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BuySupplyNI portal offers tool to source Covid-19 supplies for safe return to work

Northern Ireland companies are now able to source a number of supplies of PPE and social distancing products from www.BuySupplyNI.com

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, with the support of Invest Northern Ireland, has recently adapted its specially designed BuySupplyNI portal, to provide a means to link buyers with local suppliers across Northern Ireland to access the products needed to ensure the safety of employees and customers, as businesses return to work.

BuySupplyNI was developed by Council’s Manufacturing Taskforce, an industry-led collaboration developed between local businesses, council and key stakeholders.

The original portal, which was designed to link manufacturing, construction and engineering companies with local suppliers of components and services, has been adapted with the support of Invest Northern Ireland to house a dedicated Covid-19 buy and supply section.

This is a new section to the portal which is in its infancy but, with the support of Northern Ireland companies, could develop to fill the current and growing need for PPE and other social distancing supplies during the pandemic.

The site, which has received the support of all eleven councils in Northern Ireland, features dedicated areas where manufacturers and distributors of PPE and relevant products can register and upload the products they can supply or detail the products they require and make instant connections which would ultimately lead to reduced times for buyers searching for suppliers.

Councillor Peter Johnston, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, said:

“We have been delighted with the success of BuySupplyNI.com which was built by operations management software company BPMBuild. I would like to thank the CEO, Ryan Farren, and his team who have worked tirelessly over the last ten days to adapt the site and build its functionality to now have the ability to match buyers with local suppliers of Covid-19 related supplies.

“I encourage buyers and suppliers to register, as these vital supplies will help keep Northern Ireland’s workforce and customers safe as the lockdown is lifted.”

He added: “Some of our most enterprising manufacturers in Mid and East Antrim, and indeed right across Northern Ireland, have diversified their product range since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to include high quality PPE and related supplies and they will now be able to display this new offering to an array of buyers. Steps such as these will help rejuvenate the economy of Northern Ireland by boosting the sales of local suppliers, saving time and money for local buyers and creating connections which could be built upon for years.”

Alan McKeown, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Regional Business, said: “As we look towards a pathway to recovery from COVID-19, supporting our whole economy to return, reset and rebound will require a strong collaborative approach.

“Led by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, the new PPE service on the BuySupplyNI portal is a great example of partnership working across the eleven councils and will offer businesses a coordinated approach to the anticipated demands for PPE, as people return to work. I would encourage engagement from both companies who need PPE and suppliers who can assist, to register and begin making those connections to ease the transition as restrictions are lifted.”

Christine McGrath, Materials Manager at Ryobi and part of the Manufacturing Task Force, commented: “By acting as a portal to connect buyers with local suppliers, BuySupplyNI has already made invaluable connections. Buyers are saving time and money sourcing products while suppliers are expanding their customer base. The portal now provides an opportunity for Ryobi to source any additional PPE and related product requirements from local Northern Ireland suppliers so we can work through these challenging circumstances.”

Mid and East Antrim business proprietor, Michael Kane, has praised the portal and the “huge potential” it offers to the Northern Ireland economy.

Mr Kane, Chief Financial Officer of United Biotech Supplies Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be among the first to use this portal, which will provide a vital network for businesses right across our region.”

Find out more and register online at www.buysupplyni.com/covid-19-supplies-register