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Supervisor Setups: The Importance Of Giving Managers Specialized Control Over Uniform Accounts

8 min read
Uniform Market November 29, 2017

Businesses that set up private uniform accounts face a dilemma: just how much power should they give employees over purchases? Give employees too much autonomy and they risk letting them spend with abandon or purchase gear that they don't need. But if they take the power to order uniforms away from employees, they force managers to make those decision for them. Not only does this distract managers from other business activities, but it raises the risk that they'll make uniform decisions that aren’t suited to employees’ individual needs.

By offering supervisory control status, uniform marketers can solve this dilemma and create a convenient experience for clients and their employees. This involves giving managers the ability to approve or reject certain types of purchases, balancing the benefits and risks of full manager control and complete employee autonomy.

Setting Up Supervisory Control

Uniform marketers can set up supervisory control in a number of different ways, each of which has different advantages for businesses. The most common arrangements include:

  • Mandatory Approval- The simplest way to set up supervisory control is to allow employees to make any purchases that they want, but require that designated supervisors sign off on all those purchases before they are accepted. This gives employees full autonomy in picking out which items they want to order, but ensures that their managers can flag and reject any illegitimate uses of company funds. It does, however, require managers to look over every purchase, even for small or routine items; not all supervisors will want to devote time and energy to that.
  • Spending Limits- For managers that don’t want to examine every purchase, a common arrangement is to give each of their workers a spending limit. Employees can purchase any amount of uniforms or gear if the total cost is below that limit, but they need a supervisor’s approval if they ever go above it. This arrangement works best for companies where each employee has significantly different gear and uniform requirements, but it is possible to estimate the amount of money they will spend filling those requirements.
  • Item-Specific Supervision- Another way to set up supervisory control is to give employees full autonomy with most uniforms and gear, but designate specific items that need supervisors’ approval. These can be highly expensive products, or items that the vast majority of employees will never need on the job. This setup is ideal for mangers who want to save time, since they won't have to make any input on the vast majority of purchases.

No matter which arrangement you choose, it's important to be specific about whom you designate for supervisory authority. Ask your clients to name the managers whom they want to serve as supervisors, as well as how much power each should have. Only then can you meet the unique supervisory needs of each client.


For more information on assigning supervisory authority and other keys to managing private uniform accounts, contact UniformMarket today.


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