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Purchasing

New Uniforms in 5 High-Steps

Preparing Bid Specifications

It certainly would be helpful if one uniform company could work with you to design your uniform, prepare a prototype, then manufacture the product according to your wishes. However, it is often difficult to do this. According to today's purchasing laws, a minimum of three bids must be secured for consideration. Your bid specifications are prepared and sent to vendors, who then submit stock samples and bids. In many cases, an administration will select only the low bid, believing that bid specifications will guarantee equality in the product. However, not all manufacturers offer the same quality of workmanship and service.

Study manufacturers first

When preparing a budget for instruments, recording equipment and other major supplies, band directors request a manufacturer and style number. You can plan your band uniform order with the same forethought. You'll have greater freedom to choose quality and unique design. If you want uniforms that are specially designed for you, you'll want to select a company that will work with you from design to delivery. Be aware: manufacturers' bids are based on the amount of service and tailoring they offer.

Select a manufacturer

To make the best decision, form a committee of qualified persons to examine manufacturers' samples before you open bids. A typical evaluation committee might include the band director, your schools home economics teacher, a local tailor and representatives from the community.

Ask the uniform companies who will bid to have their stock sample uniforms at the school for evaluation at least three or four days before the bids are opened. Have your committee examine all samples inside and out, checking such critical areas as collar construction, arm holes, shoulder pads, sleeve heads, and coat canvases. The committee may grade each company's uniform from one to four on a point system, using four points for excellent, three for good, and so on. Also study the backgrounds of the bidding companies, and evaluate their service people.

Awarding the contract

Select a qualified manufacturer who meets your budget limitations before the bids are opened, and you will be able to secure the best return on your investment. However, if you open bids first, you must then justify and eliminate low bidders until the qualified manufacturer is accepted.

Visit the factory

If your administration can send you to a uniform manufacturer's factory, above all, go! You will have an unparalleled opportunity to see the latest styles and fabrics. You'll be able to create something completely new and different especially for your band.

Preparing Bid Specifications

It certainly would be helpful if one uniform company could work with you to design your uniform, prepare a prototype, then manufacture the product according to your wishes. However, it is often difficult to do this. According to today's purchasing laws, a minimum of three bids must be secured for consideration. Your bid specifications are prepared and sent to vendors, who then submit stock samples and bids. In many cases, an administration will select only the low bid, believing that bid specifications will guarantee equality in the product. However, not all manufacturers offer the same quality of workmanship and service.