Instituting a uniform rental program for the first time or unsatisfied with your current vendor? Signing up for a uniform rental service can add professionalism and organization to your business.
When performing your research on uniform rental companies, it’s important to make sure they’re able to answer any questions you have so you know you’re receiving the best service possible. The rental company you choose should be able to answer all of these questions:
1. How does uniform rental work?
Uniform rental companies work on a contract basis. First, determine your uniform needs and the length of the service, then sign up for a contract with a provider. That provider will deliver your uniforms, pick them up, and clean them, then return them to you—simple!
2. How much do uniform rentals cost?
The cost of uniform rentals will be determined by your company's individual needs. Do you need custom branding with unique designs? Are pocketless garments or plastic zippers necessary to meet specific safety regulations? Expect higher costs for more customization. Typically, uniform contracts run for 3, 5, or 7 years and can offer savings when signing up for longer contracts. Always read your contract before you sign. Long contracts can sometimes lock businesses in with inadequate services. Overall, the actual costs will depend on the complexity of your needs, and the cheapest service isn’t always the best quality.
3. What happens if I’m unhappy with my uniform rental service? Can I break the contract?
Unless your provider has broken their end of the deal, breaking a contract will cost your company the remaining balance of the service and maybe more. This is why it’s important to thoroughly read your contract. Most contracts have a clause that allows clients to contact their uniform provider and open a support case to document and explain any issues they might be having. The provider then has a certain amount of time to fix the issue. Good uniform rental providers are more than willing to work with their clients to improve their current service, they’d rather help to make it better than see you leave.
4. Can you provide samples of the uniforms and references?
Sample uniforms are helpful in giving you the best idea regarding the quality of the garments and many providers are willing to provide basic samples. Most uniform rental companies also have references willing to speak with you, although these are most likely carefully vetted customers who will give the company a good review. Researching the provider and reading unbiased reviews can reveal what people actually think about the service and garment quality.
5. Can the company handle increased delivery/service during busy seasons?
For seasonal and holiday-based business, this is likely to be a concern, so make sure the provider you choose is able to accommodate your demand for uniforms. Those in the hospitality industry that expect increased business during holidays and summer months need a reliable provider that can keep up with their increase in demand. Other industries like healthcare require a high level of service all the time. Make sure the uniform provider you choose is able to keep up with your demand.
6. Can the company meet specialty garment needs?
Not all uniform providers are created equal and some uniform companies will be able to provide meet more industry-specific needs than others. Specialty garment needs include features like: custom branding, pants without pockets, uniforms that don’t set off metal detectors, and flame retardant clothing. Not all rental companies provide design services that will meet all of your company’s needs, so if your company requires something nonstandard, make sure your provider is willing to work with you on it.
7. Does the company understand my industry and its regulations?
Many industries come with their own unique regulations. If legal requirements apply to you, make sure your employees are suited with the proper flame resistant, non-conductive, personal protective uniforms. Certain uniform providers specialize more in some industries than others. Make sure your uniform rental company can meet NFPA and OSHA standards.
Choosing the Right Uniform Program for Your Business
Using this list to help guide your decision making, you should ask as many questions possible to make sure the uniform rental provider you choose is exactly what your company needs. Keep in mind that as your company grows, so might your uniform demand; make sure your uniform provider can keep up with your company’s growth.