1.) Representative Relationship
Develop a strong relationship with your sales representative before you order. Your representative will help guide you and answer all your questions to make sure your ordering process goes smoothly and is worry free.
2.) Team Budget
Before you purchase uniforms and products, know your budget. It is sometimes hard to stay within your budget but it is necessary. Let your sales representative work for you to help make this happen.
3.) Choosing Your Uniform
Pick a couple uniforms so you have more options just in case choice #1 does not work. Take into consideration lead times, quality, price, and standard rules for competition. Once you have chosen a uniform style, have your sales representative work with you on colors, lead times, durability, etc. Ask your representative to send you samples or fabric swatches if time permits. Work with your sales representative on customization and cost saving ideas.
4.) Fitting Your Team
Always ask for a size run to size your team if it is available (you may not always have this option). Size runs consist of a range of sizes from smallest to largest of the actual uniform style (style may vary but uniform fit will be the same) you can have in hand for 20 to 30 days to use for fitting. Have your team members wear a swim suit to the fitting this will save time allowing them to slip on and off the size run easily. Keep a spread sheet of the team names and sizes they were fitted for and have parents sign off on the sheet if possible, use this sheet to fax to your representative for ordering.
Things to keep in mind… Providing the sales representative with exact measurements does not mean the uniforms will be tailored. Uniforms are not made to fit individual athlete’s exact measurements. Size runs and size charts are standard measurements meaning they were made based on a range of measurements and narrowed to a standard size chart which will most closely fit any one of your athletes. Therefore it is not unusual that uniforms may need small alterations once you receive them, this is depending on how you want them to fit. Even though this may not happen often and the cost is low, you may want to take this into consideration when you are determining your budget.
It is a good idea to have a point person that will be available to answer all questions from your representative as quickly as possible (return calls or emails quickly). Your lead time is based upon the time the order is processed not placed. Full payment is required before the order is processed for production.
Things to keep in mind… production can not be stopped once it has started, know the return policy (what items can and can not be returned and on what grounds), order and collect money early, and you may want to order a few extra uniforms.
Once you receive your uniforms have the team members try them on immediately and notify your representative right away with any issues. If nothing else your representative can help assist you with ideas and exchanges when possible.
7.) Uniform Care
Make sure you have the washing/care instructions for your uniforms and pass that along to all the team members as a rule.