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Purchasing Prudence: How Employees Can Buy Their Own Uniforms

Posted by Rick Levine on Feb 28, 2017 10:01:00 AM

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How much employee autonomy is too much? A key concern for any business decision, this question is particularly important when it comes to uniform purchases. Many companies opt to let their workers buy their own uniforms and gear, reasoning that they know best which items they need and how often to replace them. While this decision can save managers time and effort, there is a risk to giving employees control over company funds and choices of attire. Uniform marketers have a unique opportunity to keep these risks at bay and maximize the benefits of employee autonomy. This involves designing a website with:

Personalized Pages

One of the easiest ways to simplify the uniform purchasing process for employees is to create web pages for each individual. Employees can set up their own accounts on your website, which will direct them to a list of the specific uniform and gear items that they need. The company can then specify a particular budget for each account, adjusting it as needed given changes in uniform requirements and costs. This will ensure that employees do not spend more money than is necessary to obtain the attire for their jobs. It also prevents them from buying attire they are not authorized to wear, such as that for other employees in different positions.

In addition to creating pages for individual employees, uniform marketers can also customize their site for categories of employees. This is ideal for companies and organizations that need different uniforms for different types of workers, but require workers of the same type to dress identically. This form of personalization makes it easier for companies to hire new people, as they will not have to set up a new account each time. Such pages require greater coordination among employees, however, and they make it more difficult to control individual employees’ spending.

Spending Savvy

In addition to controlling which items individual employees or employee groups have access to, you can also manage the total amount of money they spend on your site. For each page, you can require supervisor authorization, refusing to sell to an employee until a manager approves the purchase. Your site can mandate supervisor approval for:

  • All Purchases- This is ideal for employees who don’t have to buy uniform items very often or whose attire is particularly expensive.
  • Purchases Over A Certain Amount- For companies whose employees need regular, minor uniform improvements, it makes sense to cap purchases at a specified dollar amount. Employees can complete orders below that amount at their discretion, but more expensive purchases require a supervisor’s authorization. This amount can apply to each order or to all the orders that employees make in a certain period of time.
  • Specific Purchases- For many companies, most employee uniforms and gears are inexpensive, but certain items are exorbitant. It thus makes sense to restrict only the exorbitant items, especially if the company only needs them on rare occasions.

If one supervisor is not enough to authorize a purchase, your site can require multiple managers’ input. A company could, for example, allow its employees to purchase uniforms on your website without restriction when the price is less than $500. For orders between $500 and $1,500, one supervisor’s approval is necessary, while for those above $1,500, two must sign off.

 

As a uniform marketer, you have no shortage of options for configuring your website. The key is to pay close attention to your customers and their employees, providing them with a convenient, cost-effective shopping experience. To learn more about distributing professional attire, contact UniformMarket today.

 

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Topics: B2B Group Purchasing, Managing A Uniform Program

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