How Uniform Management Systems Are Making Uniform Providers Digitally Fluent

8 min read
Jason October 18, 2022

OVERVIEW

Uniform Management System, often abbreviated as UMS, is a secure eProcurement platform used by uniform manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to provide organizations with a large workforce, a centralized portal to manage end-to-end employee uniform needs. It helps businesses streamline, automate and improve the otherwise time-intensive ordeal of uniform procurement while offering employees the convenience of having all things uniform in one place.

UMS IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST AN E-COMMERCE PLATFORM

Unlike a regular eCommerce website that is publicly accessible, uniform management systems are tailor-made for every business in accordance with their stipulated uniform rules and can only be accessed by authorized employees and company staff in charge of managing the uniforms. 
 
A 2018 study reported that 60% of the global workforce wears uniforms to work every day. The number has been only been steadily creeping up, reaching an exponential high in select industries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  
 
For instance, uniform businesses catering to frontline workers and medical professionals faced an unprecedented surge in demand during the pandemic that forced them to ramp up production. Hospital chains, clinics, and diagnostic centers, since the outbreak of the coronavirus, have become extremely conscientious about the uniforms their employees wear to work.  
 
They are even going the extra mile to make sure that every employee receives the right uniform kit assigned to them based on their job role. Not only that, large hospitals with a vast employee base have resorted to customized online uniform programs to provide employees with a hassle-free uniform ordering system. All employees have to do is log in to the employee uniform store using his/her credentials and they will be able to see products assigned to them. The uniform programs are so designed that employees can use company allowances, payroll deduct, and a host of other payment options to place an order, thus making it utterly convenient for buyers.  
 
This streamlined way of uniform delivery via an eCommerce platform that helps both businesses and buyers cut down on manual operation, eliminate wrong orders and put a tight lease on uniform expenditure, is facilitated by uniform management systems.  
 
Uniform management systems integrate with the customer’s ERP & HRMS systems through rest APIs to deliver a hyper-personalized uniform buying experience to employees. Right from the products they can access, to the many ways they can pay for the order, to the number of uniform items they can add to the cart – everything can be controlled and customized using the right UMS.   

APPLICATIONS OF UMS IN OTHER INDUSTRIES

Apart from the healthcare industry, the following industries have also adopted enterprise uniform program solutions to iron out the wide-ranging complexities of uniform delivery in the B2B spectrum. 

  1. Industrial: Employees in mining, oil & gas fields, manufacturing plans, and construction sites where they are likely to be surrounded by heavy machinery or work with moving parts must have the right uniforms at their disposal always to ensure optimum work output with utmost safety. A uniform management system perfectly fits the bill for them.  
  2. Corporate/Imagewear: Airlines, hotel chains, casinos, food & beverage industry, tourism companies, etc. have complex uniform guidelines that every employee must adhere to, to ensure brand consistency in the public eye. Uniform management systems are the ideal digital solutions to achieve this because they not only remove the responsibility of procurement from the business and instead put it in the hands of the employees to do so via a personalized employee uniforms store.  
  3. Public Safety/Tactical: The responsibility of ensuring social safety and harmony largely lies with the folks employed in police departments, military, security agencies, and fire & rescue teams. While they’re trained to brave demanding situations, they do need appropriate gear and uniforms to go about their duties diligently. A uniform management system deployed by the respective departments with hard-coded buying rules and limitations will enable these brave public safety workers to avail the right uniforms at the right time.

ENHANCED OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY WITH AUTOMATED ORDER MANAGEMENT FOR UNIFORM PROVIDERS

While catering to the uniform needs of thousands of employees, suppliers often struggle to track and fulfill incoming orders. Without a robust uniform management system, it’s the sales team who would have to be on their toes always, keeping a close eye on incoming orders, entering them into the ERP, and seeing them through to fulfillment. Not only is that process time-intensive, but also error-prone, which may in turn cost the supplier a huge amount of money in reverse logistics.  
 
With an in-built order management system, uniform business can get rid of all those challenges to: 

  1. Improved customer service & retention: Ensure all incoming orders are captured right and employees receive the correct uniforms always to earn the trust and loyalty of your clients.  
  2. Scale without compromise: Given the flexibility of uniform management systems, uniform providers can customize it to accommodate any number of employees. The software can also be used to expand across verticals, thus fast-tracking business growth.  
  3. Sustain revenue channels: With the right UMS, you’re more than likely to win enterprise uniform program bids which provide a sustained, locked-in revenue stream for suppliers all through the contract period.

EMPLOYEE-CENTRIC E-COMMERCE FOR SIMPLIFIED ORDERING EXPERIENCE FOR END USERS 
 
A B2B uniform buyer at work is perhaps a B2C buyer at home and there’s no denying the fact that they all expect an Amazon-like experience when buying uniforms online from their company-branded store.  
 
In fact, that’s really the need of the hour. Online user behavior is rapidly evolving. Buyers no longer stick to one place or gadget while checking out the things they want to buy. And unless the website/brand offers them a truly seamless experience spanning multi-devices, it’s hard to earn a sale.  
 
Fortunately, advanced uniform management systems are able to replicate the same B2C-like engagement across employee uniform stores by leveraging employee data and crafting a stellar buying experience.  

Here are some of the most important ways uniform management systems pave way for a simplified buying experience for employees-

  1. Grouping employees & products: By grouping employees in the same role or department with specific uniform items, it’s possible to show employees only products that they need, sparing them the hassles of browsing the entire website’s catalog to find their uniforms. This helps save time and makes uniform order easy and efficient.

  2. Multiple Payment Options: Using a uniform management system, the client can control how employees choose to pay for uniforms during checkout. Standard checkout options include payroll deductions, allowances, company credit cards, and reward points. Multiple payment options also serve to reduce cart abandonment.
  3. Shipping Groups: This feature enables businesses operating out of multiple locations to group employees from the same region. As a result, any order coming from that group will be levied the same shipping charges. This is made possible with the UMS’s seamless integration with the client’s HRMS to access employee data and using the same to compute shipping charges at checkout.

SUMMARY

For uniform suppliers, catering to B2B/B2C businesses with large employee bases can be an extremely resource-sapping exercise. Manually collecting orders, updating actions and other such tasks can be utterly frustrating and can lead to errors.  
 
On the other hand, leveraging the power of digital to streamline, automate and manage uniform programs for large organizations using enterprise uniform management solutions will help you scale with speed and precision, save time and money, and surpass customer expectations. 

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