Systems & software for managing uniform inventory [how-to guide]
If you're running a business, large or small, you probably already know the importance of implementing a durable, professional and comfortable uniform for your staff.
It's a brilliant way to present your team and offer an outstanding first impression, as well as making sure your team are in the best possible, safest materials to suit their particular profession.
While the decision to introduce a new uniform to your team might be a no-brainer, often companies forget to take into account the administrative and operative time it takes to maintain and manage a large rotation of staff uniforms.
These often-overlooked tasks can include:
- Managing regular dry cleaning and upkeep
- Listing inventory
- Administering uniforms to new staff upon arrival
- Returns when staff leave
- Placing new orders
- Managing work-wear budgets
- Replacing old uniforms when they've run their due course
This is often an underestimated, logistical and administrative heavy task, which only exponentially increases with larger businesses and the more staff involved.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can keep your uniforms (and the staff wearing them) happy and in-check, as well as being confident that you won't blow the budget from implementing top of the line work wear.
There's plenty of software available that can take care of the mundane, inventory-based tasks for you, and we've got your guide to picking the right systems & software for managing uniform inventory for your business.
1. Assess your business' uniform needs
The first thing we'd recommend doing, before beginning to look into systems & software for managing uniform inventory, is to assess your business' uniform requirements.
Different businesses will vary significantly in what they need to stay on top of their uniform turnover. For example, if you're a business of between 15-20 people, and your uniform consists of a few polo shirts with company logos, you're probably only going to need a great uniform supplier to work with and a well thought out and maintained spreadsheet to keep track of your uniform allocations.
However, if you're a large casino with hundreds of staff members, who each require a full set of professional uniforms - you're going to need something with a little more capability than excel. You'll have to take into consideration cleaning, replacement, returns and new uniforms - not to mention the constant intake of orders for the hundreds of staff members you're clothing.
This is why, before looking to buy into any uniform management software, we'd suggest doing a full report on your requirements.
Here's what we'd suggest taking into consideration:
- Your number of staff
- Your rate of staff turnover
- How frequently your uniforms need replacing (particularly if your industry means your staff's clothing is prone to wear and tear)
- The complexity of your uniform (how many parts are there to it, do different staff wear different combinations of clothing, does your uniform have to meet industry specific requirements)
- How much money you currently spend (both staff time and resource wise) on uniform management
Once you've considered these factors, you'll have a good idea of what you will need from your systems & software to manage your uniform inventory.
2. Track your inventory
Now that you've outlined the uniform management requirements specific to your business, we'd suggest beginning with creating an inventory of uniforms that you already have in circulation. Make sure that it's up to date, and includes a stock take of every piece of uniform that your current staff members are in possession of.
This may seem like quite a labourious task but, with the right software, you can actually manage and track your inventory quite easily.
Fortunately, if your business is small to medium scale, you won't have to pay a fortune to do so.
There are some great, free uniform management software solutions available for use, that range from simple spreadsheet capability, to drag and drop platforms that allow you to manage multiple staff, and locations.
Of course, if you're a larger scale business, we'd recommend looking into investing your dollars into a user-paid software for managing uniform inventory. This way you'll be able to account for a high number of staff, locations, garments and their cost.
3. Plan for a rate of replacement and maintenance
There are a number of factors that can affect the rate at which you're likely to have to replace your team's uniform, ranging from the types of material you're using and their durability, to the type of industry your staff work in.
For example, if you're in the construction sector and your staff wear a variety of PPE clothing, it's likely that their uniforms will deteriorate at a rate faster than that of an office based business.
Similarly, if your uniforms are made of lower quality materials, it's likely that they'll need replacing at a faster rate than uniforms made with top of the line materials.
Make sure to record the frequency at which you need to check in with your staff and take a look at the state of their uniforms.
4. Get a software system that affords your staff autonomy (with Their manager's approval)
One of the biggest problems that companies come across when managing staff uniform procurement is finding the dedicated time to place orders, monitor usage and manage stock levels.
For this reason, we'd recommend looking into a solution that allows you to give your staff the autonomy to order their own uniforms on your behalf.
One of the risks with this is sticking to a set budget and making sure that your staff aren't overspending, ordering incorrect garments, or over ordering.
Fortunately, we've come up with a software solution that will take the time-heavy task of managing uniforms off your hands, as well as affording your staff the autonomy they need to always be well equipped and presented professionally: check out the My Arrow Uniform Management Software.
A glimpse at the benefits?
- The software is tailored to your own company's colours, branding and prices, so there's no confusion.
- Your staff will only see what they're allowed to wear, eliminating the risk of orders being placed that don't fit the role.
- You can set up automatic renewal dates, and allocate garments by quantity or dollars, removing the risk of over-expenditure.
- Your staff can order themselves. You no longer have to keep their uniforms up to date, or worry about managing the process.
- You still get the final say. You, as a manager, get to approve or reject order requests, and review budgets and reports whenever you feel necessary.
Time is money, and the biggest benefit of having an efficient, uniform management software in place is that you no longer have to spend your valuable time on logistics, or paying someone to do it for you.
Interested in revolutionising the way you manage your uniforms?