epluno™, a software, e-commerce and fulfillment company headquartered in Miamisburg, OH, has traditionally supported the school/medical/corporate apparel industries with technology and apparel services. Like most companies, was not prepared for what 2020 would bring. At the beginning of 2020, epluno™ partnered with A+ School Apparel to bring their retail partners a comprehensive e-commerce solution with a goal of bringing hundreds of A+ retail partners on board. By all accounts, 2020 was looking to be a great yea
Then the Covid-19 shutdowns happened, and business ground to a halt. The apparel space was no longer where the need was; now their customers needed PPE items urgently, and that’s when epluno™ had a choice to make: wait it out or pivot to meet their customers’ current needs.
However, adapting to meet their customers needs has been something epluno™ has been doing since day one. When their customers needed an ecommerce solution, they answered the call by bringing in a visionary development team and building their own. When they needed better decoration support, they brought on their own decoration equipment and decorated apparel themselves. When they needed better reliability and turn-around time on their orders, they built out a state-of-the-art distribution center and staffed it accordingly. When they needed a more robust software/ecomm/ERP system to support their retail customers, they built their own proprietary platform.
So when the pandemic hit, the choice was clear. “We’ve been supporting our medical customers for years with our current solutions. But now, they needed disposable and reusable gowns, nitrile exam gloves, surgical/non-surgical/reusable masks, and come to find out they needed a trusted supply partner to deliver them.” says epluno™ Founder and CEO, Paul Scapatici. In April, one of the first projects epluno™ took on was repairing N95 masks for an area hospital who had stockpiled masks from the H1N1 pandemic. “They had 30,000 masks that were defective,” says Scapatici.
The straps on the back had disintegrated and were no longer able to be worn , so epluno™ put their facilities to good use and replaced the defective straps with new ones, repurposing their embroidery machines for repairing the masks. A few other groups reached out with defective masks and their repairs made it so that a final total of 50,000 N95 masks were available in the critical first days of the pandemic.
They also worked with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce to create a web-store for PPE, connecting Miami Valley businesses with PPE as soon as they were able. And that was just the beginning. In the following months as schools shut down and the future of the 2020/2021 school year was uncertain, A+ School Apparel, headquartered in Burlingame, California, joined forces with epluno™ to manufacture L1 and L2 grade medical gowns made right here in the US. Utilizing their cut and sew options in the United States, their facilities in Arkansas, California and North Carolina began manufacturing hundreds of thousands of gowns and epluno™ secured one of their medical customers, Bon Secours Mercy Health, to purchase them.
But epluno™ didn’t stop there. In addition to their other initiatives, epluno™ has also become the number one distributor to one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies’ campaign gear in the U.S. epluno™ has put their bleeding edge e-commerce solution as well as their fulfillment and decoration capabilities to providing face masks and other apparel to support the race to a vaccine.
“We’re a creative company, and we always try to come up with ways to help our customers, but we really wanted to think of something in Covid-19 support. With that in mind, any group/hospital/school/organization who needs PPE items, we can help.”
So, no, they may not have been prepared for what 2020 would bring, but they have indeed been able to meet the challenges presented by Covid-19 with creative solutions to help support not only their own employees and other businesses, but those working on the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic.