“The company that supplies our surgical gloves from Malaysia has a warehouse here in New Zealand,” explains Greg. “Having looked in their catalogue, I knew that they also do surgical gowns. That’s not something we normally stock, but I gave them a call and checked if they had any in their warehouse and they had 3 cartons of 100 each. I said we’ll just take them and put them on our website. And as soon as they arrived they were gone.”
Greg and Kate set up Perla in 2013 and started trading in 2014, shipping in dental supplies such as face masks, sterilising pouches and instruments from China to help practices save money and source great quality equipment easily. As a former practice manager herself, Kate knows only too well how frustrating it is for Perla’s customers to find they’re running out of something and struggle to get it delivered.
She says: “We ring people and ask them if they want to put something on back order. The big companies don’t even tell them it’s on back order and they might be waiting 6 months for a product. I know that if they go to a company and want something they haven’t got, our customers will go somewhere else for it, and buy all the other things on their list too. We know we had to have stock levels we could maintain.”