Medical Manufacturing Under Pressure: How Encompass Group Is Responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 has most of the world on lockdown. It’s not only our daily lives that have been disrupted—it’s also our businesses.

Even many medical manufacturing companies are wondering how they can help. Just because you happen to make products that could be much in demand during this crisis doesn’t mean that production and distribution will simply take care of themselves.

When COVID-19 first broke out, Demand Solutions customer Encompass Group decided not to sit on the sidelines. They’ve ramped up their medical manufacturing output in ways that will benefit not only their home state of Georgia, but the entire country.

Ramping Up Production to Unprecedented Levels

Encompass Group is on a mission to ensure every patient, resident, caregiver, and family member feels safe and comfortable in today’s healthcare environment. That’s why this medical manufacturing company produces a wide range of products to help make treatment and care safer and more sanitary. The products range from solutions for infection prevention and wound care to uniforms for healthcare personnel.

It’s not hard to imagine that many of Encompass Group’s products will be in greater demand during the coronavirus crisis. But it’s the company’s isolation gowns, in particular, that seem to be most critically needed.

“Critically needed” may actually be an understatement. When the COVID-19 crisis first hit the U.S. and Encompass Group ramped up production to meet the need for isolation gowns, it was cranking out 48,000 gowns per week. By the end of the crisis, the company anticipates producing 700,000 per week. All in all, Encompass Group could end up producing more than four million gowns for the healthcare professionals who are working to fight COVID-19.

Why Partnerships Are Key to Medical Manufacturing in a Global Crisis

Many medical manufacturing companies probably want to pitch in and help during this crisis, but that’s often easier said than done. What’s Encompass Group’s secret for increasing production without letting quality suffer?

The company’s accomplishments become even more impressive when you stop to consider that it produces FDA-approved products. This of course means that it must source supplies from carefully vetted and approved vendors.

Undaunted by the challenge and empowered by the opportunity to help caregivers during this time of crisis, Encompass Group focused first on both the regulatory aspect and the sourcing of US based roll stock. Ramping up production would also mean launching a new production line that would remain cost-effective without requiring compromises on quality which meant finding readily available equipment.

Many of these challenges couldn’t have been met without the help of both industry partners such as Vizient and CharterNEX but also partners not normally associated with PPE such as Jockey International.

Jockey and Encompass enjoy a partnership in healthcare focused scrubs but when Encompass needed help with this project, Jockey was quick to lend a hand both in sourcing and regulatory approvals which led to rapid advancement of the timeframe to market.

Encompass then turned to their industry partner Vizient, the largest group purchasing organization in the US to help get these gowns to those most in need. Vizient members became the launch partners for these isolation gowns coming back to the North American continent after being manufactured exclusively in China for the last 15 years.

Of course, there’s more to the story. In medical manufacturing, there’s always more to the story. Stay tuned for a closer look at how Encompass Group is ramping up production to help us win the battle against COVID-19.