The purchasing function has evolved considerably over the past 15 years. The advent of the Internet, digitalisation and globalisation have led to the emergence of a new way of looking at the act of purchasing.

To be effective in its business, the buyer must now go beyond a strict cost reduction strategy and use all the tools at its disposal to establish partnerships with its service providers while aiming at a well-considered long-term development. Buying at the lowest possible price is no longer enough, you have to buy intelligently to get the best quality/price/delivery time ratio, whatever the nature of the product being purchased.

By choosing the most appropriate service provider, it is possible to have a positive impact on the financial health of the buyer's company while choosing quality products. How do we do this? Let's take the example of hearing protection, which falls into the category of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

Personal Protective Equipment: choosing the right partner can positively impact the financial health of a company

Choose a partner aligned with your values

The first step in the purchasing process, the search for suppliers, must be the subject of meticulous effort. This selection is not trivial and will have an impact on your company for years to come, depending on the product to be purchased. It is therefore essential to choose a partner with human and professional values close to yours.

In order to "buy it well", the values and operating methods of your service providers are indicators of trust and compatibility around a common objective. If your company is engaged in a quality approach validated by ISO or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) certification, selecting a partner who shares these visions is a definite advantage. Provided that its products meet your needs.

Have an offer adapted to your company

Any purchasing action, whether for production or non-production goods, arises from a need on the part of your internal decision-makers.

Throughout this process, the buyer must be attentive to their needs, manage relations with suppliers and anticipate possible risks in order to select the most appropriate offer.
Once these needs have been identified, the next step is to identify potential suppliers and compare them with the particulars of your company.

The essential criteria

The first step in the selection process is based on essential criteria. It may be a question of a particular technical competence, specific industrial equipment or geographical location. These essential criteria may vary depending on your company's sector of activity.

For example, in the food processing industry, having hearing protection equipped with an electromagnetic detection sensor is essential to prevent them from being mixed with food in the event of loss.

Another example is that paint companies have to prohibit silicone moulded earplugs that are incompatible with some of the chemicals they use.

Finally, when employees need to use several types of PPE (for example: helmets + glasses, masks + custom hearing protection) it is essential that they be compatible with one another.

When you are purchasing, it is therefore essential to know the needs of the employees to be equipped.

Comparing the different suppliers to be evaluated on the basis of essential criteria makes it possible to eliminate those that do not correspond to your needs and to establish a short list, the next step in the final choice of a partner.

The other criteria

The second step is to compare the remaining providers and choose the one that provides you with the greatest added value. Formal and explicit, this analysis allows you to justify your choice internally and with non-selected service providers.

The presence of a customer area, specific working methods or the ability to tailor and monitor customer relations are examples of criteria that can tip the balance in favour of one supplier over another. All solutions are not equal.

Obtain guarantees that reassure you

To ensure peace of mind throughout the purchasing process, obtaining guarantees from your supplier is an essential consideration.

These guarantees are based on three main criteria: product quality, cost and adherence to delivery deadlines.

Certification, a guarantee of quality

The first criterion for selecting a supplier is the quality of the product. In addition to offering products adapted to your company's needs, compliance with standards and quality certifications add value.

In the case of a supplier of individual noise protection devices, make sure that there is CE certification for both the tips and the associated filters. Having certification only for filters is insufficient and does not give you any guarantee regarding the production quality of the tip.

An ISO certification provides you with an additional guarantee of a service provider's investment in a quality approach and demonstrates its ability to meet the needs of its customers in an optimal way.

Cost, a guarantee of visibility

The second selection criterion is the overall acquisition cost and business conditions.

In the search for visibility, selecting a partner with clear and precise pricing allows you to control your investment and optimise your cost structure.

In a tender or multi-year agreement, the certainty that the price will not change throughout the term of the contract is a determining factor in a long-term relationship.

Management of deadlines, the cornerstone of the partnership

The third aspect is the timeframe. It must be consistent with the need, controlled and respected throughout the partnership. If your supplier is unable to meet his delivery time commitments, the entire business relationship is affected. Depending on the product purchased, a delay in delivery may even adversely affect your own productivity.

Other guarantees such as adaptability, financial security and sustainability must also be taken into account when selecting the service provider best suited to your company's needs.

