With no end in sight to the changes within the education sector, especially with the growth of Multi Academy Trusts, this year is proving to be even busier than last year. On-line, direct-to-parent sales continue to grow. Following a review of last year of our e-commerce systems, we have invested heavily over the winter, in both time and money, in our service. All of this is to ensure we meet the high expectations of you, our customers and all time bust especially ready for summer.
• We’ve invested in a new multi-channel telephone system. This will enable us to answer calls more speedily and efficiently and avoid long waiting times.
• We’ve invested in additional embroidery machines in order to manage more efficiently the larger number of individual parent orders and therefore provide a better service.
• We’re now holding larger volumes of school specific uniforms in stock in order to provide a quicker, more efficient delivery service.
• There has been improvement to the ease with which parents can access their school’s on-line sites. We now have the new ‘School Finder’ tool on our main website, making ordering uniform quicker and more simple for parents.
These are examples of some of the main improvements we’re making in order to ensure that both you and your parents receive the very best service.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and support.
Ant & Nick Buckland
ACTIVITY FUELS MORE ACTIVITY
Our sports ranges aim to inspire wellbeing, achievement and leadership. We strive to produce comfortable and stylish clothing suitable for everyone. Ranging from the elite team players to those taking their first steps into the world of sport.
The main objective for sports premium is to achieve self-sustaining improvement in the quality of PE and sport in primary schools. We believe that if your players look good, they’ll feel good and in turn they will be more likely to engage as part of a team and as an individual. So, we have a wide range of team kits and individual sports garments available.
We are proud to be working with The Youth Sports Trust, a national charity that is building a brighter future for young people through PE and sport. PB Sport are the official sponsor of the Youth Sport Trust staff kit. The sponsorship also includes kit for P.E Catalysts who are working to raise the profile of secondary PE in their local areas.
THE BIG STITCH UP
With the increase in online business, we have invested in 6 more of the latest embroidery machines. This is to ensure we provide the very best service to both schools and parents. Also, ensuring we continue to have one of the largest and most technologically advanced embroidery departments in the schoolwear market.
The Melco EMT16 is built using the most innovative technology in the industry. The unique system reduces thread breaks while increasing stitch speeds up to 1,500 stitches per minute.
The unique design of the machine allows us to embroider on a wider selection of products. Such products include small areas like shirt and bag pockets without pocket removal.
After taking a good look at our current customer journey, we recognised that a central tool that would take parents directly to their school PB Parents Online platform would greatly benefit their overall user experience. And that’s exactly what we have created.
Parents can now head directly to the P&B School Finder. They then enter their schools name or postcode and click straight through to their dedicated PB Parents Online platform. This allows them to order their child’s uniform from the comfort of their own home.
WORLD BOOK DAY
To celebrate World Book Day (Thursday 2nd March), we thought it would be a good opportunity to engage with our loyal Primary school customers. Also, give them something back in return for their valued repeat custom. So we created and launched the Price & Buckland Book Bag Competition.
Our Book Bag Competition encouraged our Primary school customers to get their classes sticking, colouring and doodling. The activity gave them the chance of winning their entire class brand-spanking new book bags. Their designs could be made up of anything they liked. This could be anything from inspiring images of the universe, to scenes involving their favourite fictional characters. We were looking for the most creative and unique designs out there!
2017 saw World Book Day celebrating its 20th anniversary in promoting and educating children on the importance of literary world. Furthermore and most importantly the gift of reading. For the past 20 years, World Book Day has celebrated authors, illustrators and books. Most of all hoping it will encourage children to find pleasure and inspiration in books and written works. From providing exciting resources to encouraging children to dress as their favourite characters, World Book Day has been an inspiration to so many over the past 20 years.
We are finding an increasing number of schools wanting to offer their own trousers and skirts to parents. However trying to find a supplier who can ensure the colour of the boys trouser matches the girls trouser which in turn matches the girls skirt is not easy particularly with navy and greys. We have also found that the quality offered by the main suppliers is not particularly good.
Therefore, we are developing our own range of boys and girls trousers as well as skirts, in navy, grey and black that all match. There will be a range of style options. Also, all garments will have adjustable waists which is a great feature that not many have.
We have chosen a different fabric for the boys and girls, ensuring the girls’ have slight stretch for added comfort. Both fabrics have been thoroughly tested for durability, pilling and comfort. Stock will begin to be in place in the Autumn.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
To aid the growth of our PB Parents Online platform we have recruited two new members of staff. We are constantly working on new developments to continue to advance the system. So, with the additional support we can ensure a smooth service and continue to develop new features.
Back in our December 2016 issue, we unveiled the exciting news that we were updating our telephone systems. We’re pleased to announce these improvements have been implemented, and are up and running ensuring an improved service to both schools and parents.
To continue the development of our modern, state-of the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology, and as a fully SA 8000:2008 (Social Accountability) certified company. We have now invested in a Ramsons needle detector.
When the sensor detects a broken needle pin or a 1mm needle chip, a buzzer will automatically sound and the conveyor belt will stop. There are 10 indicator lamps to identify the exact location of a foreign object, which can then be removed.
This continues to support our aim to make our new Indian factory a benchmark in overseas clothing manufacturing. This is to ensure quality control of all processes across the board.
We’ve rolled our sleeves up again to raise money for charity. The team have been dressing to impress in red, baking some tasty treats. Also, taking a chance on the tombola and chucking pie around to raise money for Red Nose Day. Take a look at some of the mouth-watering treats and pie face contenders in action!
AS A RESULT WE RAISED A SUPER £541!
Thanks to our four great models we were able to capture some new lifestyle photographs for the upcoming 2018 PB Sport brochure. Over two days, and with the direction of the marketing team, our models jumped, sprinted and kicked into some amazing photographs. As a result we have displayed the durability and resilience of our specialised technical sportswear.
Here’s some behind the scene shots, but you’ll have to wait until this Autumn to see the finished version. Watch this space!
To learn more about our specialised sportswear & team kits visit: www.pbsportswear.co.uk
TOP TIPS TO GET YOU READY FOR SUMMER
ORDER YOUR SCHOOL UNIFORM
Most noteworthy, Don’t forget to inform parents to order their child’s school uniform before the height of summer to avoid disappointment. Nobody wants to start the year in their sisters’ hand-me-downs!
GET THE RIGHT FIT
We’ve got a handy parents area on price-buckland.co.uk so you can direct parents there to help with ordering the right uniform in the right size.
We are happy to help in any way to ensure your pupils are all looking smart ready for the new academic year. So, we have handy posters that we can send over to you. Remember if you are a web school to pop your unique shop URL onto your website.
THE ACADEMIES SHOW
We exhibited at the London Academy Show at the Excel arena in April. A great show that brings together education professionals, key decision makers and high quality service providers. During which we got to hear from high level speakers including Government representatives. The Academy Show is especially relevant as it keeps us up to date with Future school priorities and funding. Also, The National Funding Formula, Joined-up school leadership and Driving high performance across MATs.
THAT’S YOU ALL UP TO DATE. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER, TEAM P&B