“Product assortments that are built for the unique roles of your trade”
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HVAC Technician uniforms- What’s trending?
Here we are with another exciting podcast episode for you that you definitely won’t want to miss This episode will be both entertaining and helpful as Chris Walker shares some great tips on how to select the comforting yet stylish uniform when at work and slay the day like a boss.
Join Tersh Blissett and his co-host as they sit with senior director of sales from Carhartt Company Gear- Chris Walker and discuss Carhartt, what they have to offer for the team, your team as an employee, and what are the transitions they made in the past couple of years and what they’re bringing to the table. Let his nuggets of wisdom goals guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever-growing business.
(As a business-focused IT leader, Chris Walker has extensive experience implementing technology innovations to enable business. He has held leadership positions in software development, IT infrastructure, and support services. He has a track record of developing IT strategies, establishing a vision, and winning buy-in. Presently, he is the senior director of sales for Carhartt Company Gear, a company focused on the workwear side.)
Are you an HVAC Service professional? If so, you probably have a good understanding of safety and health guidelines but are you curious about what plumbing technicians or plumbers should wear? Then you need to listen to this podcast.
Carhartt is not just about products, it’s a service model.
[00:05:00] “When you think about it, it’s less about product changes and more about the service model. At Carhartt, we do tailor our products to the specific needs of businesses in those markets”, says Chris Walker.
“Consequently, when we style the product around the industry, we look at the end-users, their jobs, and what they do daily. Our product team would talk to you about how much time they spend on job sites, observing and working with them as well as what they come into contact with, and what they do on the job site. We want to design the product to meet their demands, not only to facilitate their comfort, which is crucial, but also to make sure that it lasts longer”, he adds.
Having someone come in wearing dirty clothes is awful, isn’t it?
[00:13:00] “So Ideally, you should have two or three extra sets so you can wash them one day while wearing them. Some companies even go so far as to buy a couple of sets but then allow the employee to buy more on their own. So if they want more gear, they can go buy it”, says Chris Walker.
Is branding done by you, or do we need to send them to a seamstress?
“The great thing is that we have this website we launched two years ago. It’s designed to be an all-in-one DIY destination, where you can control your destiny.
Browse and shop DIY clothing, apparel, and gear at Carhartt.com– Workwear, clothing, and gear that work as hard as you do. You can upload your logo once you’ve registered, and then you can purchase your products which then arrive at your door,” Chris Walke.
Why Choose Carhartt Work Uniforms?
- No matter how big or small your crew is, finding the right uniform provider can be challenging. However, nothing beats the quality of works clothing fortified with renowned Carhartt toughness when it comes to superior uniforms. After all, it’s the uniform your people will want, and be grateful for.
- Carhartt Company Gear offers a range of services, from first-rate service to a wide range of sizes and styles available to both men and women. They have proved this over the years and have worked hard to ensure they deliver specialized uniforms that are unique to your industry and which are backed by our 132-year history.
- With Carhartt Company Gear, you can purchase tailored workwear designed specifically for your industry. For managed uniform and rental laundry programs, you can either purchase directly from Carhartt or partner with a Carhartt Certified distributor.
- With Carhartt’s branded work uniforms, you can make your mark and outwork the competition.
So, interested in Uniforms for Your Technicians?
So If you would like to learn more about Brand Your Gear-Carhartt’s uniform rental program, or to sign up, click here. Help your employees show even more pride in their work with a reliable uniform rental program!
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SHOW:
- Uniforms help professional service company employees such as HVAC technicians, electricians, plumbers, and others build credibility and confidence when interacting with customers.
- These technicians have a lot on their plates, what with crawling in confined spaces, climbing ladders, and keeping major mechanical systems running. They deserve a uniform that is comfortable to wear, moves with them, and instills pride in their work and the company they represent.
- During this episode, we’ll talk about how you can provide your staff with professional-looking work uniforms that are comfortable.
- How Carhartt may set up a uniform rental program for HVAC Business owners that gives them a variety of outfits that fit well and promote your brand at every client interaction.
Intrigue? Listen to this podcast and get equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation.
Chris Walker currently serves as Sr. Director of Sales for Carhartt Company Gear. In this role, he is responsible for Carhartt’s indirect B2B uniform sales. He joined Carhartt in 2016 as Director of IT Infrastructure Technology.
Walker is a military veteran, having previously served with the United States Marine Corps. He is active in the veteran community, with a primary focus on helping veterans find employment opportunities, as well as educating companies on the benefits of hiring those who have served.
So, what’re you waiting for? Tune into this episode right away and get one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
What is the best uniform for your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical technicians?
Tersh Blissett: Hello, everyone out there in podcast world. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. We are here at the Air Expo and 2022. Wow. In Las Vegas. And I have the pleasure of sitting here right across the table here from my co host Joshua Crouch. And we are sitting here with Chris Walker with Carhartt, and we’re going to talk about Carhartt, what they have to offer for the the team, your team as an employee and kind of what they’ve the transitions they made in the past couple of years and what they’re bringing to the table. So with that being said, welcome to the show, Chris.
