15 May Why Have a Uniform Management Program?
Did you know one of the most important brand ambassadors for any company or organization is the uniform its employees are wearing? Beyond advertising and social media campaigns to get a company out in front of its customers for all the right reasons, a recognizable uniform that speaks to the quality of its products and/or services offers is a powerful messaging tool.
For the purpose of brand awareness, as well as plenty of other reasons, such as security and safety, it’s worth taking a look at how a uniform management system can benefit your company. With our more than 38 years as an apparel software solutions provider, we’ll also differentiate what makes a good uniform program stand out from lesser uniform inventory systems.
The Purpose of a Uniform Program
When you think of some of the most trusted and successful organizations, what’s the most common, recognizable thread that runs throughout? The answer is that these organizations take advantage of employee uniforms — and typically also robust uniform management programs.
The logic behind using uniform management platforms is clear. According to the Automotive Service Association, an overwhelming 97% of customers feel uniforms make employees far easier to recognize. In addition, an independent survey by J.D. Powers and Associates found that 75% of the public prefer to do business with employees who are wearing uniforms.
In addition, when customers see your employees wearing uniforms, your brand instantly communicates a number of messages. Some of the most popular characteristics that result from a professionally uniformed customer-facing staff are:
- Trust: Neatly tailored uniforms strengthen a company’s trustworthiness for its customers.
- Competition: Uniformed employees give a company a competitive advantage.
- Equality: For employees, a more equal working environment is created when uniforms are mandatory.
- Professionalism: Surveys show that uniformed employees are perceived as better trained and more professional.
- Pride: Uniformed employees report having higher morale and more pride in their work, which results in better customer service and improved productivity.
- Teamwork: A uniformed staff tends to work better as a team, which results in a more collaborative and profitable work environment.
While these characteristics apply generically to almost any business, we all know that no two organizations are identical. A number of more specialized reasons for using a uniform program exist — reasons that offer other pragmatic benefits directly related to how a specific business operates and what it expects of its employees.
As a good example of a uniform program’s support for a particular business model, uniforms that are specifically designed for the healthcare and food industries are often made with hygienic purposes in mind, such as reducing or controlling risks associated with cross-contamination and infection threats.
For companies whose business model involves putting its employees in potentially dangerous settings, like rig work in the oil and gas industry, uniforms can serve as an extra layer of flame resistance — plus, they can make employees highly visible to their co-workers. Visibility is also a prime reason for uniform programs in everything from transportation to residential services.
Of course, the list of specialized uniforms is as long as the reasons for employing them. However, our list today wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the needs of the manufacturing industry. Many of today’s products rely on sensitive electronic equipment to operate properly. That’s why many consumer goods and electronics manufacturers take advantage of specially-designed uniforms that can dissipate buildups of static electricity to prevent sensitive components from experiencing static shocks and potential damage.
Benefits of a Uniform Program
A uniform program quickly and effectively communicates a positive brand image, helps identify employees and can often contribute to specialized purposes, such as employee safety and product quality control. Beyond these generalized and well-established characteristics, a uniform program can deliver a number of specific benefits to companies — in both their business-to-consumer and business-to-business settings.
Did you know that where and how your customers come in contact with your employees makes a significant difference in the need for a reliable uniform program? The major advantage here is in knowing which types of settings and businesses will benefit most from a uniform program.
In business-to-consumer settings, customers prefer companies whose employees are neatly uniformed in the following industries and services:
- Transportation and storage services
- Utility companies
- Automotive services
- Hospitality services
- Healthcare services
- Household services
In all of these settings, more than 60% of consumers specifically identified uniformed employees as a reason for doing business with that particular company.
When it comes to the messages uniformed employees send to their clients, the B2B results are almost a mirror image of the B2C results.
In the following B2B settings, companies are most likely to win business when their employees are in uniform:
- Food services
- Food processing
- Heating/HVAC services
- Janitorial services
- Plumbing and electrical services
- Pharmaceutical services
- Landscaping and grounds keeping services
- Sanitation services
Again, in all of the above types of businesses, uniforms evoke trust. In the cases of food and HVAC services specifically, well over 70% of B2B clients prefer to do business with organizations that already have a well-established uniform program.
How a Uniform Management System Can Help With a Uniform Program
Naturally, any uniform program comes with many moving parts. That’s why it’s critical to have a good uniform management system — one that ensures your staff has the apparel they need without exceeding your budget. At FDM4, our top-rated uniform management system offers all of the features you need, including:
- User management: Assign profiles to employees so they can order their own apparel. Limit permissions per profile so that only certain users, such as managers, can approve orders.
- Catalog management: Choose the apparel you want to represent your company and collect the different styles in your own catalog.
- Order management: See the status of your orders and your order history at a single glance, without the hassle of having to call customer service.
- Spending limit management: Set spending limits per user and for a predetermined period of time to ensure your staff doesn’t exceed their allocated budget. Once the time period is over, you need to determine a spending limit for the new period.
Request Your Free Demo of FDM4’s Uniform Management Solution
Improve both your company’s visibility and the efficiency with which you manage your uniform program with FDM4’s uniform management system. When it’s time to grow your business and streamline operations, contact us for more information and start your free demo today.