Corporate Wear

This case study focusses on one of the largest, independently, and privately-owned companies specialising in security solutions, facilities management, environmental protection and recruitment within the UK, Ireland and South Asia. Due to the nature, size and scale of the business, the client had a significant spend in corporate wear across multiple locations.

The Challenge

The client successfully leads and manages thousands of high-quality service personnel in complex public-facing environments and delivers the service through a national network of regional offices. The client was abundantly clear from the outset that they were very comfortable with their sole incumbent provider who they had been working with for in excess of 10 years but wanted to really challenge the market to convince themselves that they were currently contracting with the right provider and procuring their corporate wear optimally.

The client had reviewed this spend 3 years ago and the quality of garments and service from the incumbent supplier was widely accepted as being of a high standard. However, due to the market not being tested in several years, the client wanted a ‘deep-dive’ market review to ensure that they were receiving maximum value for money in an incredibly competitive market.  From the outset of this review, it was very clear that the client did not want to compromise any area of quality of the garments or the service in pursuit of cost savings and wanted to ensure that the selected supplier had relevant sector experience, strong CSR credentials and was an excellent cultural fit.

As you would expect with such an important product for the client and a long-standing relationship in place between the client and the supplier it became very clear how knowledgeable and well-integrated the supplier was in terms of working within the processes and systems of the client. This being said it did become apparent early in the review that there were opportunities to make improvements to the supply chain solution which was a key focus of this review.

A comprehensive category review was required to conclude with a high performing, driven and motivated corporate wear provider being appointed that could meet all the specific requirements of the client.

The Challenges:

  • Category last reviewed 3 years ago and had also been reviewed against the market 3 times in the last 10 years so could be considered low opportunity in terms of cost savings.
  • High level and bespoke service provided by incumbent due to the client’s high level of requirements.
  • Long-standing client-supplier relationship delivering a good quality service although there were opportunities to make improvements.

Our Strategy

As there were several stakeholders involved in this review it was key that all stakeholder views and requirements were identified from the initiation of this project. With this in mind, we listened to the requirements and feedback from the key internal personnel to conclude with a clear review scope and review objectives which proved to be invaluable throughout the review.

Once agreed, we then focussed on gaining a full and clear understanding of the current position in terms of product specifications, volumes, unit of measures, costs and in addition the service standards in place and any other important aspect of the contract or supply of corporate wear which we needed to become aware of.  This involved an extensive element of data analysis but by conducting this very detailed piece of work at this stage it ensured that the foundations of the review were firmly in place.  To ensure we had a well-rounded understanding of the current solution we spent a good degree of time speaking to the incumbent supplier to continually validate our understanding of the products and service provided.

Whilst building a comprehensive understanding of the current supplier relationship we also researched the corporate wear market and engaged early in the process with the key suppliers who had strong and relevant sector experience. At this point, we asked potential suppliers to critique the current service and garments being procured and encouraged the potential suppliers to make suggestions with the focus on being to ensure we are receiving the highest service standards and the optimum product quality. Whilst these factors were essential the client was also driven  to ensure they were receiving value for money on what was a sizeable budget.

Once the research phase was complete we developed the strategy which was completed in conjunction with key stakeholders, the incumbent provider, and alternative providers.  Essentially, we facilitated several internal and external meetings to really challenge our way of thinking.  Whilst we have a lot of knowledge within our business on how this strategy could be developed, we also want to challenge ourselves by encouraging both the client and suppliers into discussions.

Once the strategy was agreed we embarked upon a robust tender process which involved Oculus engaging with 6 market-leading providers in addition to the incumbent supplier.

Upon receipt of the tender responses a detailed category report was drafted by Oculus for the sponsor which led to a shortlist being agreed.  During the tender process, we developed and pre-agreed with the client an evaluation criteria to ensure all key elements were reviewed and considered (e.g. company profile, service quality,  garment quality, risk and costs).  This essentially allowed us to agree the supplier to appoint following this incredibly robust comprehensive procurement process.

The Strategy:

  • Appoint a leading corporate wear company and improve the service of the supplier where deficiencies were identified.
  • Review internal processes to ensure they are optimised.
  • Ensure product quality and service standards are agreed and that they are not compromised.
  • Maximise value for money.

Our Solution

Following a comprehensive tender process, the category solution agreed with the client was to award a 2-year contract to the incumbent corporate wear provider.  The solution delivered a greater level of integration between the client and supplier which allowed for supply chain efficiencies and improvements to be created.

From a cost-savings perspective, the savings to the clients were in the region of 11% and these were delivered through price reductions without changing any products in any manner.

The objectives of the client were fully met in full and the client has realised significant benefits through the engagement with us on what would be considered a mature procurement category having been reviewed 3 times in the last 10 years.

The Solution:

  • Award a 2-year contract renewal to the existing provider.
  • Deliver improvements by the client and supplier developing improved forecasting processes to take advantage of improved buying opportunities.
  • Significant product cost savings delivered of 11% without compromising the quality of product or service.
  • 15% cost savings delivered on carriage without changing the supply chain partner who the incumbent supplier was utilising.

Business Benefits

One of the key success factors for this review was the willingness for the client to have a ‘healthy challenge’ mindset despite this review being undertaken on several previous occasions.  Ultimately, the client was extremely pleased about the review in terms of the outcome but also in terms of the amount of work Oculus undertook independently of the client to ensure that their valuable time was only requested at the appropriate steps of the sourcing process.

Aside from the benefits mentioned in the solutions section of the case study we also led the drafting of the supplier contract to ensure that all commitments made by the supplier were captured including the service specification, the service level agreement and the key performance indicators.

In terms of costs whilst an 11% product saving and 15% carriage saving was delivered we see this as the point to start from and over time we are confident that further cost savings could be delivered by the client and the supplier further improving on a consolidated forecasting approach.

The business benefits were:

  • Sustainable and significant cost savings.
  • Detailed contract with full-service specification, service levels and key performance indicators.
  • Improved ways of working to deliver improved product forecasting.

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