Corporate Uniforms & Executive Apparel
Outfitting a professional business staff in corporate uniforms and career apparel can be a difficult task for administrators. Finding the right uniform supplier is important because there are many variables that can make or break the project. To design great career uniforms, first one must find the best looking garments in the right colors, range of sizes and quality. Then, the price must match the company’s budget.
Sound simple? It is easier said than done. Distributors know that garments must function properly for the job of the end-user. For example a mobile staff of busy realtors may require lightweight suiting separates while a program for an entire hotel staff may include many different end-users who have different needs. Certain styles and fabrics work best for specific jobs and a savvy distributor can save a buyer time and money.
How a Corporate Uniforms Program Works
Executive Apparel is an apparel manufacturer that caters to the uniform and promotional products industries. We sell our products in bulk through career distributors who sell to buyers. Manufacturers do not sell to end-users directly.
Our Distributors are very knowledgeable about the industries they serve. They guide the school and business uniforms buyer through the entire project development process. Buyers work with distributors because they can save them time and money. Executive Apparel distributors are experts in their field who strive to make the development process quick and easy for buyers. If you are interested in buying wholesale uniforms for your group click here to be connected with a distributor. If you are a qualified apparel distributor you will find a wealth of information about Executive Apparel Distributorships on this site.
Manufacturer. Distributor. Buyer. End-User.
As a manufacturer it is our job to provide the distributor with the best options for their buyer’s branded uniform program. That includes garments and information on best practices for planning the program. Our distributors ask for important information from their buyer so we understand every aspect of the project. Below are some of the questions distributors will ask.
- Who will be wearing the uniforms? Describe job function(s)?
- Where will they be wearing their uniforms?
- What does the company/group/organization do?
- Have they provided any reference or inspiration materials?
- What type of uniform program are they interested in? In-Stock, Semi-Custom or Fully Custom?
- How many uniforms are needed in each category? Will there be repeat orders?
- What is the delivery deadline?
- Where will the finished uniforms be delivered?
- What is the budget?
- Are there any specials considerations that we must be aware of?
A thorough distributor who takes time to ask all of these questions will be well-equipped to develop the best uniform program to suit their client’s needs. They will also avoid unnecessary steps that waste time and money.
Planning a Branded Uniform Program
There are 5 main steps to planning a corporate uniforms program. The distributor’s questionnaire we discussed in the beginning of this article is a big part of the first step. Questions that arise during the production process can usually be answered by referring back to the questionnaire.
Your client may give you a very detailed brief that answers all of your questions but more often you will help the client create the brief during the first Q&A session referenced above. The brief will be shared with the manufacturer as soon as it is ready. The distributor and manufacturer go over it in detail to make sure all required information is there.
RESEARCH & SOURCING:
Manufacturers and distributors work together to gather swatches and images of existing products that fit the brief. At the same time the design staff begins sourcing swatches and samples of anything that may not be on hand like special fabrics, trims or notions for samples. Executive Apparel has an extensive pattern and sample archive to source from as well as a talented design team.
Many designs exist in our archive and can be altered for a pattern variation if needed. If a design isn’t in our archive our team can design it quickly. Distributors will deliver swatches, photos, illustrations or existing source garments to the client for approval. During this process costing is introduced.
Once all of the approved fabrics and pattern work are gathered the design team takes over. They begin sewing samples which will be delivered to the client and approved or revised per their directions. The cost of the project is revised as final decisions are made. When the client is happy with the final samples they sign off on it and the project goes into production.
The manufacturer chooses production factories based on the client’s deadline, the quantities of garments being produced and factory capabilities. Fabric, trims and notions are ordered and shipped to the appropriate factory along with samples, patterns and technical notes. The manufacturer communicates with the factory throughout the process.
When the garments for the uniform program are finished they are loaded onto shipping containers and head back to the manufacturer. Products arrive and are thoroughly quality-checked. Garments that embroidered blazers or blazers that get patches are sent back out for embellishment. The order will be re-inspected when it comes back to our warehouse and quickly packed for delivery to the client.
Types of Programs for Corporate Uniforms
Executive Apparel knows that not all companies are created equal. Distributors know that we can steer them toward the best type of corporate uniforms for their specific buyer. There are 3 different ways to approach a corporate uniform project.
The In-Stock Uniform Program
Executive Apparel has an excellent variety of classic and on-trend styles and many buyers choose to develop an in-stock uniform program. They easily find styles they like without incurring the additional expense of custom design or semi-custom altering. By ordering separates they can easily put together uniform suits for upper management or executive uniforms and combine complimentary garments to create matching staff uniforms. A good uniform manufacturer keeps deep stock on the most popular suiting separates. This type of uniform program is perfect for buyers who have an inflexible budget or need to hit a tight deadline.
The Semi-Custom Uniform Program
A semi-custom uniform program incorporates in-stock garments and some custom design. We start with in-stock garments and add features and embellishments that create a new unique design. Buyers who choose this type of program benefit from a quick turnaround and save some money on their employee uniforms when compared to a fully custom project. With so many trims, buttons, and embellishment options buyers often find that these programs look like original custom-made uniforms.
The Fully Custom Uniform Program
Companies and organizations seeking a unique style that fits with their branding and mission will opt for a fully custom uniforms program. Large groups may work with their own creative department to come up with some initial ideas that incorporate the company’s unique brand identity. They approach Executive Apparel to create their vision.
The hotel and airline industries, with their frequent re-branding and sub-branding, have embraced custom hospitality uniforms as the norm. The distributor who lands a large account with buyers in those verticals will find a lucrative niche for uniform sales. Alternatively, a new start-up company can create a memorable brand identity with a bold custom uniform program for its customer-facing personnel. With social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, companies can increase brand awareness authentically by posting images of engaged uniformed employees interacting with customers and coworkers. The potential for brand recognition through the shared reach of such images is unlimited.
A Mutually Profitable Business Relationship
Distributors who follow these guidelines when developing corporate uniforms are sure to provide their clients with excellent value. In addition, they are likely to benefit from the additional projects, reorders and referrals that come from a mutually profitable business relationship. If you are a qualified promotional apparel or uniform distributor and would like to learn more about our offering our products and services to your clients please submit the form below and we will contact you about an Executive Apparel Distributorship.
If you are not a distributor but are interested in buying corporate apparel for a group or organization please click here to be connected to an Executive Apparel Distributor. Are you a qualified apparel distributor? Would you like more information about an Executive Apparel Distributorship? Please submit the form below.