Innovative thinking during the pandemic

Michelle Machen Mauser News, International Packaging

While the last 12 months have been a whirlwind for everyone at Mauser Packaging Solutions, the Daniel’s Healthcare (Mauser UK) team based in the UK have faced a unique set of challenges. The pandemic has broadened the strategic road map for this sector to focus not only on further integrating systems and processes but also investing in increasing the production capacity of a comprehensive range of sharps and clinical waste containers for hospitals, laboratories, health centers and associated industries across Europe.

With more than two-thirds of the Daniel’s Healthcare (Mauser UK) customer base lying with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), predominantly within hospital settings, the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent massive increase in demand saw the team facing tough but challenging and rewarding obstacles. From increasingly complex logistics and short fulfillment timeframes, to prioritizing the numerous demands on production capacity and most importantly finding creative solutions to maintain consistency of supply; Daniel’s Healthcare (Mauser UK) rose to the challenges while remaining focused on the safety and wellbeing of the workforce.

The commercial team engaged with our NHS customers to identify specific products that would likely experience a continued surge in demand. This information allowed us to understand what was needed of us, and how we could re-organize and potentially rationalize the SHARSPGUARD® and WIVA™ range to best support the NHS and all healthcare customers in these unprecedented times. The operations and logistics team worked steadily on planning how we could temporarily streamline our range to maximize efficiency and output, while minimizing any disruption to the users of our products. This rationalized range was reviewed weekly thanks to the up to the minute information received from our partners at NHS Supply Chain. This teamwork effectively allowed us to anticipate changes and act as quickly as physically possible (at scale).

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In addition to ramping up demand for all types of medical waste containers, the UK Government also stated an aim for an increased concentration on COVID 19 testing. This new emphasis meant the DANIELS® Transport Containers (formerly seen as a niche product) became a high-demand item enabling samples, tests and other specimens to be transported between healthcare sites and in the community. In the wake of increased testing, the team at our Littleborough (Lancashire, UK) location entered into discussions with other local businesses to identify partners who could help us meet greater production.  AMS Plastics and B&H Mouldings were keen to help out. Very quickly an arrangement was reached that saw both AMS Plastics and B&H Mouldings adapt their facilities to safely and efficiently manufacture components for the DANIELS® Transport Containers. AMS also produced components (small lids) to allow us to increase our capability to supply the small containers to the NHS (the small lid fits on 2.5L, 3.75L and 5L).

As the UK Government response to the pandemic evolves from treatment to vaccination, we continue to see the demand profile change, often with little or no warning. We are immensely proud to be a key partner in the NHS vaccination program supplying an estimated two-thirds of all sharps containers used thus far in the fight against COVID 19!

“There is no manual or best practice guide for operating in a pandemic. It is during time like these that you find out what a business is made of. Over the past year, our team has been severely tested, but we have pulled together to meet commitments and with added confidence in our abilities. Along the way we built stronger networks with our neighbors and supply chains, but most importantly, we delivered on our promises,” said Kevin Cundy Head of Sales and Marketing for Mauser UK & Ireland.

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all on a personal level, but also in how we carry out our work, serve our customers and manage our businesses. Thank you to the Daniel’s Healthcare (Mauser UK) team for their continued efforts to ensure that the NHS and hospitals have the products needed to continue to deliver quality patient care.