Phew! If you are a teacher, you are probably feeling a sense of relief that the autumn term is a thing of the past. We hear a fair bit of talk of the “long run-up to Christmas” – the hardest/longest term you say. Teachers feel that is especially true in counties like Leicestershire where the autumn half-term holiday comes a week earlier so the run-up to the Christmas holiday is slightly longer.
But what if, instead of (or even as well as) being a teacher, you are the organiser for the leavers’ hoodies for the year group who will be departing in the summer. Where are you on your school calendar?
Have you bought leavers hoodies before?
If it is your second (or more) year of organising/buying hoodies you have probably started already to get things sorted. Taking it easy but getting the wheels in motion so that there is no pressure later in the academic year.
If you have bought hoodies for a previous leaver’s year group you probably have a supplier in mind. Either, one who did a great job last time, who you plan to put at the top of your list of prospective suppliers. Or, a hoodies supplier who let you down in some way last time that you will be avoiding like the plague this time around.
You might already have looked back at how well the process worked for you last time around. Below, we have a few ideas collected from schools we have worked with that might help improve your hoodie-buying process.
If it is your first time organising a leavers’ hoodie purchase?
Depending on who briefed you on the task you may or may not have started the buying process yet. (Read our stories about Max and Min buying hoodies in HOW AND WHEN TO BUY LEAVERS HOODIES). But unless the person who briefed you lied through their teeth you are likely to have at least started thinking about it.
As well as picking a good supplier (always worth considering The Leavers Hoodies Company) you need to consider the best process to actually collect orders, money and personalisation details from the kids/parents.
The organisation of the hoodie-ordering process
Do you want to be collecting/collating orders manually, using a spreadsheet, using an online form etc. Are you planning to collect money from each child/parent for the hoodies they order. Is there any help available to you to ease the process?
We spoke to a few of the people responsible for managing the leavers’ hoodie ordering process for some of our longest-standing client schools. We asked how they actually go about the organisation of the buying process. We share their responses with you here as ideas which may help you achieve the task with the least hassle and effort. The purchase of hoodies for a hundred or more leavers doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck (or any other anatomical area) but, without some forethought, it often proves to be one.
Letter home (yes paper!) with order form and cheques/cash
Very few of our clients report that this is still their method, although there are a just couple who persist.
This approach was common for a long time but ‘online’ in one form or another has largely replaced it now. Not so many parents can still find their chequebooks and some haven’t used much cash in recent times that this approach can prove to be a nightmare.
Here the organiser emails the parents of each child who will be leaving. The email details the hoodies being ordered providing size and colour options and asks for a reply detailing the child’s requirements. Payment is collected as a separate activity at some later date.
This is easy and generally works but creates something of an administrative headache. The first issue is chasing responses. The priorities of some of the parents/carers is rarely well aligned with the hoodie organiser’s – a polite way of saying that some people won’t respond until/unless they are chased a few times first. Then all the responses collected have to be collated into a single document (generally a spreadsheet) which will be shared with the selected company supplying the hoodies.
Collecting the money rarely comes easy either. Again, people are busy, have different priorities and need to be chased, and chivied-along to hand over the necessaries.
Email / In-house Online Form
Now we are moving into the modern era. An email is sent out to all the affected parents with a link to an online form created by the hoodies organiser.
Depending on the technological skills of the organiser the form could either
- automatically collate all of the entries into a spreadsheet or database, or
- simply store the answers which then need collating manually into a single document
There are numerous tools available which allow forms to be designed and filled. Based on the limited information we see, Google Forms seems to be the favourite. Or, at least, it is the one which more people know about and put to use for this purpose.
The management of payment for the ordered hoodies doesn’t appear to be automated by most people using a setup like this. Rarely, the payment is taken at the point of collection when the hoodies are delivered to the school. More frequently a further email is sent with the bank details for transfers to be made prior to delivery, while the hoodies are being printed/embroidered.
Email / Third party system/form tool
We hear of a few schools who use third party systems to ease their administrative burdens and the communication processes with parents etc including such things as the ordering of leavers hoodies or trip clothing.
These systems allow the product details to be input and then semi-automatically handle all of the communication and processes, including chasing, ordering, payment directly with the parents. Because the parents use these types of systems for much of the parent/school interaction the process generally flows very smoothly. Then, once everything is sorted, it is simple to export a file for sending to the manufacturer/decorator.
Email / Supplier online shop
The final process we come across is the one we play a larger part in. The hoodie organiser agrees with us, as the supplier, which garments, sizes and colours to offer and what decoration options are to be offered too.
Then we create a shop specific to the order. The organiser emails the link to the parents who then complete the purchase process and payment online. This removes the need for any entering or extracting of data – also cutting out any chance of organiser-created transcription or input errors. It also removes the need to handle any payments or chase for payments.
Leaving enough time for the ordering process
It doesn’t seem to matter which organisational system or process you choose to use to get your hoodie order together, the single biggest headache appears to be the need to chase parents to complete the order process.
It is, unfortunately, not unusual for the planned date for passing the details to the supplier to pass before some people get their act together and decide they want to order. With good planning, this is generally not a serious issue. Providing, of course, that the process was planned well in advance and enough time remains for the production process to be completed before the delivery date falls due.
AI Answer to: How to order leavers hoodies?
The following is an AI generated (Artificial Intelligence) answer to the question How to order leavers hoodies?
Using the ChatGPT interface we asked the question and this is what AI came up with. We think you will agree that there is very little wrong with it. Nothing in fact that we would choose to argue with beyond the use of some Americanisms such as zippers and the spelling of colour.
How to order leavers hoodies?
Ordering leavers hoodies typically involves several steps, which may vary depending on the company or website that you’re using to place your order. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Choose a company or website that specializes in custom hoodies and other apparel. There are many online printers that offer this service.
- Select the type of hoodie that you want to order. This might include the style, color, and size of the hoodie, as well as any additional features such as pockets or zippers.
- Create your design for the hoodie. Some websites will provide a design tool that allows you to create your own design, while others may require you to upload your own design file. If you don’t have any experience in graphic design, you can use pre-made templates, or you can hire a designer to create one for you.
- Provide the necessary information for the order, such as your contact and shipping details, and the quantity of hoodies that you want to order.
- Review your order and double check all details, then proceed with the payment.
- Wait for your order to be processed and shipped to you. It could take some time, depending on the company and the quantity of hoodies that you ordered.
- Once you receive your order, it is best to check that you received everything in the correct quantity and quality.
It’s also a good idea to look for reviews of different companies before placing an order to make sure that they have a good reputation for producing high-quality products and providing good customer service.