Frost & Sullivan applauds select PPE’s vision in championing innovation in the personal protective equipment industry in Southern Africa

AA – Based on its recent analysis of the personal protective equipment (PPE) industry, Frost & Sullivan recognises Select PPE with the 2015 Southern Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. Through continuous product innovation and delivery of complete turnkey solutions, Select PPE has maintained its motto of ‘Protecting People Everyday’. The company has demonstrated impressive foresight in identifying the shift from paper-based business transactions to online integrations, and responded with alacrity by developing a novel and value-added software solution to supplement its hardware offering. This unique software integrates seamlessly with customers’ solutions and thereby, boasts capabilities that are unmatched in the industry.

“Select PPE’s online functionalities have enabled it to capture a market that traditionally had high entry barriers,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kobus Eksteen. “Previously, it was considered unfeasible to supply PPE to smaller operations with 150 to 350 employees, but Select PPE’s software and online store presents these smaller customers with access to solutions that were previously only available to the larger players.”

Select PPE’s enhanced service platform gives both large and small industry participants access to real-time monitoring to ensure reliable assessment of the type and quantity of PPE needed, automatic replenishment of stock, as well as alerts communicated to the head of safety when an employee is at risk. This level of detail and control embedded in Select PPE’s solutions, coupled with its comprehensive and user-friendly software, by far surpasses features offered by peers.

The integrated software allows the company to adapt its solutions to changing customer requirements on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It generates daily management reports on each employee’s usage data, equipment abuse history and safety record, and compares them with the industry average. This level of detail gives safety directors unprecedented levels of insight, assisting them with improving process and cost efficiency. Additionally, it aids pre-emptive corrections and serves as a record of PPE usage for safety authorities.

“By continually fine-tuning its internal processes, Select PPE has asserted its dominance in the industry. Its product development endeavours have resulted in the ‘PPE Solution’, which addresses the specific requirements of an individual client’s operations,” observed Eksteen. “It then determines an ‘Issuing Protocol’ that recommends the optimal PPE solution for each client, while allowing customisations. This ensures process transparency and, therefore, fosters trust between the company and client, enabling fuller integration of services.”

Another significant contribution of Select PPE’s to the industry is its focus on women’s PPE. Innovations in PPE have been largely aimed at enhancing the comfort of male wearers and hence, the PPE do not adequately fit the female form. This results in low PPE usage among women, compromising their safety. Following Select PPE’s lead, manufacturers in the industry are now redesigning their equipment specifically for female employees, resulting in improved safety and employee satisfaction.

Notably, Select PPE maintained an annual growth rate of at least 15 percent, even during the recent mining and industrial slowdown. The company plans to expand its footprint by outsourcing its software to distributors in other African countries so that it no longer has to maintain an inventory. As Select PPE also gets royalty from its software, it can grow rapidly with minimal increase in workload and staff.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated the understanding to leverage global Mega Trends, integrate the vision into processes to achieve strategic excellence. The award recognises the efficacy of the recipient’s innovative process and the impact it has on business and society at large.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

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