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A company choosing to utilize employee uniforms has one of three choices: require employees to furnish their own uniforms, purchase the uniforms and launder them in-house, or rent the uniforms from a company like Alsco. The third option is the best in many cases. Though it is not right for everyone, uniform rental can be a great long-term proposition that benefits the bottom line.

Is your company considering uniform rental? If so, do you know how it all works? Though uniform providers have their own ways of doing things, the general procedure is the same across the board. This post describes that procedure.

Step #1: Uniforms Are Designed

The first step is for company officials to meet with the uniform provider to come up with a design. They start by choosing the style and cut. Then it is on to color choices. Finally, a company may choose to have a logo and other graphics added. Custom embroidery is often an option as well.

Step #2: Measurements Are Taken

Once a uniform design has been settled on, measurements have to be taken. Each employee is measured so that uniforms can be appropriately fitted. This step is more important than many employers realize. Uniforms that do not fit well also do not present the most professional appearance. On the other hand, properly fitting uniforms look very professional.

Step #3: Uniforms Are Ordered

With measurements in hand, the uniform provider can go ahead and order the necessary garments. In some cases, providers have enough inventory on hand to immediately meet the customer’s needs. In other cases, extra inventory has to be ordered before the first delivery can take place.

Whether working with in-stock inventory or ordering from a supplier, the uniform provider generally needs a week or two – and maybe more for exceptionally large orders – to customize everything according to customer needs. Garments have to be tailored to each employee. Logos and embroidery have to be added.

Step #4: Uniforms Are Inventoried

The next step is to inventory uniforms as these are completed. Every employee will be assigned a certain number of uniforms based on the agreement between provider and employer. Uniforms have to be tagged in such a way as to guarantee employees always get the same uniforms back from the laundry. All of this has to be inventoried for tracking purposes.

Today, uniform providers use things like RFID tags and barcodes to track rented garments. Some still use old-school labels with employee names on them. At any rate, inventory control methods have to be implemented before the first set of uniforms goes out the door.

Step #5: Uniform Deliveries Commence

Only after the previous four steps are completed can uniform deliveries commence. The customer receives the first uniform delivery on the agreed-upon day of the week. In most cases, the second delivery will occur one week later. Most uniform rental contracts call for weekly pickup and delivery. Contracts may occasionally call for biweekly service.

Soiled uniforms are retrieved at the same time clean uniforms are delivered. They are returned to the provider’s plant for cleaning and processing, then sent out for delivery the following week. Under this sort of arrangement, each employee is assigned enough uniforms to get through two weeks of work.

Uniform rental is pretty straightforward once you understand how it works. Renting uniforms gives a company access to high-quality clothing and professional laundering services. Though many companies choose to forgo rental for one of the other options, it is hard to beat the services of a linen provider that specializes in delivering clean uniforms on a regular schedule.