Whether you are just starting the process of outsourcing your uniform program management or have been working with a corporate uniform supplier for some time, there are a variety of things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your relationship.
Let’s start by defining the role of a corporate uniform supplier. These organizations source, customize, and distribute uniforms to your employees. There are a variety of ways you can work with a corporate uniform provider, including rental uniforms and purchase programs. This article focuses on how to optimize your relationship with a purchase uniform provider. If you aren’t currently purchasing your uniforms, we encourage you to learn more about the disadvantages of rental uniforms and reasons why you should switch to a purchase uniform program.
Now that you know what a corporate uniform supplier does, let’s discuss what makes a managed uniform program so effective and how to optimize that relationship.
What is a Managed Uniform Program?
A managed uniform program is a uniform distribution system that combines software and customer service to control costs and simplify employee uniform circulation. Dedicated account managers guide you through selecting the best uniform items and customization options for your organization’s needs. They then source your uniforms and create an online portal for your employees to order based on their individual allocation. This password-protected online portal ensures that your employees don’t receive extra items or incorrect orders. Once an employee places an order, the uniform supplier handles fulfillment and customization before shipping the order to the employee’s home, regional office, or other distribution point.
Clearly Define Uniform Requirements and Specifications
The first step to an effective corporate uniform supplier relationship is clearly defining the uniform requirements and specifications. Any corporate uniform supplier should have a highly-trained account team that is capable of conducting a thorough needs analysis. This analysis covers everything from the locations of your employees, the type of work they perform, your current uniform program challenges, and your uniform budget.
Unitec Distribution Systems has developed an online uniform program evaluation to help you see how your company’s current uniform distribution is performing against a managed uniform program. This will give you a sense of the questions asked during an initial needs analysis.
The more details you are able to provide during the initial onboarding the more successful the overall process will be for everyone involved.
Considering Employee Preferences and Comfort
In addition to understanding the organization’s uniform requirements, it’s important to consider your employee preferences and comfort. A uniform program supplier, like Unitec Distribution Systems, can leverage their experience with other organizations to help you identify what uniform items are the most requested and how to help ensure compliance with your uniform program.
Defining your Employee Uniform Allocation
A lot of time goes into defining your uniform budget and employee allocation criteria. Determining how to structure your employee uniform allowance, is a balance of costs and employee satisfaction. If you don’t provide enough items or the items selected are unpopular, your employees are left frustrated. Trust your uniform supplier to guide you through the process of selecting uniform items and determining the appropriate uniform allocation.
Establish a Long-Term Partnership
Rental uniform programs can be 2-3 times the cost of a purchase uniform program for the same items. The problem is that the initial rental uniform contracts don’t always make that clear. There are a variety of hidden fees, convoluted contract terms, and virtually no flexibility. Unitec Distribution Systems conducted a study that found organizations can save 23% on average by switching to a purchase uniform program and managed uniform provider relationship.
The reason for this savings is the long-term partnership that is created. It’s not just about quick wins, it’s about really understanding your organization’s needs and building a uniform program that accommodates a variety of employee roles and allocation criteria.
In order to effectively establish a long-term partnership with your corporate uniform supplier you need to:
- Communicate expectations and timelines clearly
- Provide feedback for continuous improvement
- Be open to the suggestions from the account team
Monitor and Manage Uniform Inventory
Optimizing your uniform inventory is one of the most critical aspects of controlling the costs associated with your uniform program. Unitec Distribution Systems developed a software solution specifically for the needs of corporate uniform programs. Our proprietary Proximity System™ allows for complete control over your organization’s uniform ordering and distribution.
This software also allows our team to track inventory and ensure items are restocked in a timely manner. We’re able to do this through a variety of reports built into the system. In addition to inventory reporting, our customers also have the ability to drill down into their budgets and product usage.
Optimizing Your Relationship with an Outsourced Uniform Provider
To summarize, these are the keys to a successful outsourced uniform program:
- Be upfront about your uniform needs and budget
- Provide as many details as possible and be quick to respond to initial inquires
- Trust your uniform provider to guide you and listen carefully to the reasons behind their suggestions
- Work with a partner who provides industry-leading software and analytics
Partnering with an employee uniform distributor offers numerous benefits for businesses. By working with these professionals, companies can rely on their expertise in consultation, design, sourcing, inventory management, logistics, and customer support. The corporate uniform distributor’s involvement ensures that the uniforms meet the company’s specific needs, align with branding guidelines, and are of high quality. This, in turn, enhances the company’s image, fosters a sense of unity among employees, and conveys professionalism to clients and customers. Moreover, corporate uniforms contribute to employee satisfaction, safety, and compliance with industry standards.
For all these reasons, it is essential to choose a reputable corporate uniform distributor that can provide reliable and top-notch uniform solutions. To learn more about Unitec Distribution System’s managed uniform program and how it can help your organization, schedule a demo or contact our team for a consultation.
We Take You Out of the Uniform Business!
Unitec Distribution Systems takes the headaches out of managing your uniform purchases and distribution. The magic of Unitec Distribution Systems is the combination of our proprietary uniform management software, The Proximity System™, and our dedicated account managers. Together, we’re able to streamline uniform distribution while improving morale and reducing waste.
Unitec is a certified women-owned uniform supplier.