Many big companies across the UK use uniforms to promote their company's brand, such as TGI Fridays, Marriott International, American Express, Sytner Group, Nationwide, Iceland Foods, and McDonald's. If you go food shopping, many of the Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Lidl, and Morrisons staff members wear uniforms as well. At sporting events, phone shops, call centres - even at the Apple store - staff all wear uniforms. Those who work at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero aren't immune to uniforms either, so uniforms can be seamlessly integrated into your staff wardrobe - and look good too. But what pitfalls do companies make when ordering uniforms for the first time? Here are 5 mistakes managers make with their first uniform order. Make sure you don't fall victim.
One mistake managers often make is ordering the same uniform for both genders. A shirt that flatters a 6'3" man may not work for a 5' petite woman, so the best way to please everyone is to have different looks, sizes, cuts, and options. Most good uniform suppliers will have both male and female varieties of anything you order, so be sure not to order the same cut for everyone. Let employees try on uniforms before you bulk order to see which fits and cuts they like best.
If your employees have a relatively low-movement job, such as working in an office, then a high-quality printed logo will work for you because they are cost-effective and can last, but if they move, scrape against items, are exposed to the elements, and other factors, embroidery might be best because it is the longest-lasting technique. You'll want to understand the difference between print and embroidery for customised workwear to know what's right for you.
Embroidery allows for highly detailed artwork that's long lasting, durable, and attractive. Printing, on the other hand, may be direct or indirect with many types of processes. Direct involves using inks to alter the colour of the material you're working with and indirect applies something onto the material.
A faulty supplier might try to make you use one type of technique for all artwork, on all garments, for all sizes. The best workwear will use a combination of custom techniques that will provide the best quality and look for your company.
A mistake some managers make when ordering uniforms is over-complicating the design. A good supplier will be able to advise you. A mistake might be that a manager might not understand what is possible and how the uniforms can look. A non-committal company may allow you to order a printed logo that's almost identical to the shirt colour, for example, and it won't show up or look nice, and then you're stuck with hundreds of shirts you can't use or don't look their best. A good company will work with you on the design, encourage you to consider different looks, send samples, scale you back if your logo includes, for example, too many colours that will be out of budget and more.
Everyone has a budget, but the fastest way not to get the most for your money is to go with the (seemingly) cheapest and fastest options - or whatever is promised to be cheapest and fastest. What usually happens in these cases is that you'll get a uniform in a relatively quick time that may be low quality, wear out quickly, and make your staff uncomfortable and unhappy.
You may also have a company that doesn't advise you when you're going over-budget or when there are other options that fit your needs better. For example, you may have ordered a cheap uniform with an over-complicated, multi-coloured logo that will up the cost considerably. If your supplier doesn't alert you of the problems, then you may end up spending more for a poor-quality product.
Xamax, rest assured, will ask you the right questions so you aren't making these mistakes - as will any professional, reputable company.
Some companies care more about making money than their reputation. They will rush you to make an order now without explaining what options you have and without giving you a realistic idea of the process. It may result in a delayed process, unhappy staff, overspending on your budget, and having to replace uniforms quickly if, say, your logo fades after six months. Xamax is a trusted supplier of customised workwear.
Xamax provides workwear for the following industries:
Quick Fixes: Before you make ordering mistakes
Make sure you speak with the company you are working with so they understand your company needs and you understand the options available to you. You will want to understand the different techniques to customise your uniforms (print versus embroidery, for example). Quality companies will advise you on techniques that fit within your budget. For example, if you're ordering a promo t-shirt that will have a short lifespan, then a simple screen-printed logo would be advisable, but if you want something long-lasting, to last your employees at least two years with multiple washes, then you might want more heavy-duty garments with embroidered features.
Each professional company will have art work guidelines. Be sure to read their specific artwork guidelines. Send hi-resolution logos, and create a visual before you order samples to see how the garments will look. Request samples so that you can have staff try on uniforms to see how they will look before bulk ordering.
Xamax, for one, can help micro, small, medium, or large businesses with their uniform orders. We have free logo setup on orders over £100. Small businesses (10-100 employees) get bulk discounts; medium businesses (100-500 employees) have site visits and free sampling; and large businesses (500+ employees) have fixed term pricing and 24-hour fulfilment services.
Take all of these oft-made mistakes into account to make sure you're ordering exactly what you want for your company uniform. Xamax has created uniforms for Aldi, Bae Systems, Rolls-Royce, Haribo, Card Factory, Black & Decker, Hotel Chocolat, the NHS, and more so you're in trusted hands.
Want to find out more about techniques and options?
Take a look at our FREE print versus embroidery guide to see which method is right for your company.