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SML Hygiene (Southern Medical Ltd.), UK

Southern Medical Chooses Katrin

Fit for purpose
SML Hygiene (Southern Medical Ltd.) are a leading supplier of nursing disposables, hygiene, cleaning, janitorial and medical disposables and equipment to clients in the healthcare, medical, veterinarian, catering and, hospitality. SML deal with both retail customers and commercial accounts and products are available at wholesale prices via their simple-to-use website.

Gerard Rayappu, Managing Director and owner of Southern Medical says, “We have built our reputation on being a one-stop-shop for medical environments, and so it is important to us that every product, whether it is a bed, or bed ware, hoists or toilet paper, is handpicked and fit for purpose and that the service that goes with it is excellent.”

Stopping the spread
SML deal with many care homes, covering residential, nursing or dementia care and they work with their clients to create bespoke packages, based on a “budget per head, per resident, per day”. Gerard explains, “Budgeting is key for these organisations. Spend varies depending on the type of care, and something like an outbreak of the flu or a diarrhea and vomiting bug can quickly consume extra product, and spread budget too thinly. We work hard with them to help them to maintain better visibility, and ultimately better control”.

Ways this can be done may start with a new build. SML can provide budgeting information early on, based on the size and type of care. They can help advise on everything, from how many hoists they will need through to how many hand towel dispensers will be required. Once the home is up and running, SML can provide the tools to better manage budget. Gerard explains, “We deliver the ability to report on the cost of the packages, by job function. In this way, customers can easily see how their budgets are progressing. We can carry forward budgets, and manage over spend by implementing a secondary approval process. Essentially we give them full visibility and control, so they spend less admin time trying to achieve that.”

Service is everything
SML had been working with a major paper manufacturer for the supply of their consumables for a number of years. The manufacturer concerned had achieved good success within the NHS, so their products were well established in the healthcare market, and in the early years, they were very focused on their healthcare distributors. Gerrard explains, “Over time, we believe that the company became complacent and we felt like their interest in us waned. Everyone likes to feel that their suppliers are interested in mutual business, so with a mild air of discontent, I met up with the Katrin team at an exhibition and listened to what they had to say.”

In fact, Gerard liked what he heard from the Katrin team very much. Gerard explains, “I thought the dispenser range was very good, and I liked the fact that it is a single range across paper products and soap. The Katrin Narrow width Hand Towel is stylish and sleek and ideal for the Care Home Market place, where it fits into in-room washing facilities very discretely”. He continues, “In addition, the narrow width self presenting hand towels are an ideal replacement for the older c-fold Towels that many homes have bought for years, without fully understanding the cost in use arguments.”

Innovation
Gerard says other innovations from the Katrin team also suited his market. “Homes often tend to be quite sprawling, because of the need for lots of bedrooms. The Katrin Handy Pack cases make it much easier for staff to distribute the towels around a home, without having to carry a cardboard case around with them, and then they find that the plastic cases make an ideal vehicle for collecting rubbish on the return journey.”
The Katrin Easy Pick is also proving popular. Gerard says, “These self-contained sleeves of products mean that homes can now put hand towels where there isn’t a dispenser, and be confident that they will remain clean and hygienic. It doesn’t matter if they get knocked on the floor and they are ideal in kitchens, bathrooms or lounge areas.”

Environmental Concern
With any large healthcare organisation, they are looking at the sustainability of all aspects of their service provision, from the build itself, through energy consumption right down to the consumables they use. NHS organisations are constantly working within government guidelines and subject to scrutiny. And smaller organisations are just as committed to the environment. “Gerard says “This is no problem with Katrin. Metsa Tissue’s environmental messages are among the best in the industry, and these messages are extremely well received.” He continues, “Anything we can do as a provider, to help our customers meet Corporate & Social Responsibility commitments is a plus. With Metsa Tissue, they have a great story to tell, from chain of custody and forestry certifications and Eco labels, through to biofuel projects where they use waste from the mill to provide heat. They have something interesting to say, every time we talk to them.”

Getting it right
At the moment, SML do not purchase sufficient products to buy in bulk directly from Metsa Tissue. Instead, they buy from Forestdale Business Services, a major Katrin Distributor in Surrey. Gerard says, “By buying through Forestdale, we have the benefit of a high end brand like Katrin – without the overhead in terms of SKU volume. Despite being once removed, the Katrin team still provides a very good service which is, and always will be important to me.”, he concludes, “So far, I haven’t been disappointed.”

SML Hygiene - Care Homes.pdf