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Changing Face of Personal Protective Equipment Distribution

  • March 2016
  • 69 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 3717459


Table of Contents

End-user Preferences and Manufacturer Dynamics Transforming Distributor Landscape

Distributors constitute a key link in the personal protective equipment (PPE) market as they account for 80% to 90% of PPE sales globally. In light of the rapid global expansion of PPE manufacturers and changing customer preferences, PPE distributors are pushed to adopt new innovative business solutions that can serve customers better. Various distributor competitive strategies such as emergence of specialist distributors, globalization, e-commerce, rise of private labels, buying consortiums, and vending solutions are discussed in detail in the study. This report also discusses the various market forces that are driving distributors to change their business models.

PPE Market—Distribution Structure
- Less than % of PPE is directly sold to end users, while the rest of PPE sales are carried out through various distribution channels, demonstrating the significance of supply chain management in building a successful PPE business.
- Distributors are sometimes the only providers in emerging regions such as Africa and South America.
- It is important for PPE manufacturers to have distribution partners who can ensure seamless market entries.
- Larger manufacturers lose perspective at the end-user level and the distributor plays a key role in communicating customer feedback to the manufacturer.
- The distribution structure of the PPE market is fairly simple, with distributors being the most important route from the manufacturer to the end user.
- Because of low barriers to entry, many types of distributors ranging from small resellers to large industrial distributors crowd the market.
- The exclusive distribution of PPE is more likely to be profitable only when distributors either sell large quantities or sell to large customers such as the public sector.
- All end-user companies in hazardous sectors need a wide range of different types of PPE to protect their employees. Most PPE manufacturers are not able to meet all of the PPE needs of a company.
- Thus, if end users are to source all of their equipment from a single partner, they choose to do so from a distributor. General industrial distributors who sell a wide array of products such as tools and chemicals that could find use in different industries also tend to sell PPE.
- Moreover, local distributors are able to offer end users many types of services that manufacturers cannot provide themselves. Distributors are, therefore, a critical link in the chain of how end users acquire PPE.

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