Hutchison Technologies looks to expand its international operations after successfully supporting NHS Scotland with critical PPE and virus testing equipment in the fight against Coronavirus.
The Dundee-based technology company has diverse operations in telecoms, audio visual, smart energy and medical sectors. Their international customer base includes a number of large UK energy retailers, leisure and retail chains, and medical & pharmaceutical companies.
Hutchison Technologies supply chain team has started sourcing and delivering medical quality approved & accredited PPE and virus collection & testing equipment to the UK, while also managing the risk for NHS Scotland.
CEO Bruce Hutchison said: “Our business philosophy is to solve business challenges through agility and customer focused innovation. We started out in 1991 with a focus on telecoms technology. Over the years, we have evolved into research and development, manufacturing and supply chain management. This enabled us to use our skills to pivot quickly and respond to the current health crisis.”
Hutchison Technologies was already supplying medical quality approved and accredited supplies to household medical and pharma names like Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly from its office in China, supported by a worldwide network of partners.
When Scottish Enterprise put out a call for help, the company looked inward to see how it could support the fight against COVID-19.
Bruce said: “We learned about some negative, and costly, issues procurement teams for the NHS had experienced when buying PPE and testing equipment from overseas. In some situations, the equipment had been bought and paid for but could not be used or was defective. That is a quality issue but also a health concern.
“My team on the ground in China is able to inspect the products to validate the quality and negotiate the most competitive price. We must have inspected over 100 factories before settling on one or two. That gives us the confidence to supply to NHS Scotland, and it gives them the confidence to source critical PPE and testing equipment from us.”
While the inspection and validation processes mitigate the risk of non-compliant and poor-quality products, Hutchison Technologies took on a significant risk after deciding to manage the foreign currency exposure and logistics.
Bruce said: “We wanted to help NHS Scotland get what they needed in the easiest way possible with the greatest level of confidence, so they could focus on saving lives. The commercial proposition we put together took away all the headaches from NHS Scotland.
“It was challenging at times and required a lot of hard work but we are getting there. The team has been absolutely brilliant and the Trade Minister and procurement team at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) have been very complimentary.”
Trade Minister Ivan McKee said: “We have received thousands of offers of support from organisations across the country, and it is fantastic to see so many businesses like Hutchison Technologies step up to support the national response.
“Their work with NHS Scotland and Scottish Enterprise is making a huge contribution to Scotland’s COVID19 response, and demonstrates what can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to tackle the many challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hutchison Technologies’ contribution is helping ensure that frontline staff have the protection they need, and we will continue to work with them and others to ensure this remains the case.”
Gordon Beattie, National Procurement Director at NHS NSS said: “As part of the COVID-19 response, NSS National Procurement is committed to working with suppliers and manufacturers across Scotland and beyond to ensure flexible and sustainable supplies that meet the highest standards. Working in partnership with Hutchison Technologies has helped to ensure an increased supply of swab sample testing kits throughout NHS Scotland.”
Bruce is confident that Hutchison Technologies will continue to supply medical grade equipment to NHS Scotland into the future.
He said: “This has really opened our eyes to our potential and given us the confidence to develop our medical and pharma operations further, and to continue as a trusted supplier to NHS Scotland and NHS England for the foreseeable future. We will invest and look to grow the business more aggressively with confidence that we can supply these services beyond the current crisis.”