Organizations that require employees to wear uniforms at work must have a solid system in place for making uniforms available to all employees at all times. Any ambiguity or confusion around uniform ordering may result in employees working out of uniform or wearing the wrong uniform.
If your organization has a company uniform program, consider the following questions to determine how well your ordering system currently runs and if an online company store would be worth exploring.
Questions for Companies That Require Employees Wear Uniforms to Consider
- How quickly do new hires receive their new corporate uniform?
- Is the ordering process user-friendly and streamlined?
- Are managers responsible for ordering on behalf of their teams causing an administrative burden?
- Are you still using manual forms to place orders for uniforms?
If you found that your uniform ordering system isn’t as solid as it should be, an online company store might be a solution to consider.
As You Grow, Automate Systems and Streamline Your Processes
As an organization grows, we tend to get caught up in big picture goals and changes, but forget to manage the smaller pieces of the puzzle like worker uniforms. When an organization is small, say 30 employees, it is easy to communicate uniform expectations and processes for ordering. After all, you see each other every day and probably know every employee’s life story, favorite food and kids’ names.
However, as the organization grows to 100+ locations with over 1,000 employees, systems must be put in place to manage things like uniform programs, printed materials and promotional merchandise. Ordering becomes a huge strain and a full time job for multiple employees tasked with the responsibilities of placing, filling and tracking orders for all employees in the entire organization. That is a huge ask of any employee to assume and it leaves possibility for human error, especially when order managers have other job responsibilities.
A standardized process communicated clearly to all members of the organization eliminates confusion and replaces it with 100% certainty. Give your employees the power to self manage the ordering of their own uniforms to ensure they get the size and style they want while you, manage permissions and controls for ordering and overall costs.
When employees are responsible for ordering their uniforms through a centralized system, you will be able to re-direct talent within the organization.
Consider who is currently responsible for managing this and how their time may be better served once this time-consuming task becomes automated.
Automate Ordering with an Online Company Store Program
An online company store program is a stress-free system that gives employees and partners the power to order everything they need individually, or for their team and for their department. That includes work uniforms, promotional products, sales collateral and so much more.
The online company store solution eliminates the overburdening of departments and employees with administrative operations related to ordering marketing and sales materials. It also puts the responsibility in the hands of each individual, empowering them to take ownership for their own needs at work.
The system is extremely easy to use. Employees can log into their account and view images for all products offered in your program. All they have to do is select the desired garments in the appropriate size and colour and submit their order.
Not only have the garments themselves been pre-approved, but the decoration as well. Giving you the peace of mind that your logo will be the same every time.
Managers also have the ability to control permissions and use budgets or cost centres for individual employees to control access and spending.
Sounds easy enough, right? Let’s take a look at an organization that recently made the switch from a messy system to an online company store program to get a better idea of the application.
How A Company Uniform Program went from a chaotic mess to a user friendly, organized system
One of our clients made the transition from a messy, mismanaged uniform ordering system to an organized, online company store and saw immediate improvements.
Prior to building their online store, the process required all employees individually order their own work uniforms through a large retail chain. As new employees joined the organization, each was instructed to visit the location nearest them to be fitted for their uniform. While the chain has hundreds of locations, some remote employees were forced to drive over an hour to reach one. There was no option to order over the phone or online.
At the store, employees were shown the pre-approved options available and made their selection.
Depending how busy the store was on a given day, the whole ordeal could take anywhere from 20 minutes to over 2 hours. The store would then input the order and call the employee when it was ready for pick up. The typical turn around time was 4-6 weeks, which is a long time for an employee to be without a uniform while working.
While this situation was not ideal, it was made worse when stores began regularly losing orders. Often times, employees, called to follow up only to find that the order had never been placed and there was no record of what they requested. Employees were forced to drive out to the store and start the process all over again. What a nightmare!
But even when they did get the order right, employees were still required to make the trek out to pick up the uniform in-store, as delivery was not an option. Overall, this experience was not a positive one for new employees who started off excited about their new job, but grew weary in the process of obtaining their new uniform.
Often, new employees went for a month or more without a proper uniform causing confusion for employees and customers, but also decreasing employees’ loyalty and respect for the company.
The Company Made the Decision to Move Forward with a Systematic Plan
Fast forward to today. The same organization above now has an online company store where all uniforms are available on one centralized URL. Now, when they hire a new employee, managers register them in their online company store system. A simple contact form that identifies the required access is all there is to the process.
In our programs, (I’m not sure about others) that triggers the appropriate account setup.
Then we send a welcome email to the individual with their username and password and instructions to access the store. (**Approval rules are established in the beginning during the building of the store).
Managers have peace of mind that orders placed will first go to them for approval based on the pre-determined approval rules.
Now employees can order their new uniform on any computer, smart phone or tablet anywhere and receive it within 5-7 business days. Employees are also provided an email confirmation of their uniform order and status updates as their uniform order is processed, packaged and shipped.
This has proven to be a much more efficient process for the company’s uniform program. All employees now receive their uniforms in a timely manner, enjoy a more streamlined process and the icing on the cake – the company has realized substantial cost savings.
Centralized Uniform Ordering for Large Companies Who Want to Get it Right
Medium to large sized organizations whose employees wear uniforms should consider implementing an organized and automated system for ordering.
An online company store program is the perfect system to provide access to the things employees need while maintaining control of company spending. Click here to learn more about online company stores.