When it comes to sourcing and providing workwear for your staff, it's important that you choose garments that are smart and professional. After all, your staff are the face of your business and what they wear represents your company values. But if your supplier has been providing you with uniforms that fluctuate in quality, price and customer service, you might start wondering if it's time to start looking elsewhere. Here are six signs you should rethink your workwear supplier.
It's important to have a dress code in place because they help your employees work better as a team and boost morale, safety and productivity.
But for all of that to happen, you need to have a workwear supplier who provides high quality uniforms at reasonable prices and excellent service. If you spot any of the signs below with your supplier, then perhaps it's time to reconsider your contract with them. Here are the signs it's time to re-think or change your workwear supplier:
If your supplier is providing you with low quality workwear or the quality fluctuates, then how can you trust that your employees will be comfortable or even safe and protected from risks and hazards? Workwear made from high quality materials tends to be more durable and lasts a lot longer, which offers better cost efficiency.
All uniforms or workwear will eventually need replacing due to wear and tear (after all, nothing lasts forever), but high quality uniform means you don't have to replace them as often as the materials used are more durable. This is especially cost-effective if the quality is consistent.
Companies can often be disappointed and feel frustrated if the workwear they've ordered arrives and it's not what they expected. This is sometimes due to the customer not double checking their PO, but it's also partly down to the supplier too. A responsible service provider should be asking the right questions to make sure your order is right.
Personnel managers have busy schedules and don't order workwear on a daily basis, so they may not always know what to ask in order to ensure they get products that perfectly match their needs. On the other hand, suppliers do help their customers order workwear on a daily basis. They should be asking the right questions and covering the appropriate topics, such as your industry, preferred styles and how many employees you have, in order to deliver exactly what you want.
If this level of organised efficiency isn't consistently met, you might find that your workwear orders come with errors which could have easily been avoided, such as the wrong styles and sizes. You have to then reorder and your employees have to wait, which can affect productivity.
You might have a workwear supplier who is good in every aspect except one - they aren't versatile enough in the options that they offer. Perhaps you and the managing directors want a softshell jacket because you think best suits your company's image and values. Unfortunately, your supplier doesn't stock softshell jackets and due of the lack of choice, you've been having to compromise with fleece ones because the rest of the supplier's benefits outweigh this one drawback.
But do they really?
When it comes to company image, it's important that your employees' appearance projects it correctly. After all, you don't want a mismatched image which incorrectly communicates your company values to your customers. In addition to this, unless they work in the same department, not all of your employees will need to wear the same uniform. For example, should your Head Office team be wearing the same uniform as those working on a construction site?
The best suppliers should be versatile, offering a wide range of workwear to suit a variety of workplaces and cover your varied required needs. It shouldn't be a one size fits all approach.
Not only should the ideal supplier be versatile in the range of stock that they have, for example from polo shirts and waterproof trousers to coveralls and softshell jackets, but they should also offer different options of the same type of workwear. For example, five types of polo shirts is a great range of options and you're bound to have back-ups in case you don't like the very first one you see.
Many companies require their employees to wear uniforms with their logos on them. Not only does this help to foster good team spirit as it helps people feel like they belong, but it also advertises your company to your customers. Your supplier might be able to print logos onto your workwear, but what if they're limited in what they can do?
The decorations don't need to be wildly elaborate (unless that fits your company's image), but more attractive or fancier logos will be more memorable - in a good way. You don't want something basic, forgettable or sloppy as it will make a bad impression on your customers.
In 2012, it was estimated that there were 24.9 million people being forced to work across the world and we've all heard about workers who are underpaid and abused, often in third world countries. As well as this, the environment pays the price for mass-production of clothing. It should be a part of any company's corporate social responsibility to purchase workwear that is ethically sourced and eco-friendly.
There are many workwear suppliers who haven't specified this in their trading policies, so ensure that you do your research and know exactly whether their sourcing and manufacturing processes are ethical or not before you place your orders.
Find Out More About Workwear For Your Staff
There are many more factors in play when it comes to sourcing workwear for your employees. For their health and safety, and your company's image and values, you need to have all of the bases covered.
Download a FREE copy of our spring-dedicated Workwear Buying Guide, which is also available for the summer, autumn and winter. The guide outlines the average UK temperatures, the inherent dangers you need to protect against and how to clothe yourself and your workers to best defend against outdoor dangers.