COVID-19 EMERGENCY: Ellecom and Praesidia join forces to help Italian hospitals
A collaboration born almost by chance during the Covid-19 emergency turned out to be a great success and undoubtedly managed to help some Italian hospitals in the most difficult days of the pandemic. Our story stars Praesidia srl, an Italian company based in Bologna which works in the field of medical devices distribution, and Ellecom, a Frankfurt-based German company that specializes in international purchasing. Giovanni Lorenzini, CEO of Praesidia, will tell us more about this partnership.
“An urgent need of face masks and pulse oximeters”
“Ever since 1986 our core business has been selling and distributing highly specialized medical devices. Very rarely had we ever dealt with more basic products such as face masks and gowns” Lorenzini comments. “With the pandemic breaking out, many Italian hospitals encountered a severe lack of face masks and personal protection equipment for doctors and nurses. Pulse oximeters, used to measure patients’ oxygen saturation, were also very hard to come by. Some of our clients turned to us for help. I’m talking mostly about hospitals located in the Modena province, which we have been supplying for many years.”
Praesidia obviously couldn’t turn its back on them and did its best to meet an essential need arising in the middle of a public healthcare emergency. This was a time marked by speculation, hurriedness and mistakes. The country was not prepared for the magnitude of this pandemic and chaos ensued. Considering how urgent the issue was, the Bologna-based company wanted to offer a high quality service and fast delivery times.
Equipment supplied by Ellecom
“I was in contact with some reliable sources who could get me certified products. At this point, being sure that after I paid I would actually receive the ordered materials was extremely important” explains the entrepreneur. “That’s why I called Antonio Quadrucci, managing director of Ellecom. We’ve known each other for almost 30 years and I wanted to know if we could count on this German company. Thanks to their support, we managed to get 200,000 face masks and 500 pulse oximeters. Through their extensive network of trusted professionals, they provided certified materials in very short times.”
“A zero-profit margin operation to do our part”
The collaboration between Praesidia and Ellecom was based on mutual trust and entrepreneurial expertise. “For my company this was a zero-profit margin operation, we only covered our expenses” adds Giovanni Lorenzini. “Our priority was to find a solution that could satisfy our clients’ needs. Of course pre-paying the supplies ourselves was risky, but I knew we could trust our German counterpart and in the end everything worked out for the best. Ellecom even helped us with the customs clearance, and I can assure this was no easy task. In those weeks, Italian customs officials were seizing almost all products of that kind to check for any speculation. After being shipped from China and having reached the Frankfurt customs, our orders were directly delivered to the individual hospitals so as to avoid any kind of problem and the risk of confiscation. We are currently waiting for the delivery of a gowns shipment, since hospitals still don’t have enough of them. We then hope we’ll get back to business as usual and normality will be restored.
What we’ll remember of this experience is the amazing feeling of having worked alongside Ellecom, a trustworthy company in the best German tradition. Not only did they provide strictly controlled, high quality products, but they also managed to deliver them perfectly on time.”