Quality first priority when buying a uniform
When you need to order uniforms with varying requirements for around 3 600 people, how on earth do you meet the challenge and get it right? Mark Sangster has over 25 years of experience in the security industry in South Africa and is the corporate governance director of Securitas. He shares his knowledge here.
“Quality has to be the most important aspect when buying uniforms. This is because the gear needs not only to be durable but also be comfortable and easy to wear as some of our staff work 12-hour shifts. Our guards, also, like to have a sense of style with their uniforms, which you can only get if you go for a quality and bespoke product,” Sangster says. He adds that buying purely on price is a mistake.
“This is always a false economy when it comes to buying uniforms as you will find you’re having to replace uniforms faster than you would have planned to,” he points out. He notes that it is important to approach an established uniform supplier.
“We use Sparks and Ellis and we trust them as they are experts in the supply of security uniforms. The next thing you have to check is the quality of the garment and the consistency in production,” Sangster says. Sparks and Ellis has an online ordering service, which Sangster notes minimises errors and improves turnaround time.
“It’s the relationship between the company and the uniform supplier that is critical, because if you have a good working relationship and good people looking after your business, you can be assured that any problems are ironed out expediently. Also, this regular contact with the company means that you can stay abreast of new technology and advancement in the production and fabric options that are coming,” Sangster adds.
“I would suggest that a quarterly meeting is required for companies with large turnaround of uniforms at the very least, if you want to stay on top of things and ensure that you are getting the best service,” he concludes.