During difficult times, or at any time of sudden or rapid change, pivoting is a critical business success strategy. We have all been hearing that word a lot lately, so how does pivoting really work, practically speaking? To answer this question, we would like to tell you the story of how we branched out beyond our alternative product wholesale distribution business and into the “new normal” of public use personal protective equipment. Many of the clients who distribute our new products remain the same. Yet, many of their customers are quite different. Here’s the scoop.
Why Masks and Other PPE?
Not too long ago, we began distributing hand sanitizers, due to their obviously increased demand. Then, we wanted to expand further. Once relegated mostly to the medical industry and other specialized uses, masks and face coverings have become commonplace in big box stores and convenience stores alike, and we couldn’t help but notice. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, has been advocating the use of face masks in public settings for a while now. Speaking about his own mask-wearing on a recent episode of CNN Newsroom, Fauci said, “I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”
You might wonder: how did MMS Distribution differentiate itself in this already thriving PPE market? The short answer is that we clearly saw several unmet needs among our clients, many of whom are convenience stores and other community shops. And we admit it: one of MMS Distribution’s owners experienced this need first-hand. Requiring a mask fast, he stepped into a store and bought one, only to discover that it wasn’t at all what he expected. Upon opening the package, he quickly noticed that the material and design looked and felt like a cut-out T-shirt, and it did not inspire confidence. In fact, if he could have seen through the package, he would not have purchased the item.
Fulfilling Unmet Needs in the PPE Marketplace
Profitable, fruitful business ideas arise from unmet needs, so we wanted to offer better product alternatives. Firstly, we recognize that retailers value the convenience of affordable, individually packaged products they can sell directly to their customers. Right now, many retailers import masks and re-package them for sale to individuals. In contrast, our Obex brand includes 3 ply masks, KN95 masks, Nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizers packaged singly and in convenient quantities that individuals can use and dispose on the go. We also offer children’s masks, which are a bit more difficult to find than adult varieties.
Second, we wanted both retailers and their customers to be able to see before they buy. Line drawings and other product images often don’t represent a product exactly, so we created seethrough packaging for our entire Obex product line.
Third, we chose to distribute masks and gloves that are made of more durable or protective materials than some of the others on the market. For instance, our Nitrile gloves have better elasticity than vinyl and better puncture resistance than either latex or vinyl.
Fourth, we wanted products that retailers and customers alike would trust. That’s why our Obex-branded masks are FDA-cleared and ECM-certified. When retailers purchase our products, they receive a copy of these important documents. Additionally, the packaging itself inspires more confidence than that of many of our competitors, because Obex is an American brand with English labeling. Furthermore, unlike cloth masks, our KN95 masks offer a tighter seal. All our masks are convenient to wear, with elastic earloops and no tying necessary.
If you value convenience, reliability, and affordability, all in one American PPE brand, then be sure to check out MMS Distribution’s Obex product line today.