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Tips to get into the right gear

Published: 18th Apr 2017
Author: Lana Martens; Wired Communications
Cape Town (SA) – Sparks and Ellis believes that a uniform says a lot about your organisation and it can also instil a sense of pride in the wearer while promoting respect and confidence.
This is according to Sparks & Ellis CEO, Sue de Wet, who says that balancing budget and quality is a delicate balance when looking for a uniform that not only offers great value for money, but is also great in every other way. 
“A security officer’s uniform is of critical importance because it is the element that sets the security officer apart,” says Sue de Wet. “While aesthetics do of course play an important role, there are other factors that are critical to a company’s choice of uniform for its security officers. In fact, the appearance of the security officer’s uniform actually plays a critical role when it comes to how that guarding company is perceived by the public,” she says. 
Providing peace-of-mind
Uniforms should provide instant recognition so that, in an emergency situation, and particularly in a crowded area, members of the public can spot security staff and will immediately know who to turn to for help. De Wet says that it’s also been shown that the presence of a uniformed security officer provides reassurance for other staff and visitors at the premises. A well-presented security officer not only promotes peace-of-mind, but their presence is also a major deterrent for criminal activity.
Pride and belonging
Security officers who are well-presented can feel a sense of pride and a strong affiliation to the company they work for. Being identifiable as part of team creates a feeling of professionalism and belonging. In addition, a uniformed security officer is often the very first impression that visitors will have when visiting an organisation. 
Combining quality and budget requirement
When it comes to quoting competitively in an industry that is largely driven by cost at a time when operating costs are also increasing, Sue de Wet says that uniform manufacturers face a major challenge. “While we have access to world-class technology, client budgets can often prohibit the introduction of new fabrics and uniform technology,” she says. “While some companies do also believe that uniforms should be replaced on an annual basis, others believe that they should be adapted with the changing seasons.  Sparks & Ellis tries to encourage companies to invest in seasonal uniforms and help extend the life of a uniform in this way.”
Safety first
“Uniforms should always comply with safety standards and this is a non-negotiable factor,” says Sue de Wet. Depending on the environment in which the security officer is working there are a couple of critical factors for consideration. Is the uniform breathable; and is it water and fire resistant? Does the environment in which the security officer is working call for the use of safety shoes with steel-capped toes?
Quality materials 
Sparks and Ellis says that when considering uniform budgets, companies should never underestimate the importance of quality materials, which impact on lifespan and durability. Important factors for consideration include: colour, washable materials, and ease of replacement. “Ensure that the uniform you choose is made of good quality material. Look at the fabric used, as well as the zips and buttons - because this will determine how durable the uniform will be. In the long run – good quality uniforms could save the company from unnecessary replacement uniform costs,” concludes Sue De Wet. – [+27 (0)21 404 1240,,]
©2017 S&V Publications
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