5 Signs it’s time to break up with your uniforms supplier
Many businesses are finding a silver lining (we’re trying to stay positive!) in this ongoing state of flux we find ourselves in, by using this time to re-evaluate supplier relationships and level-up their operations.
Reviewing your suppliers and assessing how they’re working (or not) for your business can boost your bottom line and help make your operations more efficient and resilient. Same goes for your uniform supplier.
We’ve been in the uniform business for more than 20 years, and we know first-hand that chances are that if you’re experiencing the five signs below, it might be time to write a ‘Dear John’ letter and swipe right on a new uniform supplier.
01. People are commenting – but not favourably
We know that your staff might not truly love wearing their uniform, and the usual ‘here and there’ remarks about uniforms is par for the course. But when staff start sharing complaints about the quality, discomfort, durability or fit of their uniform it is worth taking the time to hear their concerns. It can be a sign that things aren’t what they should be, and not just a staff member with a crux to bear.
If you’ve taken this as an opportunity to find a new supplier, be sure to ask about the fabrics they are using. There’s so many options available now that offer durability and comfort, quality and performance. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. And while you may never win over every staff member, we know there are solutions available that mean they’ll never complain they’re itchy, scratchy or sweaty again.
02. Service is Slipping
Remember the honeymoon period with your current uniform supplier? They replied promptly, nothing was too hard and you were ready to take on the (uniform) world together. But now the shine is fading. Issues aren’t being resolved with the same fervour, communication is lacking and you feel like you’re being left on ‘read’ with no reply more often than not. Breaking up with a supplier is never easy but the signs you need to are there.
Take the things that worked in the early days and apply them to your new relationship. From the get-go share with your new supplier your preferred communication method – is email better than a phone call? – set the expectation early to avoid disappointment once the wheels are in motion.
03. Little mistakes are adding up
It’s rarely the big errors that cause a relationship to crack. It’s the little mistakes – Delays in order deliveries with no explanation, items continually out of stock and no common courtesy communication on re-stock information, a noticeable dip in quality of finished products.
They all add up over time and take big withdrawals from the relationship’s trust account. Eventually you will reach the last straw and there will be nothing left in the account to draw from.
04. The commitment is getting hefty
Most uniform programs require commitment to branded stock (items with your logo or print). It helps with faster deliveries and reduces out of stock scenarios. If however your supplier is sitting on too much branded stock it can take a long time to use that stock (often years), and meanwhile there’s more financial risk to your business. When uniforms are not used, they get old and outdated, and can become dead stock that you are still committed to.
This is especially dangerous if you’re planning to change branding, want to update your uniform designs.
A smarter uniform supplier will take the initiative to minimise your branded stock commitment by using existing branded stock before new stock. If you’re committed to years’ worth of stock it might be time to renegotiate, or find a better supplier.
05. Too many admin tasks
You outsourced the supply and fulfillment of uniforms because you’re busy working in the business. Yet, increasingly, you’re finding yourself spending more time managing the process, or chasing up the supplier for simple information and updates.
One of the features our clients love is how easy it is to manage staff uniforms using our online portal. Our integrated system takes the hassle out of uniform admin work with live reports, real-time order and delivery status, easy location and employee management and flexible uniform entitlement rules. Once set up, the uniform program pretty much runs itself according to the entitlement rules set by your company. It’s so easy that many of our customers have shifted uniform admin staff to other parts of the business.
Ready to start anew?
Designs To You have been proudly making and supplying premium work uniforms since 1999. But our work is about more than uniforms. We are passionate about changing the way it feels to wear a uniform because we believe that everyone deserves to feel great at work every day.
If you’re ready to step into a better relationship with a new uniform supplier, we’re here for you. Contact us for a friendly and obligation free chat.