Every 3 to 5 years, most companies start a new tender process in order to renew their protective clothing. As there are many elements to take into account – such as technical specifications of protective fabrics, managing internal stakeholders and getting a hold on all relevant parties such as garment manufacturers and industrial laundries – the tender process might feel quite overwhelming. In this blog we provide you with tangible advise on how to take the right steps and ask the right questions in order to positively impact your tender experience as well as the end result in new and improved workwear.
1: Determine whether the specifications of your protective clothing have changed (since the last tender)
Start with a risk assessment for every workstation in order to determine which standards your new protective clothing needs to meet. Ask feedback of the workers to determine the requirements in terms of comfort, design and durability to wash and wear. Bear in mind that fabric suppliers often have in-house research and development departments, where fabrics and fabric blends are developed, to improve your desired levels of safety, comfort and durability. So there might be new solutions available in the market since your last tender! That means your specifications for protective clothing might have changed, changing the scope of your next tender as well.
2: Inquire and manage the right internal stakeholders
The way people experience comfort and design is subjective and therefore quite difficult to measure. How do you know if all parties will agree on the new protective clothing? The solution is quite simple: ask them to join the tender process! The best way to facilitate this is to schedule a meeting with all safety professionals and other involved parties. Think about purchasers, plant managers, workers and other colleagues that will have an opinion (and influence) on the new protective clothing.
During this meeting, you should be able to extract all the necessary information to list up all of the relevant variables. To make sure that the meeting is successful, you need to ask the right people the right questions. For example: if you want to determine the desired level of comfort, the workers’ perception of comfort should have a leading role in your selection of fabrics because in the end, they are the ones wearing the protective clothing.
To help you check if you are keeping tabs on your internal stakeholders, we have made a list out of the most important internal stakeholders and their main priorities:
- The purchaser cares about price-quality ratio
- Safety professionals care about safety
- Workers care about comfort and design
- The management team cares about the overall result - is everyone happy?
If you are interested to learn more about this topic, we advise you to read this Gartner study on how internal alignment during buying processes leads to better results.
3: Use the expertise that is at your disposal
The world of protective clothing is quite complex. It is very understandable that you as a Health & Safety Manager are unable to know every (technical) detail and its impact on safe, comfortable and durable workwear. It is good to know that you can – and should – leverage the expertise of partners in the protective clothing value chain.
It might come in handy to know which questions you can ask to whom. We can summarize the partners and their fields of expertise as follows:
- Fabric suppliers (like TenCate Protective Fabrics): experts in the field of fabrics, safety, comfort and durability to wear
- Garment makers: experts in the field of design and supply chain
- Industrial laundries: experts in the field of supply chain and durability to wash
- PPE distributors: experts on the protective fabrics supply chain
When challenging your partners in the protective clothing value chain to stay on top of their game and provide you with solid advice, you will be able to save time and achieve better results with your new protective clothing.
How can partners in the protective clothing value chain help you to optimise your tender process?
In order to speed up the tender process and achieve better results, we strongly believe that you should connect with all players associated with the tender process: fabric suppliers, garment manufacturers, PPE distributors and industrial laundries. Each partner has its own field of expertise in which they can assist you.
If you are not sure how you could use the expertise of suppliers in the protective clothing value chain, ask our protective clothing expert for advice. Schedule here an appointment with one of our advisors to get an objective and customized advice in order to fully harvest the protective clothing value chain’s potential. Additionally, our Proclaud® tool can help you to map your specifications and wishes for the tender process.