Firefighting PPE was top of the agenda last week, with specialist PPE suppliers from across the globe gathering for Bristol Uniforms’ 10th Distributor Conference. During the three-day conference, some 40 appointed distributors from across Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australasia, were briefed on the very latest product designs and business developments, whilst sharing knowledge and ideas on market conditions and opportunities.
The conference was held against a promising backdrop of increasing worldwide sales of emergency services PPE, reflecting general signs of global economic growth. Bristol has appointed distributors in eleven additional countries since the last conference in 2014, increasing its presence in South America by welcoming RQC Solutions in Colombia and Firemed SAC in Peru. It has also further consolidated its strength in the Middle East with the recent appointment of Integrated Engineering Solutions in Oman.
Joint Managing Director, Roger Startin comments:
“Since the last conference, we have significantly increased our global reach, entering new regions and reinforcing our reputation for excellence in existing strongholds. At the same time, we are responding to significant changes in several markets, such as an increase in numbers of firefighters across the Middle East, and the regionalisation of many brigades across Europe, meaning fewer, larger contracts.”
“As our overseas network continues to expand, it’s more important than ever that we work closely with our team of distributors to rise to these opportunities and challenges. Whilst our international sales managers maintain regular contact, the value of bringing everyone together and sharing our collective wealth of knowledge is unparalleled.”
“As well as welcoming new members to the team, the conference helped us to build on the strong relationships we enjoy with existing distributors. We’re proud to have many successful longstanding connections, with 16 distributors working with us for more than 20 years.”
This year’s Conference focussed on new products and innovations, with briefings on new designs and ranges, alongside presentations on new fibre and fabric technology from PBI Performance Products, Hainsworth, W L Gore and Dupont. Delegates were also provided with an update on latest developments on international Standards and discussed the growing demand for provision of Managed Services as part of the PPE offer. The final day saw a tour of the newly expanded factory in Staple Hill in Bristol, which boasts a brand new Product Innovation and Development facility, as well as the recently expanded Managed Services department.
Mark Van Dorsten, National Sales Manager at PSL in New Zealand, comments:
“Bristol’s distributor conferences are always informative, insightful and well worth the trip. I have come away with a deeper understanding of the PPE design and manufacturing process, and the wider global market. Only by meeting other distributors do you get a true sense of the scale of Bristol’s reach? I feel fortunate to be part of such a strong global network.”
Shadi Khayyat, Sales Manager at Corodex Agencies in Dubai, comments:
“As one of Bristol’s first distributors, we have been working with the Bristol team for more than 40 years. Over this time, the regular distributor conferences have played a crucial role in bringing our diverse network together, sharing all our knowledge and successes. This year it has been wonderful to meet with longstanding contacts, welcome new members and see business strengthening across the globe.”