5 Great solutions for better work uniforms
Work uniforms are a great tool for promoting your brand, helping your customers identify your staff and making your employees look professional, feel part of the team and even perform better. These days there are plenty of uniform styles and colours to choose from, and many companies also offer Bespoke uniform design services.
However, not all uniforms are created equally. So before you make your decision consider the following 5 key factors, and find a uniform solution that is right for you.
1. How big is your uniform program
Understanding the scale of your uniform program will help determine your uniform options. While stock service uniforms are available for every business size, bespoke uniforms often have minimum ordering quantity and may require a commitment to stock, so are better suited for larger uniform programs (500+ employees).
Solution: Crunch the numbers. Are you planning on outfitting your entire business, or just customer-facing staff? What type of items would you like (i.e. tops, bottoms, knitwear) and how many items for each person?
2. Fit for purpose
Uniforms are basically clothes for working, so it helps to evaluate your uniform needs based on your workplace environment, working conditions and even climate. Impractical uniforms are not only uncomfortable and frustrating, they can also be unsafe. Keep in mind that Fit for Purpose is different for every job. For nurses it might mean scrubs with stretch and lots of pockets, but for tradies it could be tough wearing fabrics with reinforced stitching and lots of pockets (everyone loves great storage solutions! That’s why Ikea is so successful).
Solution: Involve your your staff and ask for their uniforms suggestions and feedback. Being part of the process also increases overall satisfaction with the new uniforms later down the track.
3. Quality, Quality Quality!
Quality to uniforms is what location is to real estate. To maximise your return you should look for the best uniform quality you can afford. This means looking for better fabrics, construction, sizing, fit, performance, durability and even customer service. As a rule of thumb, cheap uniforms are made cheaply (and potentially unethically).
Premium uniforms offer better value in the long term for many reasons, including:
> They last longer so you don’t need to replace them as often
> Better fitting and more comfortable uniforms means happier staff
> Premium fabrics have less issues such as fading, pilling, shrinking, stretching etc.p
> They come with friendly and attentive customer support before and after your order
Solution: Identify what’s most important to you (durability, comfort, inclusive size range etc.). Find credible uniform suppliers and compare their products (the key is to compare apples with apples as much as possible).
4. A jolly good supplier
Not all uniform suppliers were created equal and unfortunately sometimes it can be hard to tell which are the better ones.
So what should you look for in a uniform supplier?
> Experience with similar uniform projects
> Flexible uniform solutions that can be tailored to you specific needs
> Streamlined and efficient logistics to minimise order processing and delivery timeframes
> Ethical conduct and values that are aligned with your business. Don’t undervalue honesty and trust
Solution: Do some research, read the case studies, check out the testimonials and most importantly ask for references.
5. Commitment to inventory
In order to ensure consistent stock levels, reduce delivery times, and offer returns, many uniform programs require some level of commitment to branded inventory. The level of commitment however varies between uniforms suppliers. While some suppliers require you to underwrite inventory for the duration of the contract, other suppliers (like Designs To You) offer optimised inventory management which greatly reduces your financial commitment. This is especially pertinent should the uniform change i.e. due to a rebrand.
Solution: Ask how many months of inventory will you be required to commit to
Now that we’ve let you know what to look for when choosing uniforms, don’t let your decision be a stab in the dark. Evaluate your workplace, your budget and your requirements, then get together with reputable uniform supplier and create a great uniform solution. Remember that uniforms are in many ways an investment so use this opportunity to enhance and improve your business.
If you’re ready to discover better uniforms and better uniform solutions, get in touch.