Supply chain resilience: why our filter cartridges and housings are critical economic bellwethers
Investors often talk about economic bellwethers; those industry sectors, components, products and areas of consumer demand that herald or signify trends.
A massive shock such as the 2008 financial crisis and now the Covid-19 pandemic means these indicators are looked at afresh to predict how markets are doing.
The list can include items such as foreign holidays, company training budgets, recruitment activity, home and car buying, and eating out at restaurants.
It’s no secret that Covid-19 is impacting on all these aspects of the economy, and more. Perhaps the only bellwethers performing spectacularly at the moment are gaming apps and video conferencing.
In a downturn, the resilience of the supply chains involved in supporting bellwether activities is severely tested.
Lower demand percolates right through from end customers to suppliers, wholesalers, shippers and manufacturers.
You may not think of water filters as essential indicators of the health of an economy but step back for a moment and consider the industries that rely on them.
Here at Amazon Filters, we supply to all critical industry sectors that deal with process engineering and fluids.
While much car production in Europe is on pause, and the construction industry has slowed down too, other sectors continue to generate orders.
There are many current examples, large and small, illustrating this.
As well as helping to purify domestic water supplies here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, our filters are proving crucial in frontline healthcare and industrial settings.
We supply many cartridges and housings to hospitals via our distribution network of trading partners including original equipment manufacturers.
One prominent example is the new NHS Nightingale emergency field hospital inside the East London ExCeL Centre. In response to an urgent order just ahead of opening day, we assembled and delivered a batch of 24 carbon filter cartridges to help ensure a clean and treated water supply for patients and staff. It involved our SupaCarb product, which uses a carbon block to remove trace chlorine and other impurities from water.
Another current example was a request for housings to support medical work at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, one of Ireland’s core facilities for treating Covid-19 patients.
We are seeing heightened filter demand from customers in the pharmaceuticals sector who are making drugs and medicines or carrying out laboratory research.
In one project through a distributor, we are supplying filter housings for equipment used by a global pharmaceutical company. Originally our kit was destined to help with the manufacture of a drug for migraines, but now the end client is repurposing the equipment for the development of a vaccine to fight Covid-19.
Urgent filtration requirements have also come in from industry sectors converting usual production lines to sanitiser manufacturing.
In the food and beverage sector, we are seeing an increase in requests for filters used in many production processes that are helping to keep us all fed and hydrated. One UK food manufacturer has made an order for bag housings to help increase their capacity to make the essential amines involved in protein breakdown and fermentation. At the same time, a Danish fish producer has ordered multiple bag housings to help with the processes supporting tuna oil filtration. A current UK customer has converted their production line from making gin to making hand sanitiser, and we were able to provide them with the different filter type needed.
There are many other indirect ways we are supporting the Covid-19 effort. For example, our filters are used in the inks that supply the printers used to mark sell-by dates on foods and medicines.
And in petrochemical filtration, our filters support the manufacture of many materials that go into medical devices and other healthcare products.
As a key industry supplier of what we believe is a true economic bellwether, we will continue to do all we can to support the fight against Covid-19, now and in the future.