[SA F E T Y] Spotlight on
wear features such as extended ratcheting temples; wide, narrow,
or adjustable nosepieces; and a “try before you buy” option so users
can be sure of comfort before committing to this piece of PPE.
Technology Propels PPE Forward
Eye protection is not the only area where user adoption issues
drive product development. Recent trends in hand protection have
manufacturers experimenting with different materials to make
Be a Safe Haven
Often, safety and emergency preparedness go hand in hand
— and the recent Hurricane Sandy taught some industrial suppli-
ers a hard lesson in readiness. Subaru Industrial Power Products’
business lends itself to disaster response. With product lines
like generators and pumps, the company found itself working
around the clock after the hurricane this past fall, and equip-
ment sales manager Pam Meyer offers some tips on how dealers
and distributors can always be ready for the unthinkable.
Q: What products do you recommend to have on-hand for a disaster?
A: Those two weeks of Hurricane Sandy were the wildest I’ve
ever experienced, especially considering the dense population in
the impacted areas. Eight million people were without power,
some for extended periods. When disaster strikes, homeowners
and business people need immediate power to run the essentials
items such as refrigerators, sump pumps, lights and heaters to
keep their homes and businesses running.
Q: How did Hurricane Sandy affect your distribution channels?
A: Subaru has an emergency response program in place for these
events. When a storm hits, we assign dealers in the right areas,
with the right facility or equipment – indoor storage, a dock
and a forklift – as our point dealers. Our main goal is to supply
equipment to both small and large dealers, and in the process,
spread it out so we can help as many people as possible. After
Hurricane Sandy struck, we formed two-driver teams so they
could switch off behind the wheel and make the 12-hour drive
to the disaster zones without having to stop and sleep. They
hauled a total of 20 truckloads with all kinds of generators.
Q: What are your recommendations for companies and dealers
to be prepared for the unforeseen?
A: Plan Ahead: Within 24-48 hours of a major disaster event,
most products are spoken for. By pre-planning to have adequate
inventory prior to the storm, dealers give manufacturers time to
transit products. The longer dealers wait, the farther back in line
they get. Also, dealers need to carefully consider the amount of
inventory needed to endure the high demand that occurs in a
short time period. Careful planning can reduce the risk of lost
business due to underestimating inventory or being left with
excess units after the storm clears.
All Purchases Final: Dealers need to have a smart, enforceable
return policy in place on generators and pumps prior to a storm.
This policy should be communicated at the time of purchase.
“Do you want fries with that?” Many people purchasing a
portable generator for storm-related power outages are first
time users. These consumers are also going to need supporting
products to run and maintain their newly purchased generator.
Extension cords, gas cans, extra oil, and other vital accessories
may be in short supply elsewhere, therefore we recommend our
dealers set up a display with all these essential items needed to
run a generator.
Safety & Education: We cannot stress enough the importance
of safe operation. Included with every generator, pump, and
engine we manufacture is an operator’s manual that should
be read completely before starting our equipment. Subaru
includes warning labels on all equipment outlining carbon
monoxide warnings, but it is good practice for dealers to edu-
cate customers on the dangers associated with generators and
other power equipment.