Personal Protective Equipment: the pillars of a partnership

Cotral Lab, your PPE partner

A manufacturer of customised hearing protection devices since 1992, Cotral Lab is above all a partner that serves two million employees in 31,000 companies every day, from very small businesses to large international groups such as Saint Gobain, Michelin and Nestlé. Whatever the size of your company, you can be sure of customised service.

A reliable partner

Since its creation, Cotral Lab has enjoyed annual growth of more than 15%. This dynamic allows 30 new experts to join the teams in place each year to innovate and support companies like yours throughout the world.

Human and professional values

Cotral Lab's 230 employees work every day to support the management of your noise program in accordance with our values.

The work and involvement in our mission are the guarantees of our intention to ensure your satisfaction.

Respect for men and women, for our customers and partners is our highest priority. The laboratory has always been developed with simplicity, sincerity and humility.

The ability to question ourselves in the face of our environment in order to progress toward 100% quality. Commitment and ambition lead us to dare, to take risks in order to design ever more innovative products.

A recognised level of quality

Since 2006, Cotral Lab has been committed to a quality approach validated by obtaining ISO 9001 certification. This strict certification is based on 10 quality controls through the entire process of manufacturing your protection device.

All our moulded earplugs are CE certified by CRITT, for both the tip and the acoustic filter, guaranteeing quality and safety. By relying on Cotral Lab, you can be sure that you are choosing a product that meets your expectations and complies with legislation.

A customised offer

Custom hearing protection devices, manufactured in France using 3D technology, perfectly fit employees' ears for the duration of their exposure to noise. Whatever needs are indicated, there is a type of customised earplug suitable for protecting each employee without isolating them.

Communicating in a noisy environment: Qeos with Green filters

Qeos with Green filters : moulded plug to communicate in a noisy environment

With Qeos and Green filters, the noise level is reduced uniformly on all frequencies, resulting in a lower overall noise level. Thanks to Green filters attenuating from 17 to 28 dB(A), face-to-face or telephone communication is possible without employees having to removing their protection device.

For working in a very noisy environment: Qeos with Orange filters

Qeos with Orange filters to work in very noisy environments

With Qeos and Orange filters, the noise level is reduced to a greater extent on high frequencies. Thanks to HFA (High Frequency Attenuation) filters from 17 to 33 DB(A), employees are protected from the most dangerous sound frequencies but can still hear alarm signals.

To attenuate ambient noise in complete discretion: Clear

Cotral Clear to attenuate ambient noise in complete discretion

With Clear, noise levels are attenuated in shared offices. Thanks to Grey filters that attenuate from 12 to 25 d(B), employees in the service sector improve their quality of life at work, are more productive and remain focused on their daily tasks.

Warranties and services with high added value

Choosing Cotral Lab means choosing a partner who is responsive and attentive to your needs thanks to warranties and services that simplify your life.

More warranties for more savings

All our custom moulded earplugs come with a six-year warranty:

  • On the material (defect or manufacturing flaw)
  • On effectiveness (non-compliant protection devices following a CAPA test)
  • On comfort (difficulty in inserting, pain)

In any case, we are committed to remaking, free of charge, the protection devices with which you are not 100% satisfied.

This approach marks the end of the systematic replacement of protection devices based on the precautionary principle.

What are the advantages for you?

With a service life of six years, you can plan your investment over the long term and have greater transparency. By replacing only protection devices at the end of their service life, you realise substantial savings.

More than just an PPE supplier, a partner to rely on

Because our support does not stop at the signing of the contract, we continue to provide you with high value-added services at all times.

Support for your noise program

Because raising awareness among future wearers of custom hearing protection is an integral part of a complete solution for hearing protection, tools (posters, questionnaires, etc.) are can be accessed directly and training modules can be set up.

A prevention technician located less than two hours from your company

With noise risk experts throughout Europe, you can be sure that you will be supported in the management of your noise program.

A responsive customer service department dedicated to attending to your needs

If you have any questions or need assistance or information, you will always find a contact person available.

An available customer space

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your safety manager can manage his stock of protection devices at any time, request assistance, consult efficiency tests, etc. The power of digital technology for simple and autonomous management of your situation.