How to Save on AR / FR Clothing by Streamlining Procurement

This series illuminates common examples of ineffective AR / FR clothing practices that have real costs – and practical solutions. In How to Save on AR / FR Clothing, you’ll learn how to stretch budget dollars and unlock savings – while improving service, selection, and worker safety.

Many companies don’t realize that the cost of procuring arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing can be significantly greater than just the unit price. As your company evaluates procurement processes and seeks to streamline AR / FR clothing procurement, be sure to factor miscellaneous fees and logistical challenges into your total spend; these can have a material impact on your bottom line. Pay special attention to management and employee time invested in administering – or problem-solving – the program.

The cost of an inefficient vendor can be significant, as companies like Stallion Oilfield Services know all too well. Formerly in an inefficient rental program, members of Stallion’s operations team were forced to spend more than 50-60% of their day problem-solving AR / FR clothing issues. Hear directly from Todd Mucha, former Director of QHSE at Stallion, in this brief video:

For large companies like Stallion, these costs are substantial. Consider a worker making $30 per hour, with a fully-loaded hourly cost of $53 per hour after factoring in benefits and an appropriate factor for overtime. An inefficient clothing program would likely incur the following – unnecessary – costs:

  • The worker calls the supplier to order, but without enough live, knowledgeable representatives, the worker leaves a message after spending several minutes on hold—or worse, hangs up and waits on hold again later.
  • The next day, the worker receives a call back, distracting from his work. The order is finally placed.
  • The supplier doesn’t have inventory on hand to fill the worker’s order, and orders the item from its vendor. The vendor, without sufficient demand forecasting, is unprepared for the order and does not have the item in stock. The supplier will not receive the worker’s item for four weeks. Meanwhile, without sufficient customer service, the worker is unaware of the backorder situation and checks one day each week for his package.
  • The worker, who needs clothing quickly, contacts the supplier directly – with no resolution. The worker asks his supervisor for support, who in turn contacts the purchasing lead to inquire about the delay. Now the time of three employees is being invested!
  • The purchasing lead contacts the supplier’s salesperson, who is traveling and returns the call the next day.
  • After determining the product is backordered with the supplier, the purchasing lead returns the supervisor’s call.
  • The supervisor, in turn, relays the message to the worker, who cannot wait that long for a product and starts the process over again to order an alternate garment. Without visibility into the supplier’s supply chain and sufficient customer communication, it is likely that the worker’s “replacement” product will also be out of stock—requiring him to repeat the process again until he orders a garment that is readily available. Or, the worker purchases a garment at retail price – paying a premium and eliminating garment tracking. Worse yet, the worker could forgo the necessary protection altogether, creating a dangerous situation and potentially costly compliance issues for your company.

The costs associated with this frustrating process add up quite quickly. In fact, to successfully place an order, this inefficient program costs the employer more than three hours in lost work time and nearly $400 in this single instance alone.

Unfortunately, scenarios like these are all too common. 

Case Study: Stallion Oilfield Services

Formerly in a rental program, Stallion Oilfield Services experienced a number of issues that forced the company to invest a tremendous amount of administration time in overseeing and troubleshooting the program.

By having individual employees order directly from Tyndale as part of the allowance-based direct purchase program now in place, Stallion Oilfield Services eliminated virtually all supervisory and administrative involvement with their protective clothing program. This transition saved countless hours of leadership time, allowing them to drive efficiency in other areas of the business.

“It’s taken our back office out of spending time worrying about FRC,” said Todd Mucha, Director of QHSE at Stallion when the program was implemented. Instead, online ordering in the direct purchase program puts the power to order company-approved AR / FR clothing directly “in the hands of employees on the computer, just like you would buy anything else online in the world today,” Mucha said. “It’s been a life saver in terms of time on the operations side.”

Tyndale’s Solution

Given the extensive back-and-forth between administrators and workers in an administrator-managed AR / FR clothing program, or an ineffective program that requires significant administrative oversight, it is reasonable to expect that each “support” issue costs the company $200 in lost time and inefficiency.

On the other hand,

  • Tyndale’s user-friendly online ordering website, which features the ability to filter on in-stock items that are ready to ship, can be accessed 24/7 for on-demand ordering.
  • When assistance is needed, Tyndale’s US-based end user Customer Service team resolves more than 95% of inquiries directly with the worker by phone or web chat, requiring no additional company involvement.

For large organizations with thousands of employees, the savings can be extremely significant!

Ready to unlock savings with a next-generation solution for AR / FR clothing?

Contact Tyndale at 800-356-3433 to connect with a National Account Executive serving your area, who can help identify opportunities to streamline your procurement process for AR / FR clothing and launch a managed direct purchase program today.

Click here for the last post in our series – spend avoidance.


Series: How to Save on AR / FR Clothing

Follow along with this series to learn four strategies you can leverage to streamline your procurement process for AR / FR clothing and reduce your overall spend by 30%+ – without compromising on safety and compliance.

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