For the past 25 years we at Bartlett & Butcher have been developing a computerised system to facilitate fast and accurate control of all items to be hired. Good garment management enables us to check the whereabouts of garments and relocate them within seconds. It is therefore impossible to allocate a garment twice as every garment has a unique code. When customers try garments on, the same garment can be allocated, not some other garment of a similar size. Customers who regularly hire the same outfit appreciate the feel of an old friend.
When garments are returned they are checked and immediately go into our preparation area and the system is notified that they have arrived back. Coats, trousers and waistcoats go to our in-house dry-cleaning machine, shirts to the laundry and shoes to be polished. The computer system will return them to stock and flag any garments required for immediate picking for new orders.
Tracing items which can be in one of nine locations is important.
Warehouse → showroom → picking area → tailoring room → area for collection → function → return area → dry-cleaning room → reinstate tailoring → return to stock.
With 1,000’s of items it is important we know where they are and when and to whom they are being hired. A garment could be allocated (locked-out) to many customers during a season and it’s vital none should clash especially if a garment is out for several weeks on a cruise.
A typical garment recently went to Iceland one day, within two days it was on its way to Brazil for another wedding, it then did a tour on honeymoon to the Mediterranean and on its return appeared at a charity event in London.