Behind the Scenes - Back2School 2017
As Back2School Season 2017 draws to a close, school uniform suppliers everywhere are making every effort to ensure any last-minute orders are fulfilled, that shelves and rails are sufficiently restocked and that plans are in place for a much-needed battery recharge in the not too distant future!
The 6-week summer break along with the month of September is the busiest time of year for suppliers like ourselves here at SpeedStitch. It can almost be likened to exam time for students – the long-term preparation, the last-minute stresses, the main event, the exhaustion afterwards and the apprehensive wait for results.
Here are a few facts that might help give an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the lead up to and during this main event (no textbooks involved!):
- We spend a whole year preparing for the Back2School season.
- SpeedStitch are official school uniform suppliers for almost 50 schools in the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Redbridge and beyond.
- We offer a counter service which means we serve each customer individually.
- We base our stock levels on information given to us by schools, predictions based on previous year’s sales and of course the amount of space we have to store our stock.
- We stock our shelves to the maximum in the lead up to our busy season and we have reserve stock in our other stockroom just down the road for when the shelf stock gets low.
- Size predictions are difficult – each child is different so for example, if we know that there are 100 new year 7s joining a school and we know the ratio of boys to girls, it is still difficult to predict their sizes. Just because these 100 kids are age 11 doesn’t mean they are all the same size or height. With almost 50 schools, making these predictions each year isn’t the easiest task in the world, but we do our best.
- We don’t make the garments, but we do embroider them in our workshop downstairs.
- We only use reputable UK suppliers for our school uniform garments and accessories.
- William Turner is one of our suppliers – you may have seen the future King pictured in a very smart William Turner uniform on his first day at school! If it’s good enough for him…
- We place most of our orders with our suppliers in November and December for the following summer and the remainder in January and February!
- Our suppliers get extremely busy during Back2School season too so sometimes when we are low on stock, they are unable to supply us with this stock for a number of weeks due to extremely high demand.
- We have a small team of staff who work extremely hard all year and work all the extra hours they possibly can during the Back2School season.
- School Uniform is only one element of SpeedStitch – we also supply, embroider and print all year round (even during our busy season) for businesses, clubs, teams, etc. So in between embroidering school uniform, our machinists are also working on football kits, corporate wear, sets of towels for high-end hotels and brand new polo shirts for local construction companies.
And now for the recharge…