Ordering uniforms can be both an enjoyable and frustrating experience. Enjoyable, because you get to choose the designs that elevate your brand awareness. Frustrating because the ordering process itself can sometimes be all over the place, and if you are dealing with unreliable suppliers this can push even the most calm and resilient of managers over the edge. You want to ensure that your uniform ordering system is as streamlined as possible so it’s an easy process that doesn’t waste your valuable time. But how do you achieve this? Here are four tips to get you on the path to streamlining your uniform program (so you can stay sane, save time and money, and be on top of your inventory):
- Ensure your inventory records are detailed
There is no point in ordering a whole new batch of uniforms when you already have 1000 pieces in a storage room. Make sure every action taken regarding inventory is recorded in an agile document that has been shared with the team. Make sure that it’s as detailed as possible with new orders, old orders, inventory in stock, and inventory still needed, all clearly noted. You can go the good ol’ excel spreadsheet route or find the best inventory ordering/management software for your needs to make your life easier. In addition to tracking your own inventory, working with a uniform company like The House Label offers services such as a custom online portal that makes reordering and tracking previous orders easy.
- Keep channels of communication open with your uniform supplier
We probably all played ‘telephone’ when we were kids, so we know only too well how quickly things can be misinterpreted and misunderstood when important bits of communication goes through the wrong channels. Make sure your uniform manager/buyer understands what needs to be ordered, when, and in what quantities. The last thing you need is to waste money on duplicate orders or be in a situation where you don’t have the correct styles or sizes you may need for new hires or a big event. Great customer service is a priority for The House Label. To keep the communication fluid, The House Label provides each client with a custom order form specific to their uniform program should they not want to go the route of setting up an online portal. This keeps ordering easy and organized with less room for error.
- Set aside some emergency inventory
We have probably all had a moment where we go to pick up stock from the storeroom before a new hire comes in for their first day only to find that what we thought was there isn’t. That’s why it’s a good idea to store a few units, in various sizes, of styles for your main positions. It is also recommended to have a sizing run in-house for each style. A sizing run is at least one unit of each size so that a new hire can find out exactly what size they are before opening your inventory or placing a new order. This saves time and avoids returns and exchanges with your uniform provider.
- Work with the best uniform providers
One way to avoid sticky situations with uniforms is to make sure that you work only with the most reliable and best suppliers. There’s little that’s worse than when your magenta logo embroidery turns out red on 5000 shirts or they arrive three weeks after your holiday event. High-level uniform suppliers are not only focused on good design and quality products, but they should be reliable and able to provide uniforms in a timely fashion.
At The House Label, our team of experts cares about all of the above as we design and manufacture uniforms. In addition to custom uniform design and manufacturing, The House Label partners with various high-level suppliers to provide the very best in-stock product offerings. A combination of custom and in-stock pieces ensures an overall uniform look that is functional, stylish, and cost-effective.
If you are interested in streamlining your uniform program, contact us at [email protected] for more information.