Joe Conte: Growing A PPE Kits Business During The Pandemic

January 4, 2021

Joe Conte: Growing A PPE Kits Business During The Pandemic

Joe Conte: Growing A PPE Kits Business During The Pandemic

With everything that COVID brought into the business world this year, there’s no shortage of increased demand for PPE kits across the country. Business owners have now realized that these Personal Protective Equipment are needed in high markets by healthcare facilities, retail companies, and individual customers.

Beyond the pandemic, the importance of PPE products will remain as we never know what other devastating viruses might pop up in the near future. Manufacturers have now decided to ramp up the rate of production of these products. 

At PinchForth, we’ve started this new series where we interview top-notch Growth and Marketing leaders. Such interviews aim to gain insight into some of the best techniques to help companies stand out in the coming years and, most significantly, after the pandemic. 

Our guest, a Marketing Leader, Joe Conte, had a lot to say regarding his company’s recent shift from an apparel/clothing inventory to selling PPE Kits.

Who is Joe Conte?

Joe Conte currently fills in as Head buyer Offprice at Quetico Logistics, LLC, and doubles as Leading Seller at Quetico LLC and Safe Lives Supplies. Having been endorsed by several notable persons in the industry, some of his skill sets include but aren’t limited to Marketing Strategy, Merchandising, and Fashion designing.  

Here are some of the crucial points to take from this interview, especially for clothing businesses that deal with a lot of retailing, shipping, and inventory.

The Effect of COVID on PPE Kits Businesses

Without a doubt, the trail of events this year has been somewhat surprising to everyone, including business owners. For Joe and his team, the major change brought about by the pandemic to their company was having to switch inventory products.

Coming from a successful apparel business where they sold excess inventory of clothing products to large-scale retail companies like TJ Maxx, Ross, and other companies overseas, it was not comfortable dealing with the closure of many of his customers’ business. According to him, the sad truth is that many of them may never come back into the market.

They soon noticed that companies in China started to produce more PPE kit products and had to jump on the train fast. Before long, he was selling nose masks, hand sanitizers, hairnets, and shoe covers.

What are PPE Kits?

PPE is an acronym that stands for Personal Protective Equipment. They are worn by workers to prevent them from physical threats, contagious airborne agents, dust, aerosol chemicals, and infectious pathogens.

They’re worn to provide a physical barrier to prevent injury or the spread of diseases. 

A standard PPE kit comprises the following:

  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Googles
  • Face masks
  • Gown
  • Face shields
  • Shoe covers
  • Respirators

PPE kit products have been around for quite some time but have become even more popular recently.

Adopting Joe’s Effective Strategy for Growing A PPE Kits Business in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021

With more people getting accustomed to the remote working lifestyle, their businesses have faced some challenges. Joe and his team are new to selling PPE kits and have been trying to figure things out.

According to him, they had to adopt a more professional method he calls ‘situational buying’ for his PPE business. We think this strategy is incredibly cool because it involves giving more priority to the demands of brokers and customers.

It turns out that this hasn’t only affected the sales of PPE kits alone. Joe mentioned that what used to work in the clothing business has also changed a lot.

You could get away with stockpiling products and retain profit from 20% of your left-over inventory after you ship out 80% of your products. This isn’t the case anymore with a lot of rebranding and changes in the seasons,” he said.

The political tension in the country also makes it worthwhile to adopt Joe’s strategy. Attention should now be geared towards meeting the specific demands of customers instead of pre-buying PPE kits products and keeping them in the warehouse. This will go a long way to avoid fees that won’t be cleared because customers are not interested in buying the products.

Tips for Planning as A Successful Growth Leader in 2021

Planning is a crucial part of any business that wants to thrive. For any company to stay afloat, there has to be some level of forecast done in preparation for 2021.

Joe believes that even though it may look challenging to plan for the coming year, one thing he’s sure of is that there will be a shortage of available products to ship to retail companies as we advance. We couldn’t agree more with him as many factories have shut down production in the country.

Getting products from China and other countries abroad may also prove difficult as it would require months of production before they are shipped into the US. It’s going to be a situation where clothing companies are ‘chasing the business’, which means businesses will be looking for goods to sell to retailers.

Let us know what you think of Joe’s strategy in the comment section below. We hope this was helpful. Please share on social media to help reach a wider audience!


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