So much of what we experience today is customized. Everything from eating out, to grocery shopping, is more personalized than ever. Ads and coupons display in your inbox when you “Like” restaurants or retailers on Facebook. Your own company is likely tailoring the buyer experience to stay ahead of the competition. You are more educated and know what you want, thanks to the internet. This is no different when it comes to a private uniform ordering solution and the customized functionality of the three private uniform store profile types.
Buyers in a B2B environment know what they’re looking for. They need to work with vendors that help streamline their processes. They want the process of buying employee uniforms to be simple. To do this, uniform companies need to be aware of the needs of businesses that use a uniform program.
In another post, we talk about the 3 things you must have in your private uniform store. That post talks about the most important things to have in the site/system as a whole. In this post, we’ll talk more specifically about what different types of users should expect based on their profile. We’ll use the terminology found in our environment, but other uniform companies probably have a similar level user. The key is to understand the functionality the user experiences, not the title of the user. We’ll also offer scenarios as to how they may apply to your business.
Private Uniform Store Profile: The Administrator
The Administrator profile is the best starting point for most companies. This is because companies usually have one person designated to order employee uniforms. This employee is the private uniform store profile that handles organizing a process, whatever that process may be. If the company uses a paper order form that is faxed to the uniform provider, this person does that. They’re often also responsible for distributing uniforms that are delivered and even handling returns to the vendor for size corrections, defective merchandise, etc.
This profile is important within the private uniform store. Not only is this user able to place orders, but they should also be able to manage a process. When it comes to managing larger teams, the Administrator should be able to pass ordering responsibilities on to employees. If there is a uniform to be worn, only approved workwear is available to be bought. There should be no fear that employees are out of uniform. This also eliminates questions back and forth about what sizes or colors are available. If it’s on the site, you can get it.
Another fear is that if employees buy their own uniforms online, their spending will be unchecked. They’ll spend freely and send the company the bill. This just isn’t true today. Most uniform companies that build e-commerce sites consider budget limitations. They acknowledge the need to have processes in place to make putting an employee in uniform easier. In this scenario, the Administrator can create user profiles for employees that have spending limitations on them. They can then manage the date that the spending limit ends, as well as adjust the remaining balance a user has to spend.
Private Uniform Store Profile: The Supervisor
The Supervisor is the private uniform store profile that should be considered, if an extra layer of security is needed. Companies with enough employees can use this profile to continue assigning responsibilities and managing a process.
This profile would be created and managed by the site Administrator. The Supervisor can also be assigned a spending limit to buy their own uniforms. Supervisors are like Administrators in that they are able to create other profiles. The only difference between the two is that profiles created by Supervisors are the only ones they can manage. Administrators are able to manage anyone under their hierarchy. This is helpful because you can choose certain team members to manage small teams for uniform ordering. Supervisors can keep those on their team in uniform without having to worry about others in the division or company.
Another benefit to this profile is the approval process. When Supervisors create profiles for their team members, they can assign either the spending limit or supervisor approval for their group. This is a great feature for companies that want to keep employees from spending freely but do not have a firm spending limit on uniforms per employee. Instead of employees placing orders that go directly to the uniform company for processing, the order is submitted for approval to their Supervisor. Once the Supervisor receives the order, they can review it, make changes if necessary and submit the order themselves on behalf of the employees.
Private Uniform Store Profile: The End User
The End User is most easily referred to as the uniform wearer. This is an interesting user level in that many companies that use a uniform program may never use this profile type. There are companies that do not want their employees ordering their own uniforms. Some employees either don’t have internet access during normal working hours, or they don’t have time. Yet, for larger companies who want to place the responsibility of ordering uniforms on their employees, this profile will be a great fit. It allows managers or administrators to manage the process of uniform ordering. They’re able to do this because they no longer need to order on behalf of their team.
The End User has the most limited access to certain site functionality of the three profiles. They are unable to create and manage other profiles. They can’t change critical information like billing or credit card numbers. If they’re assigned a spending limit by their supervisor, they can’t update their balance. End Users can simply log in, shop under approved conditions, and checkout.
A benefit to the End User profile is when employees have a spending limit and need to process a return to receive credit to that spending limit. Because End Users have their spending limit tied to their profile, they can log into the site and process returns on their own. Doing this will ensure that once the return is processed and the credit is given, it’s applied back to the End User’s balance. This makes for an efficient way to manage what employees do with their uniforms.
As stated before, uniform companies that want to scale their business are utilizing private uniform stores to sell to their customers. While Model Apparel uses the above profiles to serve their customers, other companies might use other methods. Regardless, you should definitely do your research to find the right fit for your business.