3 Steps to a Successful Corporate Apparel Program
The supply and management of corporate apparel are challenging when going at it alone. Without an effective merchandising solution, the task of outfitting an entire group of employees can be overwhelming and feel near to impossible.
When your responsibilities include inventorying apparel, a corporate apparel program could be the right move. It’s a great way to coordinate a group while reinforcing your brand at the same time.
What is a corporate apparel program?
Also called a uniform program or a professional dress program, a corporate apparel program is an initiative to coordinate the selection, production, and administration of branded apparel for an organization. It’s designed to keep the driver of the operation in full control of their brand, logo, apparel, and imprint areas at all times.
The program drivers influence what employees wear to work, whether it’s during a sales pitch, teleconferencing with clients, just around the office, or at a corporate function.
Why do I need one?
A corporate apparel program provides an efficient online solution for easy ordering and inventorying of personalized uniforms and custom work attire. This program helps facilitate apparel needs for all types of industries, including healthcare, construction, manufacturing, retail, and corporate environments.
Supplying custom workwear requires more attention to detail than just routine purchases of the same items and sizes. It’s also about maintaining consistency across the entire organization by incorporating the most current logo, colors, and keeping up with imprint guidelines on your company-branded employee merchandise.
When successfully executed, a corporate apparel program helps increase brand visibility and can integrate with employee engagement and incentive initiatives, too. Corporate apparel programs help administrators overcome the pain points of inventorying large quantity orders and reorders, alleviate the stress of manual reporting, and help users securely purchase their apparel needs.
How do corporate apparel programs work?
A corporate apparel program is easy to navigate and consists of 3 main parts: selection, production, and administration. To simply put it – you pick the items, we make the items, and you control the output.
Let’s break it down into 3 easy steps:
When it comes to the selection of corporate apparel, there are hundreds of available pieces to choose from that can be customized and implemented in your program. With so many options, how does one choose? Well, it depends on your brand, industry, and budget.
Brand. The apparel you choose should reflect your brand’s identity. How your business presents itself in the public is essential for building out your online store. Think about corporate messaging, brand visuals, and market position when selecting your merchandise.
Industry. The type of industry you’re in will play a major role in the apparel choices you make. A company in a corporate or retail environment is likely to select more dress shirts and promotional outerwear since those employees are more client/customer-facing, whereas those in more labor-intensive jobs may be more inclined to purchase logoed polos, branded hats, or company uniforms.
Budget. Your budget will determine what purchases you make. At Pinnacle Promotions, we help companies with various budgets outfit their employees with comfortable and on-trend merchandise.
Keeping your store up-to-date with new ideas is an excellent way to keep employees engaged and happy. Expanding your offerings to include travel bags and accessories can go a long way, too. Merchandising and corporate apparel program experts can help curate workwear apparel specific to your company’s needs.
Also, look for someone who can simplify the inventory hold process. From client-owned inventory to partner-owned inventory to a drop-ship order from the manufacturer, make sure you discuss all of the options with a partner you can trust.
Once you’ve selected your corporate apparel, it then goes into production! This is where your clothing is decorated with your company message and logo. Apparel can be decorated in a variety of ways, such as embroidery, screen printing, laser-etching, heat transfer, and debossing. It’s important to find a partner who’s an expert in imprint methods, so you can keep your merchandise coordinated and up to brand standards.
Proper inventory management and warehousing are extremely important in creating an effective corporate apparel program. It’s one of the main challenges you face when managing the logistics alone. Having a partner who has expert knowledge of how to run a smooth corporate apparel program can take away the headache that comes with doing it yourself.
With apparel selection and production out of the way, now is the time to see first-hand what a corporate apparel program can do for your business.
Group buys in the company – per department, office locations, etc. – can consolidate spending and improve efficiency. Easy online payments, or a subsidized employee allowance, can do a world of good for engagement and store use.
As the administrator, you can pull reports on inventory levels, buy-ins, and shipping costs/tracking just to name a few. Having a custom-branded online portal makes it easy for everyone to purchase their apparel on their own time. Set manager approval rules, group buys, and show what items you want to whom you want to. There are dashboard customization options to make reporting even easier, from order histories to shipping locations to flex payments and more.
The administration step is the keystone of your corporate apparel program: the easier to administer, the more effective your program will be.
Implementing an apparel program into your company
We’ve created corporate apparel programs for brands within the banking, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. All-County Apparel has worked with some of the recognizable brands and has the experience, know-how, and moxie to put together the right apparel program to suit your needs.
Our team builds custom apparel stores, and our knowledgeable merchandising experts help find the best custom apparel pieces that reflect your brand. So if you’re looking to coordinate your team, find a professional partner who can take the guesswork out of the process by providing a cost-effective sourcing solution.
Contact us today to get started with your own apparel program!