Simon Hunter: Why I joined a PPE buying group

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Insight from Members, News, PPE, Why I joined Eurosafe

Eurosafe is a buying group that was established over 40 years ago to allow smaller businesses to compete with their national and global rivals. It was founded on the belief that we are stronger together as our joint buying power significantly opens doors, relationships and terms that would not have been possible alone.

Our growing network of members have 100% visibility of the terms and benefits by supplier, and the group is structured in such a way that it maximises the benefits by maintaining a lean central team. Historically Eurosafe have been purely focused on PPE, but our reach has expanded over the last few years to include cleaning and hygiene, site management, security and workwear.

Simon Hunter Esq, MBE is Chief Executive Officer at Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited which joined Eurosafe in 2021. As he recently joined the group, we wanted to ask Simon about his decision, the process and how Eurosafe has helped his business.

Cartoon image of man and woman meeting

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Simon. Could you start by telling us a bit about your role and your business?

Hunter are a multi-award winning professional clothing company who specialise in ‘Tech for Good’ solutions and are the leading software technology pioneer in the professional clothing sector. We’ve been in business since 1936 and I am now the third generation of the Hunter family to run the company. Over these years, we’ve designed, supplied and transformed top to toe PPE and workwear across a variety of sectors – from fire and rescue, to medical and corporate wear.

Why is PPE important to the work you do and what PPE materials do you source through Eurosafe?

Hunter is a purpose-driven business with a focus on front line key workers. We’ve worked alongside Dublin Fire Brigade, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Translink and Health and Social Care NI to name a few. The PPE supply in these areas is diverse and it’s also a highly competitive marketplace. Hunter adapted its business structure in order to cope with the demand for PPE during the pandemic and recognised that the sheer breadth of what Eurosafe offer is essential for us to grow that element of our business.

What made you decide to join the Eurosafe PPE buying group?

Hunter joined Eurosafe to help with scaling our business in the sphere of PPE. One of our company values is all about teamwork and the idea that ‘together, everyone achieves more’. In that way, we relate to the combined strength Eurosafe offers to its members. It’s tough to compete with the biggest buyers in the sector, but Eurosafe seemed like a logical approach to helping us overcome those barriers to entry with raw purchasing power.

What was your joining journey?

Once we expressed our interest in the group, Andrew Egerton (Commercial Director at Eurosafe), presented to the team to give us some more in-depth knowledge on how the group works. We signed an NDA so that Eurosafe was able to share financial information freely which included the turnover figures for all PPE and key suppliers by brand from the last 12 months.

With our input, they were then able to calculate the benefit to Hunter in rebate and discuss their additional beneficial terms such as pricing, minimum order quantities, price increase delays and extended payment terms. Once we were all agreed, Hunter was presented to the Eurosafe board for sign off and a membership start date was agreed.

Was it a quick decision?

No, Andrew guided us through the process to help make sure that the decision was right for Hunter, and equally for Eurosafe. It was a very considered position taken after a great deal of due diligence on both sides.

What was it that helped you make your decision to join Eurosafe?

Andrew was a brilliant support as we made our decision. He helped us fully understand the ethos, the process, the culture and the history of the group. With all that learning on top of the important figures, we felt fully equipped to make an informed decision.

What were the benefits in comparison to the way you were sourcing your PPE before?

There were two main benefits that we felt straight away. The first was the main reason why we looked into a buying group – better bulk buy prices. We were able to get access to the PPE we needed for significantly less than we could before. Secondly, as a company, we’re now spending less time negotiating or dealing with price hikes. This is time and money that now can be spent more efficiently elsewhere in the business.

Once you joined, were there any additional benefits?

I really appreciate that it’s a nice vibe amongst the group. I’ve enjoyed getting to know a new bunch of likeminded company owners and leaders. They are also beneficial industry connections that I may not have made otherwise.

If, like Simon, you’re looking for a solution to your PPE buying needs, we could help. Get in touch to find out more about what we offer and if we’re the right fit for your business.

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