How to Identify a Business Clothing Supplier


  • Customer service

Customer service is an extremely important part of choosing the right business clothing supplier.  You should be able to get a good feel for the customer services aspects of the business from your initial dealings with potential suppliers of business clothing.  Take note of how quickly they come back to you, and how long it takes to get initial design concepts and pricing.  If the company that you are working with is quick in responding to your first requests it is normally a good sign of their overall service focus.  Have a look at any online reviews you can find on your potential suppliers through platforms like Google.  You can also ask them to provide reference customers and ask if you can talk to them.  There is nothing better than talking to an actual customer on their experience with their uniform provider.  If you follow these steps you should get a good idea of the customer service within this business.  

Case Studies – henryandgray

  • Delivery commitments

Meeting delivery commitments is an important part of any business clothing supplier’s job.  Many will have this information on their website so have a look there as a starting point.  It should also form part of your decision-making criteria to choose a new uniform provider.  Talk to them about their standard lead times and how they would handle any urgent requirements.  You could also test them out with a small order to see how they perform before committing to a full change to them as your company uniform supplier.

  • Reliability and responsiveness

Again, your initial dealings with any new business clothing supplier will give you a good feel for their reliability and responsiveness.  Do they do as they say and always respond on time or early to your requests?  You would expect to get the best of any company in this area through initial dealings, so if you aren’t getting the responses you need in a timely manner, they are probably not the right fit.  It also pays to talk to other clients and see what they would say about their reliability and responsiveness.  If this area is important to you then you should also continue to keep an eye on things as your time working with your uniform supplier grows.  Talk to your staff and get feedback on how reliable and responsive they are to deal with.

  • Resource savings (hard and soft)

Choosing the right business clothing supplier will have resource savings for your business.  Rather than have one of your operations or procurement team use up valuable time dealing with multiple apparel brands, a one-stop-shop to deal with is best.  Your business clothing supplier will be able to handle all reordering whether it be annual bulk orders or smaller top up orders as new staff come on board.  It is an important part of your uniform provider’s role to ensure the ordering process is simple and the majority of work is done by them.

  • Price - quality at the right price, cost of low quality, cheapest isn’t always the best

Most business clothing suppliers will have a range of product options and different price points.  Make sure you work with them on getting the right quality and price balance.  Whilst you don’t necessarily need to purchase the most expensive business clothing, it is important to note that going too cheap may result in more frequent replacement of uniform items and frustration from staff.  The cost savings of doing this may only be short term as you have to continually replace poor quality items or items just don’t last as long as expected.  Your business clothing supplier can talk you through the different options and will have experience with different brands, price points and quality.  Some uniform suppliers will also be able to produce a custom product that fully meets your requirements in terms of cost and quality.

  • Reputation - history, not another uniform company, experience, credibility

It is important to get an indication of a business clothing supplier’s reputation in the market by talking to their customers and seeing what references and feedback is available online about them.  What experience do they have with customers in your industry and will they be able to deliver a great apparel product on time and within budget.  At Henry & Gray, we have a history in the business clothing sector going back to the mid 1800’s when our family were producing clothing for the gold miners in New Zealand.  

We use this experience to carefully ensure we always meet our customer expectations and look to provide unique uniform solutions across multiple industries.  It is our job to get to know our customers and understand what they require in the way of business clothing for their teams and how we can add value to them.

  • Transparency - communication, honesty, being ethical, integrity

Transparency is very important when choosing a business clothing supplier.  Again, you should get a good idea of this from your initial dealings with any prospective uniform provider.  How their communication is in the early stages of your relationship will normally give you a good insight into how they will be to work with.

  • Expertise 

Business clothing is more than just putting a logo on an apparel product.  You need to choose a partner with the expertise to help you get your uniforms just right.  They should be able to help you with the right fit, fabric and colour for your business and use their industry expertise to provide you with a uniform solution that will work for your industry.  At Henry & Gray, we have worked with a significant number of industries and know well what fabrics and garments will work for these.

  • Print Quality - brand colours 

In addition to the business clothing quality, it is important to look at the quality of branding that a business clothing supplier can provide.  Getting your logo right on your uniforms is a critical part of the overall solution.   Your business clothing provider should be able to recommend different branding methods to meet your requirements and that best suit your logo.  Make sure you get samples of some of their previous branding work to check the quality.  There are a number of different options such as embroidery, screen printing and digital transfers and some logos will be more suitable to one or the other while some will be fine with any.