Prime Medical team believes in mission to ‘do good in world’
Posted May 7, 2020
By Devin Steele (DSteele@eTextileCommunications.com)
Prime Medical, based in Largo, Fla., quickly recognized a need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the coronavirus pandemic was rapidly spreading around the world, according to Wayne Wilson, founder and executive vice president of Product Development and Manufacturing.
So the company, the exclusive manufacturer of Clorox Healthcare™ Privacy Curtains and CloroxPro™ Scrubs and Lab Coats, pivoted its operations to produce CDC-compliant face masks.
“We quickly started planning and making samples for approval,” Wilson said. ”We set up our supply line and started manufacturing with our domestic manufacturer in Miami.”
Face mask production isn’t completely a new concept for Wilson, he pointed out.
“I developed a face mask a few years back, but they have been sitting on the back burner,” he said. “It didn’t take much for me to get this into production. I did source it domestically in a few places but the initial cost was too high. Our margins are very tight and we did this for the purpose of getting the product out there quicker. It’s a numbers game. This is a huge boost for our company’s bottom line. And we have very reliable suppliers.”
The company continues to make medical scrubs, lab coats and privacy curtains under license for the Clorox brand, but its current focus is on masks, Wilson said. It is promoting its own brand, Prime Medical, in this venture, he added.
The firm has retained its small staff during the crisis, but employees are now wearing several hats to support the effort, Wilson said.
“They come to work every day energized,” he said. “They believe in what we are doing and what our mission is – do good in the world. We know we’re making a difference and in some cases, saving lives.”
Prime Medical is producing 10,000 face masks a week and is trying to work up to 100,000 a week, or as needed, Wilson reported. “I have unlimited production capacity with a NAFTA manufacturer, if needed,” he said. Face masks are being sent to all levels of healthcare, municipalities, government and corporations, he noted.
Prime Medical typically runs a 40-hour workweek, but staff has been answering calls after hours and on weekends, and Wilson is coming in every day seven days a week during the pandemic, he said.
“Although this is a boost for our business, it does sadden me that lives are being lost,” Wilson said.