s trade loan facility to help fund subsequent PPE contracts.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Crest Medical has provided essential support to the country’s response to the coronavirus by delivering more than 65 million pieces of vital PPE, including medical gloves, gowns, suits, eye protection and theatre caps.
Alastair Maxwell, MD of Crest Medical, said:
“We are immensely proud to use our expertise and our long-term relationships with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure our incredible frontline workers get medical-grade PPE as they battle every day to save lives. Unfortunately, coronavirus is still with us and there remains an increased demand for a robust supply of PPE for many months, possibly years, to come. We are committed to continuing to bolster that much-needed supply for the foreseeable future.
“Yorkshire Bank has been highly supportive by increasing our trade loan account to help us facilitate payments to our overseas suppliers and ensure manufacturing gets underway immediately. Understanding our business is one of the unique aspects of the service from Yorkshire Bank. The team recognised the urgency of our request and acted immediately to turn around the finance needed. Without their support, delivery may have been delayed, or may not have been possible at all.”
Andy Nurse, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank, said:
“Crest Medical has demonstrated tremendous resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. They have been determined to overcome challenges presented by coronavirus restrictions and identified effective solutions to deliver to the NHS.
“We have been working with Crest Medical for more than 10 years. We know they are leaders in their sector, with a focus on quality. We know that cash flow and funding can be critical for success, especially during growth periods when customer and order volumes expand. We look forward to supporting Crest Medical as it continues to grow.”
Yorkshire Bank’s Working Capital Solutions (WCS) team also played a key role in the financial assistance. WCS set-up invoice finance solutions to provide Crest Medical with quick access to cash and provided swift approval on the trade loan increase outside usual parameters, allowing Crest Medical to fulfil its contract.