Essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Products


E-tradeway reviewed the process for issuing and replenishing essential PPE products at a large manufacturing centre. We also looked at the associated administration process.


This company regularly faced problems with supply and stock. They would regularly run out of essential PPE items, causing delays in the manufacturing process. Stock was issued from a table and double-door cupboard, which was situated on a main through route into the main factory. Passers-by were taking items for use by their departments without always noting that an item had been taken.

With no formal reorder process in place, items were often only reordered when the last one had run out or if a new item was needed.

Due to the pressure on the department to meet their targets, products were not always supplied from the same source or manufacturer.


We proposed the implementation of a PPE automated dispenser and tested all of the products to confirm that they were suitable for dispensing.

There were 19 items in the range and 20 users permitted to have access to the machine. No restrictions were placed on the 20 permitted users.

Benefits & outcomes

  • Introducing a dispenser meant that passers-by were unable to access products. This immediately reduced product usage.
  • By having 20 permitted users, there was soon a steady flow of stock.
  • The company used information about stock flow to generate replenishment orders with local suppliers, enabling the purchasing to plan ahead and eliminate last minute ordering.
  • In the first month of the trial, there were 129 issues from the machine and 25% of issues were for just one product type. This item had to be replenished three times during the trial period.
  • Bulk stock is now held in the double-door cupboard, which is locked.
  • New supplies go straight into the cupboard, from which the machine is replenished.
  • This project was a complete success. Essential items are now available to the correct personnel 24/7.
  • The machine eliminated downtime and lost production.
  • The purchasing department can now place orders based on actual usage.
  • This has provided an opportunity to obtain better piece-part pricing based on accurate requirements.



PPE product plan for machine configuration

PPE product configuation for dispensing