Companies often feel disappointed when they order workwear that arrives and it's not what was expected. Often this is the fault of the workwear supplier and not of the personnel manager ordering the workwear because that means the supplier didn't ask the right questions.
It's vital your supplier truly understands what you want, especially since personnel managers don't order uniforms daily and often don't know what to ask and what to request to get something that's perfect for them, whereas suppliers do help customers order workwear on a daily basis. Here are eight questions your workwear supplier should ask you before an order is placed.
The bottom line for many companies is the budget. That's what you have to report to your finance department and you most likely have strict limits. A good supplier will always work within your budget - or below it - or, if they perceive your budget is too low for what you want to accomplish, they will give a breakdown of the costs and let you choose.
However, a quality provider will always let you know what is within your budget regardless. Furthermore, if the customer embroidered logo you ordered with several colours and designs will up the cost of your project, then a good supplier will let you know about the increased cost and suggest lower-priced alternatives.
Before you sign on the dotted line, a trusted supplier will let you know every single cost involved so there are no surprises in what you will pay.
In order to understand what you need, a quality supplier will need to understand your industry and its needs.
For example, when ordering workwear for an office, a Quantity Surveyor based in a construction site cabin will want something different from a designer who's in a town centre office. A good supplier will explain the different variations, fabrics, and durability available. They'll recommended for your particular industry and job roles, depending on how often you will replace or update your uniform and the needs of your company in general.
Many companies often want a uniform to create brand recognition and a unified look so they want custom art or logos. A quality company will advise you on techniques - and the durability of those techniques - if you do say you want custom art.
Some of the techniques include embroidery, printing, vinyl transfer, and heat seal. A good provider will let you know how long each lasts with multiple washes, what fabric they are best on, and how your logo will look when using each technique.
Most professional companies should have artwork guidelines to help you decide what's best for you.
Always send high-resolution logos, and ask the company to create a visual before you order samples in order see how the garments will look; you don't want to be disappointed when you receive your uniform.
Quality companies will allow you to have samples of the uniform to determine the correct sizing for each employee and to check that the uniform looks the way you want it to overall. The process should take as long as it takes to keep you happy because - after all - your employees will be wearing these uniforms every day.
A simple question any supplier should ask is how many employees you have that need to be clothed in your new uniform. The number of employees can help keep the costs down since buying in bulk is cheaper per item, but the supplier needs an idea of the people, the cuts, and the numbers to suggest budget-friendly options for you.
If you're a company who will have repeat orders, your supplier should be asking to open an account with you. And larger companies should be getting offered a dedicated account manager.
It's a good idea to have different respective garment options for each gender because a one-size-fits-all approach to clothing cuts can leave some employees unhappy and uncomfortable. A quality supplier will ask you about the styles you prefer and let you know about the different options for men and women - and how a more tailored approach will keep everyone looking their best.
So, in a supermarket, for example, those in the bakery department may have a different coloured top than those in the vegetable department. Those in management may want a different, more distinguished uniform as well, so you may find that you need five different uniforms, in two genders each, at the end of your meeting or call.
Knowing the variations you need can help you make an informed decision.
A smart workwear supplier should ask this question in order to find the best solution for your company's unique circumstances.
You might to reorder with the supplier because business is growing or you might simply have a high turnover of staff in your field. Also, staff might go through uniform items frequently due to the stress they're put clothing under or you might want new looks depending on the season.
All of these variables should affect which price points and items your supplier thinks are best for you. It might be more beneficial to pay a little more per item and order less frequently, or vice versa.
Once your supplier has walked you through the process, they should ask you if they can assist with anything else. Your supplier shouldn't place the order and disappear. They should be the ones contacting you and keeping you informed every step of the way.
From order to delivery to implementation, if you're constantly chasing down the company for questions, then they may not be providing you with the best customer service and the most quality product. Your provider should know that you're happy with your order, no matter the point in the process.
Now that you know the questions that a quality supplier will ask, you simply have to get your employees on board, write your policy letter, and encourage employee responsibility. Read our customer testimonials here.
Now you've got your uniform, how do you implement it?
Here's our Uniform Policy pack that you can download and amend for free. We include a policy letter, a policy, exceptions, HR contact information, a uniform questionnaire, and more. Download your free pack now.