A uniform manager supervises the purchase, maintenance, distribution, and handling of uniforms for an employer like a sports team or hotel. While employees may be trusted with the handling and care of their uniforms in small companies and on minor teams, large firms and important sports teams need a uniform manager and supporting staff. This person is an important part of the team that manages the public image of the employer, keeping uniforms appropriate to the setting and in good condition so they are neat and attractive.
When new uniforms are necessary, the uniform manager orders them. This representative may meet with textile and clothing manufacturers to go over specifications, examine swatches, and customize uniforms to a specific application. This can include discussions about the best garments for working in high heat, or for athletics, where breathability and performance under strain are important concerns.
The uniform manager inspects new uniforms on arrival and distributes them to staff or puts them in storage for future distribution. This staff member also handles laundering, repair, and other maintenance tasks, which may be special in nature with uniforms that have fragile components. In the event an employee loses or damages a uniform beyond repair, the uniform manager needs to fit a new one. In some cases an organization may also give uniforms to charities for auction, in which case the uniform manager selects an appropriate piece and certifies its authenticity.
Uniform managers can perform spot inspections to make sure uniforms are being worn properly and appropriately. They check for issues like mixing and matching the wrong pieces, failing to keep a uniform in good condition during a shift, and being out of uniform in areas where this is not allowed. On film, television, and theater productions, a uniform manager can be part of the continuity team and held responsible for keeping characters looking consistent between scenes.
Software programs can make uniform management easier by tracking garments and creating detailed digital records. This allows a uniform manager to rotate garments appropriately and monitor uniforms through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Support staffs can include laundering and mending crews as well as assistants who can fit and check uniforms and perform related activities. No special credentials are required to work in this field, although it can help to have experience with textiles and wardrobe management, either through formal education at a college or university, or experience with other organizations that have uniform needs.