This time of year is always incredibly busy for us here at Grahame Gardner as we travel the country for university measuring season! Working closely with the universities that we supply uniforms to, it’s our job to make sure that the next wave of healthcare professionals have workwear that fits them correctly and allows them to carry out their work comfortably. In our latest blog our area sales manager, Andrea Hardy, tells us more. 

The last six weeks have been an incredibly hectic time for the Grahame Gardner team. We work with lots of different universities across the UK including: De Montfort University in Leicester, Worcester University, University of East Anglia and Glyndwr University to name a few. The majority of students are studying for nursing or midwifery degrees, but we do also measure a lot of occupational therapy and physiotherapy students, too.

Preparation is key

The measuring season starts the first week of September and continues right through until mid-October. Throughout this period, I personally will see well over a thousand students but overall across the sales team, it’s close to 6,000 nationwide so we’re talking big numbers!

There is a lot of planning prior to any measure. Our operations director forecasts stock at least three months before we start the measuring process, so it is important that crucial information on numbers is given to us as soon as possible. Our national sales manager, Marc Edwards, collates all the information on numbers, courses, uniforms and colourways, and then we will plan which team will measure where, as most universities want the measures within the same two-week period. This takes careful managing of personnel and equipment to ensure the right people are at the right place at the right time. 

For me, it’s making sure that I am at the university in good time to set up all the uniforms, as some courses can have multiple items required, from tunics and trousers to dresses and polo shirts.  I like to set the room up so the flow is easy for the students; from entering the room, moving to the rails to collect sample sizes, going to the changing area, and coming back to have their sizes noted down for ordering. There can be an influx of students at any one time so it is important to have everything set up so that you can get them measured, spoken to and out in a timely manner.

 

Importance of the right uniform

Uniform, in any sphere, is hugely important but especially to students! Most have just left home for the first time, excited and perhaps trepidatious about the new adventures that await them.  All of these students will be going out into hospitals and clinics and it is important for them to feel both confident and comfortable with their attire. By providing the fitting service we can use our expertise to guide them to how the uniform should be worn ensuring they have correctly fitting, quality uniform to see them through their busy day.

Service success

I really love going out to the universities and meeting  both the staff and students.  It’s an exciting time for everyone involved so it’s a very positive experience for all parties. The students are so enthusiastic, and when they emerge from the changing rooms in their uniform you can see the pride and excitement on their faces.

Our measuring service is a vital part of our offer to clients, and I believe this adds great value to our service. We understand that correctly fitting uniforms are important, that’s why being on hand to offer advice and guidance to those that may have never worn a uniform before, ensures every student will have a proper fitted uniform and returns are kept to a minimum.