Burlington Uniforms offer a range of bespoke services for our clients, from design to technical product support, and on-going service requirements:
- Bespoke design
- Recommending fabrics and components
- Certification (where required)
- Measuring and Fitting Services
- Reviewing products to ensure fitness for purpose for specific tasks
- Sourcing ad hoc and unusual items (where required)
- Staff training including how to clean and maintain products
The process for bespoke services follows 5 key stages:
1. Understand the Risks – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE should only ever be the last line of defence for the individuals wearing the items, so understanding the risks is always the starting point when supplying uniforms and PPE to clients. This includes:
- Reviewing the client’s own risk assessments for each job role/task
- Observing the working environments to see where and how staff are wearing PPE at work
- Identifying the PPE standards required to mitigate the risks covered by the risk assessment(s)
- Understanding which roles are required to be covered by the risk assessment, or any roles/individuals that may come into contact with the risk indirectly
2. Staff Engagement
As part of the process, we review current products being worn, and wherever possible, try to get the views of those wearing the garments to help identify any products which could be improved, or any those which need to be matched exactly due to current performance. Key activities in this stage would include:
- Conducting wearer trial feedback to identify opportunities for improvements and ‘must haves’ for the PPE/uniform offering
- Understanding whether the current PPE supplied to wearers meets the requirements of the risk assessments – and to what extent, e.g. an electric arc garment that exceeds the stated required ATPV/cal rating but wearers complain is too hot, may offer an opportunity to introduce a lighter weight garment that meets the performance requirements
- Has anything changed in the performance of the work which may require an adjustment to the current risk assessment or product offering?
- Are there are cross-over roles/tasks? Are these accounted for with the current PPE/uniform offering?
3. Develop the Product Offering
Only once the current position and the risks/protection levels are understood, can we develop the product offering – the product should never be the driving force for the final uniform solution:
- Identify any potential gaps from the current PPE to the latest ‘state of the art’ which may deliver benefits (life-cycle value, improved protection etc.)
- Review any potential consolidation opportunities
- Is a new product development required to meet all of the needs of the wearers, for example, integrating a specific pocket to fit a PDA or iPad so these don’t have to be carried separately? (and may also offer indirect cost savings as fewer items are misplaced or damaged)
- Does an appropriate solution already exist on the market or is a total new development required?
Before implementing any new product range, we would always endorse a wearer trial wherever possible – not only does this test the product in the specific environments it is being proposed to be worn, but importantly, it is a unique opportunity to engage with staff who often feel empowered and their opinions valued.
This phase would also cover certification and testing if a new product was needed to be developed and certificated (for all PPE), which we would complete directly for clothing items, or by working with the manufacturer(s) of PPE items such as helmets and footwear.
5. Implementation and Future-Proofing
As part of the implementation process for new products (whether innovation or simply new to the customer), we communicate with our customers’ staff and ensure appropriate training was available at the point of introduction. We are able to offer this through a number of different methods:
- Road Shows and PPE Workshops – on-site training by our staff who would also be available for question and answer sessions
- Online training – either downloadable user instructions from our Wardrobe Management System or it could also be possible to upload instruction videos
- Train the Trainer – we have delivered training centrally to staff who then return to their working locations and deliver the training to their peers
- Specialist training and fitting – including elements such as face fit testing, as well as sizing exercises
To ensure the future-proofing of the PPE provision, at Burlington Uniforms we continuously work with our clients through strategic contract review meetings. By working closely at an operational level locally, as well as centrally at contract level, there are clear routes of communication for any potential changes.