Implementing a process of traceability is one way you can improve and streamline the way your company procures workwear. It can save cash, save time and help you identify reckless or wasteful employees.
So, what is traceability?
noun, The capability of being traced.
In the context of workwear & PPE procurement, it means that you can easily and quickly look back at your previous orders and drill down into their details. You can look back to your purchase order on the 3rd of June last year and see that you purchased a yellow polo shirt in 3XL for Jack.
There are several ways you can implement this level traceability, and we’ll discuss 4 of them in this post. How ever you choose to do it, implementing a system of traceability will enable you to reduce your overall spend on PPE, while also saving you time in ordering, distribution and reordering.
The benefits of workwear & PPE traceability for your company
Being able to track your orders and information relating to your orders, such as employee names, product brands/names and so on, provides you with a ream of data that you can use later to improve your reporting and analysis of your spend. As they say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t better it!”.
Traceability means you can identify cash leaks in your uniform procurement and find ways to stop them. Maybe a certain employee trashes his uniform and purposely ‘loses’ his gloves every couple of days so he can claim a new pair. Or, maybe a certain product you use that is cheap to buy is poor quality and only lasts a week or two, making it an expensive option in the long run! By having the ability to trace your orders, you can identify situations like this and make educated changes that save your company cash and hassle.
Furthermore, the time you or your staff save as they can easily find the information they need will translate into further cost and productivity gains.
As workwear and footwear providers improve the quality of their garments and seek to gain an edge over their competitors, many are offering warranties and guarantees that you essentially purchase when you purchase the product. Some examples are KingGee’s 12-month footwear warranty, or Badger Brand’s 2 year zip & seam clothing warranty.
However, it is often a frustrating and annoying process to make a warranty claim. If its several months after you’ve purchased the goods, the chances are you’ve lost the receipt or can’t find the PO that matches. Maybe the manufacturer or supplier is certain you’ve had the boots for 14 months, but you think they’re only 10 months old.
Traceability means that you can look back over your records and accurately and emphatically provide proof of purchase. You can show the supplier that 10 months ago, on the 5th of June, you purchased a pair of boots for Jack. The supplier can trust your claim, meaning you can take advantage of all the warranties you’re entitled to, saving your company cash and hassle in replacement product.
A good system of traceability can also save you time and hassle in distributing orders, as you can easily see which items you ordered for which staff member. Some traceability systems, such as QuickFit (discussed in the next section), allows your items to arrive with name tags already on them. All you need to do is give the right package to the right guy!
Ways to implement traceability in your workwear & PPE ordering process
QuickClick is an online portal developed specifically to provide unprecedented traceability in your workwear & PPE procurement. It allows you to order products against the names of specific employees, so every item is attributed to a name on any paperwork, products or records.
QuickClick allows you to receive products with name tags on for fast and easy distribution and generate reports for each employee and their spend in a given period. Warranty tracking is a breeze – you can look back in your portal to see what date Jim received his boots and exactly how old they are.
Plus, you gain all these features and benefits without adding another step to the process. You basically create a purchase order and assign items to employee names simultaneously.
PPE items that your company ‘churns’ through, such as gloves or headwear, are often very hard to trace and control. While they are cheap to buy initially, your team could be using them carelessly or they could be lasting poorly because of their level of quality. Its not uncommon to hear that most staff in a distribution centre use a pair of gloves PER DAY! Even if they aren’t worn through, they get ‘lost’, left at home or thrown in the bin.
The ultimate way for you to implement traceability for your high turnover, consumable items is through a QuickClick Machine. Having one of these on site will hold each individual staff member accountable for their usable. They have a ‘swab’ or card which they use to vend a product from the machine, which is then recorded by the QuickClick Machine Usage Reports. You will receive regular reports which show the usage of each product and each employee. This traceability will provide you with seriously useful data you can use to control and cut costs.
Want to find out more? Contact the Badger Team today for more information!
One of the more traditional ways of implementing traceability for uniforms and workwear is with spreadsheets. While using Excel adds another step to your ordering process, it allows you to enter data about your orders that you can go back to later for reporting or warranty purposes.
Click on this link or the image on the right to download an Excel template to implement traceability in your ordering today!
Staff names on Purchase Orders
Another simple way to add some traceability to your process is by adding staff names to your purchase orders. Depending on how many staff you order for, you may be able to create separate purchase orders for each employee and use their name as the reference ID. This will allow you to look back in your system down the track and see what they ordered and when it was.