With the tumultuous year we’ve had, it is important to give credit to those local people and businesses who have been forced to adapted to continue serving their communities. Over the next fortnight, Jane Chewins Limited will spotlight some of the local businesses doing just that.
A Shropshire based software engineers launched “PPEExchange.co.uk”, a service created to connect PPE suppliers with public, independent and voluntary sector buyers. With PPE supply initially proving scarce the company saw a gap in the market for the mobilisation of PPE to the frontline as well as to care homes, schools and even individuals.
The company’s previous customers included PETO (an NHS information portal), with whom they developed a procurement system for NHS products. Using this prior experience of NHS supply chains, accompanied by PETO’s social care expertise and connections, PPEExchange was developed in less than a week around the Easter Bank Holiday. The website works not only by connecting those in need of PPE with suppliers but also by collecting data from the frontline which can be used to assess which products are in the greatest shortage and thus, the highest demand.
Additionally, in November the same company launched “Site Tracker”, an app developed to aid housing development organisations in tracking visitors and contractors both on-site and in offices, through the scanning of a QR code. Where visitors are required to sign in and out of these workplaces daily, government restrictions meant the touching of pens and registers was proving a problem. With the development of Site Tracker, these challenges can be averted whilst housing companies can still maintain all health, safety and legal requirements for site use.
Both Site Tracker and PPEExchange are run entirely pro bono in an attempt to encourage as many people as possible to get involved, highlighting the software engineers as a valuable and altruistic business whose adaption to the COVID crisis has proved invaluable to the local community.