Over the past few months, there has been strong encouragement to support local to ensure businesses last the span of the epidemic. It’s not only the community that have been taking this approach but also businesses in Scotland. Palm Safe and Stakam, two Scottish businesses, are tackling the pandemic by utilising each other’s skills to increase the production and availability of high-quality hand sanitiser.
Alistair Watson and Marko Steiger, both Oil & Gas workers in the past, have developed a collaboration supporting each other’s businesses in the production of hand sanitiser. Marko, whose most recent job was with an energy giant, set up and developed Palm Safe, a premium quality hand gel company at the start of the Pandemic. Stakam, located in Arbroath, was established by Alistair Watson as a unique chemical manufacturing plant who can create, synthesise or scale up any chemical and supply to all sectors including the Oil & Gas industry.
Palm Safe aimed to create a hand gel that was different to the harsh ethanol-based hand gels currently flooding the market. Additionally, one of the main goals was fighting problems left by those gels such as alcoholic odours and dry hands. After plenty of trial and error, Palm Safe created a premium hand gel that leaves the hands feeling soft, moisturised and smelling amazing with 12 different fragrances now available.
When starting the business, Marko began doing all the manufacturing by handcrafting in small scale lots. Due to a strong base of local and loyal customers, Palm Safe saw the demand sky rocket. This meant their original, highly laborious method of production was becoming inefficient and preventing them from growing.
Luckily enough there was a locally based chemical plant that stepped in to assist with the scale up of their business; Stakam.
During the first lockdown in March, Stakam modified its whole facility to be able to manufacture NHS approved hand sanitisers. They also became the only chemical plant in the Scotland that could manufacture the polymer to thicken liquid hand gel. Having the ability to manufacture the base blend of hand sanitiser in an extremely short timeframe, Stakam’s manufacturing plant was ready to help Palm Safe improve the efficiency of their process.
Stakam took on the role of blending the base gel before supplying it to Palm Safe for the final blending stages. This allowed Palm Safe to increase their production by 100-fold to half ton batches. In December, the plan is to upscale again to 5 ton batches as the Christmas demand peaks.
The new relationship between the two parties now means Palm Safe can fulfil the ever-increasing demand for their hand sanitiser. With this being said, they have also signed up to the Government Kick start Scheme for 16-24 year olds and are looking for 10 new starts to assist the growth of the company.
It’s a very exciting new collaboration for both Stakam and Palm Safe with orders only set to continue. Stakam are very happy that they can support Palm Safe and their efforts for the foreseeable future and are thankful of the business to date. Stakam continues to donate 10% of hand gel profits to local charity.