Welland is now available in Canada
Premier Ostomy Centre is one of our newest distributors, they are making our stoma care products and accessories directly available to people living in Canada with a stoma. Premier Ostomy Centre has been in business for over 20 years and they are committed to doing anything that will make their customers lives easier.
We spoke to Joel Goldenberg, Vice President of Premier Ostomy Centre, about running the business during the pandemic and Welland coming to the Canadian market.
As VP of Premier Ostomy Centre, how have you found leading the business through the course of the pandemic? What challenges have there been?
“When lockdown hit and schools were closed, most of our customer service team had to stay home with their children and this impacted the people we had available to serve our customers. Putting our customers first is always a priority for us. As a result, I have been trying to hire more staff and it is hard at this point. We have had to move people around and have an “all hands-on deck” approach where everyone’s main task is now customer service and all other tasks get pushed back to quieter times.”
“Business development has been the biggest casualty of the pandemic. Access to nurses is negligible, conferences (both for those with stomas and Health Care Professionals) have all been cancelled.”
“Also, a lot of stress dealing with staffing issues, PPE, health departments ensuring we are complying with all COVID measures. Everyone is stressed out and as VP I tried to impose measures to reduce the anxiety the staff may be feeling. From surrounding customer service counters with plexi-glass to reducing movement away from workstations, I have made our working environment as safe as possible.”
What are your key messages to people with stomas and healthcare professionals in your market right now?
“My first message is do not panic, supply is readily available for those with stomas. When the pandemic first hit people panicked. Everyone saw the footage of empty shelves with no toilet paper, no canned goods and they were worried about shortages of their products. We had many customers order multiple months’ supply; we were doing two to three times a normal day every day for the beginning of the pandemic. We kept trying to assure our clients that we were not going to close and that the supply chain was not affected. It is important not to panic and reassure customers in this case.”
“Other key messages include reminding people with stomas that skin health is particularly important. Having a stoma does not mean you need to have red or damaged skin. Do not be satisfied with a compromised solution. There are many products on the market and do not be afraid to try something different. However, do not make changes for the sake of change. I always look for products that can have an impact on patients and I believe Welland’s products with Manuka honey can absolutely make an impact.”
What do you look forward to for the future?
“Personally, I am excited about potentially getting back on an airplane in the next six months, getting together with other people and potentially returning to a normal life.”
“Professionally, I am excited to launch Welland products. I think there is a spot for Welland in the Canadian market and the products will be well received. In the past I had a client who used Welland products, but I bought them from another distributor. When they went out of business, I reached out to Welland and became very excited as I learned more about the products, specifically the Manuka honey component.”