Should you listen to your workforce about PPE and Workwear?

When buying PPE and Workwear do you consult your staff?

It’s an age-old philosophy but listening to your workforce is a critical factor in evaluating efficiencies, productivity and development.
It can be a compounding issues which has wider implications across your business and reputation.
With a little consideration it can be advantageous to explore yielding benefits greater than any perceived “savings” by focusing just on price.

I’m not just talking about PPE, workwear and clothing related aspects either, your workforce are on the front line, the coal face and while it can be a double-edged sword giving your staff a platform, not listening to your people is potentially a greater risk.


Learn from other company’s mistakes

Michael Marks, the founder of Marks & Spencer, began every Saturday asking the shop girls, in the Briggate store in Leeds, about what clothing products were selling and more importantly which ones were not.

He used this information, along with reports his executives and managers provided, to shape M&S’s strategic policies for decades.
This was one of the critical pillars that fostered the monumental success of M&S.
Marks applied real world data (staff and customer feedback) to green light or dismiss proposals, clothing lines, and new products introductions.

Marks knew what would and wouldn’t work based upon what his shop staff had told him over the years.
He trusted his staff and workers to help him deliver more value and quality to his customers resulting in the rapid growth and trust in the St Michael brand.
These people were his eyes and ears.

The cracks began to appear when his successors stopped listening to the shop staff focusing on data streams and projections.
It could be argued M&S started telling the customers what they should want rather listening to what they actually desired.
That policy, albeit not a quick action, was almost fatal.

We all know what happened in 1999 and the cherry on the cake was the “I’m normal” ad campaign, although there is an argument it was 20 years ahead of its time.

My point is: Every company must listen to the workforce as to what works and what doesn’t.

Not just about PPE and workwear it goes beyond that, it can be subtle and even nuanced which is why some people can make the mistake thinking it’s an “either or” position.

It can be perceived as a double-edged sword due to the potential reversal of hierarchy however you won’t be giving them direction of the company you will merely be taking a temperature, a pulse which will allow you to use that information to your advantage.

It’s not a question of throwing out the baby with the bath water or making buying choices a binary proposition.
Staff’s feedback should be considered an element to be used along with others for a broader evaluation that benefits your company and not just in the short term.

Buy the right PPE and Workwear products that deliver the best value

Some people think buying/purchasing is paying less, or avoiding paying more, for the same – same products and same services.
This is a race to the bottom and it’s not sustainable for either the client or supplier and any benefit would be ephemeral.

Hidden costs are the most expensive and they hide behind false economies.
A PPE or workwear product may look the “best” option on paper but in practice it could cost you more than an alternative.

Buying, purchasing and procurement should not be about chasing prices down, It should be about buying the best products for the requirements at the best prices to deliver the greatest value.

Value is the objective.

Ian Pallas and Sam Kirk know the value in listening to their staff and as a result Rope Access Trade Solutions rope has grown into an international operation within 3 years.

You can make better buying decisions by calling BHI – 01709 527603

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