Common Problems of Managing a Uniform Program, and Solutions From Image Connection
Common Headaches of Employee Uniform Programs
(and how Image Connection can help solve them)
If you have experience managing a company uniform program, then you are familiar with one or more of the problems listed below. Take a minute to read about our solutions to these common problems.
Problem: Collecting orders from every employee.
Whether you have 10 employees or 100 the initial process of collecting everyone’s size and preference can be a tedious process. If you spend 5 or 10 minutes with each employee discussing the options and preferences, you can quickly eat up hours, days or weeks.
In the old days we had catalogs, paper order forms and perhaps a poster on the bulletin board. At Image Connection we’ll build you an online catalog and custom website designed to meet your needs. Employees can go online and place orders on their schedule.
Problem: Making sure employees only order proper uniforms.
How often do they select a style that doesn’t come in their size…or its not available anymore? “No, you can’t have that color it’s only for supervisors”. “I know you wrote in that you need a 38” inseam, but they don’t make those.” These are just some of the problems encountered when employees are ready to order.
Our online store can be set up to minimize employee errors. If you have multiple employee categories with different uniform options, we set it up so that when any employee logs in, they can only see and only order products that have approved for their area. With pre-loaded products and sizes there is never any confusion as to what is available.
Problem: Making sure employees don’t “over order” beyond allowance or allotment.
If you give everyone a set $ amount, say $250, who gets to count up every order and go back to each employee and tell them to take something off the order. Same issue if you give an allotment of say 3 shirts and pants, 1 jacket.
If you use a dollar amount for a uniform allowance, or if you designate specific quantities of certain products employees are allowed to order, we track that for you. Employees will only be allowed to order up to the pre-designated amount you have specified.
Problem: Sizing new employees.
Employees come and go. Some lose weight, some gain. Some get promoted and have more uniform options to choose from. When they ask you “What size should I order ”, how do you respond?
Without a local retail store to send your employees off to, we offer you a full range of uniform sizes at a discount off of the regular price, so you always have the right size available for employees to try on…but wait, you say they’ll end up on someone’s back? No, we embroider the size prominently on the uniform. On the chest for shirts or tops, on the thigh for pants. (“MENS LARGE” for example). Our proprietary HemLines™ inseam transfers make it easy to size pants in both waist and inseams.
Problem: When my order is received, distributing uniforms to the proper employee.
This task consumes more of your employees’ time than any other aspect of your uniform program. Bulk orders save a few $$ in processing but never enough to account for all the additional time needed to sort and pack employee orders. Matching up shirt and pant sizes, along with the proper products for each employee takes more time that anyone realizes.
This is the best part! With our online ordering we have an order for each individual employee. First, each order is individually shrink wrapped with a copy of the order so you have a bundle to hand the employee, not a box of uniforms to sort out. If we have your employee’s information sorted by area or department, we will box and ship without mixing departments. You can forward each box to the department supervisor, who opens the box and hands out bundles. This process is the biggest time saver in the industry.
Problem: Communicating orders and info with 2nd/3rd shift, and remote employees.
If you have remote employees or additional shifts the distance and time difference can make communicating program details difficult.
Because your online store is accessible 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection, Communication is seamless. Yes, they can order from a phone or tablet as well.
Problem: Employees want to order additional uniforms.
Do you charge sales tax or no? How about checks? Credit cards? How much? Most employers have decided NOT to allow employees to order addition uniforms at the employees’ expense, as it isn’t worth the additional hassle for the employer.
Not a problem. If the employee exceeds the allowance and wants to order more it will prompt them for a credit card to pay for the balance that exceeds the allotment. These will be shipped along with the original order. If sales tax is applicable, we will collect it.
Problem: Keeping track of different products for different job descriptions.
Regular workers may get one particular color. Supervisors get another. Managers get their choice. Keeping track of who gets what can be a colossal headache.
Each area gets their own “category” on the website. Only products specific the their job category can be seen when they log in, so there is never any chance of employees ordering products they are not allowed to have.
Problem: Management wants every order pre-approved.
This is a combination of all the issues listed above. In order to make sure no one orders something they aren’t supposed to, someone has to preview and approve every uniform order. This is tedious and time consuming.
There is virtually no discretion on the part of the employee….they can only order products pre-approved for their job classification, and they can only spend the amount designated, there is really no need for approval on every order. However, if you still want this option, we will set it up so that one person must see and approve every order before we can process it.
Problem: Long wait times to receive our orders.
Orders can take weeks or months before they are received.
Our programs are set up so that we process all of your orders that are in house on a particular day of the week or month. For example, if your day is Tuesday, every Tuesday we will embroider/decorate every employee order we have on hand, and then package and ship it. We will work with you to recommend products and suppliers that have deep inventory and good service.
Problem: Processing too many invoices.
If you create a separate order for each employee in your current program, chances are you get a separate invoice for each order as well. Processing all of these can bills is tedious and time consuming and will make you no friends in your accounts payable department.
How about if we send you one bill each week, that has all the detail for every employee order we shipped? We can of course send individual bills for each order if you prefer. In either case, the original employee order with all the detail is still accessible in our order history.
Problem: Allocating uniform purchases to the proper budget.
If you have different divisions, different locations or just different departments you probably want to post those expenses to the cost center. Trying to decide which bill goes to which department can be confusing.
Any cost center you want to specify will be set up with a separate account. When we set up consolidated billing, we will consolidate all orders just for that cost center so the accounting process on your end is simplified