How epluno Used Technology and Relationships to Bring PPE to Those Who Need It Most
epluno, like most companies, was not prepared for what 2020 would bring. The software, e-commerce and fulfillment company headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, has traditionally supported the school, medical and corporate apparel industries with technology and apparel series.
At the beginning of 2020, epluno partnered with A+ School Apparel to bring their retail partners a comprehensive e-commerce solution with a goal of bringing hundreds of A+ retail partners on board. By all accounts, 2020 was looking to be a great year.
Then the COVID-19 shutdowns happened, and business ground to a halt. The apparel space was no longer where the need was. Now their customers needed PPE items urgently, and that’s when epluno had a choice to make—wait it out or pivot to meet their customers’ current needs.
“We’ve been supporting our medical customers for years with our current solutions, Paul Scapatici, founder and CEO of epluno, said. “But now, they needed disposable and reusable gowns; nitrile exam gloves; surgical, non-surgical, reusable masks; and come to find out they needed a trusted supply partner to deliver them.”
In April, one of the first projects epluno took on was repairing N95 masks for an area hospital that had stockpiled masks from the H1N1 pandemic.
“They had about 30,000 masks that were defective,” Scapatici said.
The straps on the back had disintegrated, and were no longer able to be worn. So epluno put its facilities to good use and replaced the defective straps with new ones, repurposing their embroidery machines for repairing the masks. A few other groups reached out with defective masks, and their repairs made it so that a final total of 50,000 N95 masks were available in the critical first days of the pandemic.
In the following months, as schools shut down and the future of the 2020-21 school year was uncertain, A+ School Apparel joined forces with epluno to manufacture L1- and L2-grade medical gowns made in the U.S. Utilizing their cut and sew options in the U.S., their facilities in Arkansas, California and North Carolina began manufacturing hundreds of thousands of gowns, and epluno secured one of its medical customers, Bon Secours Mercy Health, to purchase them.
“We’re a creative company, and we always try to come up with ways to help our customers, but we really anted to think of something in COVID-19 support,” Scapatici said. “With that in mind, any group, hospital [and] school organization who needs PPE items, we can help.”
So, no, epluno may not have been prepared for what 2020 would bring, but it had been able to meet the challenges presented by COVID019 with creative solutions to help support not only its own employees and other businesses, but those working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on epluno, visit www.epluno.com.