How To Write A Workwear And PPE Tender
Writing a workwear and PPE tender is a mammoth task – from appointing a new supplier to overseeing a new workwear rollout. Ensuring this process runs as smoothly as possible is a challenge and that’s why our technical experts at Clad Safety have put together this guide to make sure your tender is a stress-free experience for all parties involved.
Step 1 – Schedule of requirements
The first step in the process is to think about what you need from a supplier and what is important to your business. This might include:
- Brand guidelines
- Payment terms
- Rebates or financial incentives
- Delivery expectations and lead times
- Customer portal
- Workwear/Safety Footwear/PPE items to include
- Bespoke or off the shelf
- What items does each employee need?
- Account management
- Length of the contract
- Are samples required?
- Previous experience/case studies
The points listed above can vary from business to business but clearly outlining your intentions and requirements from the beginning of the tender process will avoid any unnecessary errors being made.
How many employees?
Buying workwear and PPE for a large team can feel like an overwhelming task. Health and Safety responsibility has never been of greater importance for employers. Failure to provide the correct PPE to your employees puts them at a higher risk of suffering an injury in the workplace.
Your employees are representing your brand and therefore you will want them to look smart, stylish, comfortable, and most importantly, be safe in their clothing. How many employees do you have? Do they all require the same range of workwear and PPE, or will this vary across the different departments?
Your new supplier must be able to provide your whole team with their workwear range including replacement products, equipping new starters when required and ensuring all relevant items meet the required safety standards.
Do you require a portal?
Customer portals for ordering workwear items are a common feature on uniform tenders. A portal such as Cladserve can integrate with other procurement systems such as SAP Ariba and Oracle, it streamlines the process and avoids errors that can arise when using other methods of ordering.
The Cladserve portal can be customised to provide a seamless procurement service for any company, with all their information easily accessible via the ordering and reporting system. Customers can stay in control of spending by using points allocation and user authorisation levels to manage procurement procedures. Our adaptable grade system allows you to simplify and segment your approved product range by role or department, delivering clarity for everyone involved in workwear procurement across your company.
Adding the requirement of a portal and better still, one that can integrate with your systems will be hugely beneficial to your organisation.
Identifying your product range
Identifying which items you would like to include in your workwear rollout and in turn, your potential supplier to quote for and supply needs careful consideration. Is there a need for bespoke items or off the shelf or maybe a combination of both is better suited to your company? Don’t forget to mention special orders and if the pricing will remain competitive if you order outside of your agreed range.
Listen to your employees and identify any issues they might have with their workwear or your current supplier. Are there problems with quality or lead times and if so, you need to be confident that the new workwear supplier can eradicate these issues.
Wearer trials are of great importance especially if new products and brands are being added to your range. Suppliers bidding for the tender should be sending you samples for your staff to try in wearer trials ensuring all products included in the range meet your branding requirements, are comfortable to wear and are fit for purpose.
Dividing the tender into Lots
If your product range is quite large with specialist products it can be useful to divide your tender into Lots eg. Workwear, High Visibility, Safety Footwear and PPE. This allows suppliers who specialise in a specific product area to bid on that Lot and it also allows you, the customer, to work with more than one supplier. It also gives you additional options if there are stock issues as those companies who specialise in one specific lot might also be able to source products from the other Lots when required.
Sustainability is a hot topic at the moment as more and more businesses start to look at their environmental impact and find sustainable solutions at work. From influencing greener working practices to embracing sustainable and ethical workwear, these measures will contribute to a company’s overall carbon footprint reduction. Workwear suppliers must now demonstrate that they are meeting not just basic sustainability obligations but have also taken further steps to becoming more sustainable. Ethical and sustainable workwear solutions have been pinpointed as key areas of positive change.
Not all job roles can have recycled clothing (eg. arc flash) but where possible, sustainable alternatives should be offered. Workwear suppliers must also provide uniform disposal solutions such as recycling old workwear and PPE and greener delivery processes.
What are the stages in the tender process?
There are multiple stages in the tender process to ensure all suppliers have an equal opportunity to bid for the contract. The various stages also provide the customer with the time to fully assess all of the applicants, undertake wearer trials and analyse costs. Most workwear and uniform tenders include the following stages:
- Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
- Invitation To Tender (ITT)
- Sampling and wearer trials
- Shortlisted face to face meeting and presentation
- Decision makers meet and discuss shortlisted applicants
- Contract awarded
Sometimes a Prior Information Notice (PIN) will be issued before the PQQ stage but this usually happens when the tender that is due to be announced is highly coveted by many workwear and PPE suppliers.
Supplier Qualifications and Accreditations
Ensuring your chosen supplier is fully accredited to the relevant professional bodies is of vital importance when choosing a workwear and PPE supplier. You want to be safe in the knowledge that your chosen supplier is registered with the BSIF Safety Supplier scheme and is a member of Sedex which is an online system that allows suppliers to maintain data on ethical & responsible practices and they can share this information with their customers. Other important accreditations and certifications to be aware of include:
- Achilles UVDB
- Alcumus ISOQAR
- BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme
- Crown Commercial Service
- Cyber Essentials Plus
- Living Wage Employer
- Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS)
This will vary from industry to industry, but a trusted workwear and PPE supplier will have a respectable list of accreditations and certifications that they can demonstrate to current and future customers. The evaluation of criteria may be based on quality, service or price (or a combination of all three) but it is important to remember that consistency across all aspects of the tender process is the most important factor.
Remember, tenders are hugely beneficial to a large corporation by providing you with the flexibility to create a framework unique to your business needs whilst also encouraging suppliers to present their best workwear and PPE ranges. The comparison and competitive elements of the tender allow easy assessment and grading of suppliers, ensuring compliance and transparency at all stages of the process.
Clad Safety are a trusted and experienced workwear and PPE supplier. Over the past 30 years we have been very successful in a number of uniform, workwear and PPE tenders therefore we understand the challenges faced by large corporations who are undertaking a new workwear rollout. Clad Safety will always make it easy for you to keep your workforce protected and safe.