8 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Branded Workwear Supplier

Posted by Trevor 28/05/2018 0 Comment(s)




The procurement of high quality yet functional workwear for your staff is of great importance when considering how best to strengthen the branding and identity of your business. Irrespective of scope or size, well-designed and high quality uniforms that have been customised for your business and your requirements are an important tool in helping customers to recognise your staff and your business. From a public relations point of view, it encourages trust in your brand. From a human resources perspective, it increases pride and can foster a sense of unity amongst staff.


A corporate clothing range - that ranges from aprons and t-shirts to hi-visibility jackets and hard hats - is likely to be the largest clothing purchase that any business will require. With the responsibility of ensuring garment procurement at the right price, of a high quality and to an exacting delivery schedule, it is an absolute necessity that your business finds the right business to design, produce and supply its workwear, PPE and safety footwear.


So how do you choose the correct workwear supplier? That's the $64,000 question but, with a little bit advice (free of charge!) you can make the right decision for your business.



Getting Started


The first thing to do is to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your clothing purchase and - from a more practical perspective - what you want from it. Let's deal with the first part of the equation: what do you want to achieve with your clothing purchase? Typically, this boils down to consistency, identity and safety. You want your employees to look (sort of) the same. You want people to identify your business and brand easily and quickly. And you want your staff to be safe. The easiest way to achieve this is through a well-designed line of coporate clothing items.


The second part of that equation - what you want from a clothing line - comes down to money. You want your clothing range - from everyday workplace t-shirts to lanyards and vests - to be functional and long-lasting. You don't want to be replacing them every three months due to shoddy workmanship. You want high quality clothing and safety workwear at a fair price.


Having a clear idea about these two goals will help you make choose the right company for all of your PPE, footwear and workwear requirements. Having a clear idea about these two goals will provide peace of mind that your procurement process is robust and that the end result will be on brand, on time and on budget.


How can SureSafe help?


We have a track record in the supply of quality workwear, PPE and safety footwear that spans decades. At SureSafe, we also provide a bespoke in-house design and branding service. Our services and supply chains are used by several thousand businesses and organisations throughout the UK and Eire and range from the self-employed and small businesses to large multi-national coporations and retail chains.


With experience comes insight. With that in mind, we've put together what we consider to be the eight most important questions that should be taken into consideration when choosing a branded workwear supplier.


  1. What experience does the supplier have within your industry? What is their background?

    • Have they been in the industry long?
    • Do they have a proven track record?
    • Can they provide success stories?
    • Do they have any accreditations?
    • Are they part of any recognised supply chain partners?
  2. Can they offer help and technical advice when choosing your branded corporate uniforms?

    • Yes, should always be the answer here. Suppliers need to know - depdending on the industry in which you operate - which garments will be best for you and your business.
    • It is not about supplying the best of the best or the cheapest on offer! It is about supplying a uniform that is of lasting quality. A uniform that is fit for purpose and at an affordable price. As they say “buy cheap, buy often.” Don't be caught out by doing the same.
  3. What do you know about their supplier sourcing network? What policies and procedures are in place to ensure both the reliable sourcing of your garments and their high quality?

    • Does the supplier have an ethics policy?
    • Are there environmental and sustainability policies in place?
    • Do they have a quality management system (QMS) in place?
  4. Do you brand the garments in-house or externally?

    • Lead times depend on asking this question. Will your supplier be sending your garments to an external source for branding? This will add to the time you have to wait until you receive your orders. It also adds an unnecessary third party to process. Should anything happen in the interim, neither you nor your supplier will have any control over it. 
    • In-house branding - like at SureSafe - means a faster speed of service ensuring you receive all orders quicker and more efficiently.
    • It also means any issues that may arise can be dealt with at the time rather than having to wait days.
  5. Do you have any shipping restrictions?

    • How does your potential supplier plan on shipping orders to you?
    • Do they offer a courier service? And will it deliver to different sites in multiple locations?
    • Are they strictly B2B (business to business) or do they offer a residential delivery option? Will you be bound by a geographically-scheduled delivery?
    • Finally, do they offer any delivery incentives if you spend over a certain amount.
  6. How much is it going to cost?

    • Cost is one of those controversial subjects that no one wants to talk about.
    • Branded workwear is a vast expanse of value deals, eg. buy X and we will do Y for free or if you buy X we'll give you Y percent off. While on the surface these deals seem good value for what you get, it's relative.
    • Ultimately it comes down to the quality of the goods supplied to you and your business. Are they fit for the purpose required?
    • How often are you going to need to replace these “value deal” uniforms because they were sold on a cost basis and not on an industry standard for your business type?
  7. Does the supplier have a high level of quality customer service and what methods of communication do they have to ensure they keep this level?

    • Telephone. Fax. Email. Online chat. All are tried and tested methods of communication to ensure customers can stay in contact with the supplier should the need arise. This could be the need for technical assistance, ordering, update information or complaints. The latter is the most important.
    • Ensuring a valid complaints procedure is in place and that all complaints are dealt with in a timely and professional manner is imperative. The customer is essentially the heart of any business.
    • A first class customer service team is extremely important to prove that the supplier is competent, customer focused, driven and determined to ensure the best for you and your organisation.
  8. Does the supplier offer key account management and what services do they offer to customers large enough to qualify for this service?

    • Will you have a dedicated key account manager?
    • Will you have direct contact via telephone and/or email?
    • Are there volume discounts or incentives?
    • Do you have access to a bespoke online ordering portal?
    • Will your supplier deliver to multiple sites at multiple locations?


It's mind-boggling, isn't it? These are the eight questions that any company should keep in mind when considering the who, what, where, when, how and why of purchasing safety workwear and clothing. That's why at SureSafe, we have an implicit set of core values we strive to adhere to at all times:

“Providing a high quality service to our customers is of paramount importance to Suresafe. We believe in reliability and strong customer relationships. We strive to be an asset to all of our customers both large and small. Suresafe can provide technical expertise and advice on all of our products, ensuring that we provide you with task and industry specific fit for purpose products”