It’s absolutely true that the bottom line and staying within set budgets is an important consideration when buying safety footwear, or PPE products in general. Cutting costs and saving on Safety Footwear is tempting, especially in times like these, where Covid-19 is eroding profits and putting budgets under pressure. However, solely focussing on the lowest buying price and forgetting all other selection criteria is downright dangerous.
In recent years we at Nitti (Asia) Safety Footwear have noticed that more and more companies are moving to tender based buying strategies which are generally heavily priced focussed and most of the time do not take quality, comfort and durability in consideration. This trend, which might seem a proper way of cutting costs is and will be harming to the business, let me explain why:
- Do not focus on price alone, shift your attention to the Price-Quality Ratio.
Workers are your strength, a happy worker will be more engaged, perform better and is less likely to leave, in the end they will boost your bottom line. Accidents, injuries and work interruptions due to faulty footwear will affect the safety and productivity of your workers and in the end your bottom line. Now, it seems easy to see Safety Footwear and PPE as just a cost to your organization which you can easily reduce by shifting to cheaper products, this however can and most of the time will come back in the long-run to haunt the organisation. Instead of shifting away, we from Nitti Safety Footwear explain and educate our customers to focus on the Price-Quality ratio instead, think long term! Buy a quality product once a year, not 3 or 4 times because it is broken! Protect your workers and focus on consistency! And above all, make sure you prevent work related injuries caused by cheap and unreliable footwear products! This will bring me to the second point, a selling point we at Nitti use quite a lot, but something that has been widely miss used or miss represented by OEM producers:
- Pay close attention to the certifications and product test reports.
Most Safety Footwear manufacturers sell “certified safety shoes” or “certified safety boots”. It is important to look beyond this initial statement, as there are various ways of circumventing this and present your product as fully certified. One way is to produce special samples or certify only 1 out of many models. In addition, irregularities in or during the production process can be severely affected the quality of the end product, therefore, we from Nitti are always urging our customers to test the products. Do a proper wear trial, cut the shoes open, let your HSE department truly test the shoes and analyse all selected footwear according to set guidelines and requirements. The emphasis is on a proper wear trial, with this we mean do not just test the shoes for a few hours or 1 to 2 weeks, but truly test the shoes in all working conditions over multiple weeks. This is the only way to truly find out if the product is comfortable, safe and lasting! Taking certification reports at face value is dangerous and can cause production down time and/or (severe) injuries to your workers. Stay involved as an HSE manager, do not let the purchasing department take the lead and solely focus on budgets.
- Bad or no advice regarding sizing, storage, maintenance.
Going for the lowest price often results in a quick sale, deal closed kind of relationship. Once you have purchased the safety footwear, the distributor or supplier is no longer in the picture and during the initial talks the focus is on price and discounts. Forgetting or simply ignoring the most important part of the sale; after service and the valuable purchase advice along the way. At Nitti, we will provide every customer with the best advice possible, which model would suit the work environment best, sizing advice, how to maintain and store the shoes as well as advice on how workers can wear our shoes most comfortably. Once the deal is close, me and my team are always just one phone call or email away, if there are any problems or complaints we will thoroughly investigate and together with you find a solution to prevent it from happening again, the true value!
- Use your common sense!
When it is too good to be true, it most likely will be! This is particularly true when it comes to safety footwear, especially the safety footwear found in this region. Therefore, our team at Nitti always educates our customers to use their common sense in selecting the right product. More often than not, cheap footwear will break within weeks after purchase, leaving the company to fend for themselves to get the replacements and keep operations going.
If you take in consideration the points I have mentioned above and if you created a project team consisting out of safety managers, purchasers and users you will most likely be able to avoid the most common problems and hopefully select proper and safe footwear. As the correct safety footwear is of the utmost value to you and your company and its workers!
Feel free to contact me or my team if you are curious if you use the correct footwear, uncertain how to select proper footwear or if you simply want to get some advice on which model we think would suit your work environment best.
We are here to help you select safety footwear that has the best value for money!