Chris Walker: Thank you very much. I appreciate you having me.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, good deal. So tell us who you are a little bit about you background, that kind of stuff.
Chris Walker: Oh, [00:01:00] well, you don’t want to get too far in the background, but my name’s Chris Walker. I’m the senior director of sales for for car company gear, which is the division of of Carhartt as a whole. And we’re focused on the workwear side of the businesses. So folks that are B to B that want to outfit their employees. So we’re the we’re that focus group.
Tersh Blissett: Okay. All right. So how long have you been with Carhartt?
Chris Walker: Well, I’ve been with CAR now a little over six years. Yeah, I actually started with Carhartt in it. So I’m a transplant from i.t into sales.
Tersh Blissett: How do you like that?
Josh Crouch: That’s a different trajectory.
Chris Walker: I have never said that to anybody that didn’t didn’t say marketing to sales. Maybe I’ve heard but I t to sales. We make the joke that my boss was trying to figure out another way and placing the company for me to go. But honestly, it was it was just really good timing and what they were looking for in the in the role. And it was a it was a great jump. And I will tell you, it was it was a scary jump. Yeah, but it was fantastic. It’s been great. I mean, I joined a fantastic team of people, you know, great bunch of sales professionals, [00:02:00] sales leaders. So it’s been fantastic. It’s almost a bit of a feeling of I spent the first 25 years of my life looking for the job that I’m in now. So that’s been great.
Tersh Blissett: You know, there’s so many of us that have done that. I mean, even even podcasting, it’s like I started podcasting because I had a speech impediment and I was really nervous about talking in front of people and forcing yourself to get on a camera and on a on a microphone. It’s forced me to really work on my speech and everything like that. And so but now it’s I was terrified of speaking in front of people my entire life. Yeah. Like I remember in high school, I took public speaking as an elective. Like I had all my courses finished and they were like public speaking. It’s easy to do that. And I was like, okay. And I refused to get in front of like 18 other kids that were in that class. I said, I’ll take a zero.
Josh Crouch: Is it public speaking? The one thing that people fear more than death?
Chris Walker: Yes. Yes. Spiders, snakes, all that. Yeah. Public speaking.
Josh Crouch: Public speak is number one.
Chris Walker: It’s crazy. [00:03:00] It is. But I have the same story as you. I had to take it in college. It was a requirement. And I literally thought, you know, I told the teacher, I said, I’m okay failing this, but I’m on the five minute speech. Yeah, it was like.
Josh Crouch: A crazy five minute. 5 minutes is such a drop in the bucket of your life.
Chris Walker: Right.
Josh Crouch: But people, you freak.
Chris Walker: Out, get up there and get your name in 5 minutes and then you’re done. But it was just the craziest. I was the exact same way. And I’d actually I mean, I wouldn’t tell you. I go out there screaming to do public speaking. Right. My favorite is I like conversations. So whenever there’s a public speaking opportunity to do the conversation, but people do tease me and this is just a part of my background too, is the I did about 28 years in the military. And people will say, how in the world do you have that? And I say, Well, because in that scenario you didn’t care if they care if they were listening to you or if they were they were paying attention. It was yeah. Pretty pleased. So anyways, I digress.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, I mean, but the thing about it is, is it’s I wish that I [00:04:00] was doing podcasting a whole lot longer ago than I actually am now. But we’re doing good. I mean, we have great listeners, great subscribers and thankful for all of them. And that’s one thing about HR is like we’ve had so many people who are avid listeners of the show and they’re like, Hey, I listened. Yeah, you actually get to meet face to face, which has been amazing.
Chris Walker: I’ve noticed that a couple of people walking up to you and it was like, you know, a little bit of a rock star mode.
Tersh Blissett: Of, hey, right.
Josh Crouch: I’m just riding his coattails.
Chris Walker: Oh, my gosh, he’s the superstar.
Josh Crouch: No, not really.
Tersh Blissett: But so tell us tell us about CC, CCG and what like is that Carhartt or is that okay? Yeah.
Chris Walker: So and that’s one of the things we like people to make sure that they understand that it’s not a different product. It is it’s literally it’s it’s a service model. If you were to look at it, it’s less about the any changes to products, more about service model. Now I caveat that with we do focus our product around the specific needs of a company in those markets.
Tersh Blissett: What do you mean by that?
Chris Walker: So, you know, we’ve got we’re selling a. Product [00:05:00] through ATC as an example or any of our retail partners, that end consumer has a slightly different need. They’re buying from themselves. Usually they’re not necessarily buying for an entire company. So they and they quite often may not be in the industries that we’re actually selling into.
Josh Crouch: And they may just like the way it looks or.
Chris Walker: Exactly. Or they just have a affinity for Carhartt in general. So when we do actually style the product around it, we actually analyze that industry and the end users and what do they do every day. So we I mean, our product team would talk to you about how much time they spend really on job sites, observing, working with them, seeing their movements, their what do they come in contact with, all those types of things. And we want to build the product to support those needs, not only so they’re super comfortable, which is the real important thing. They look good doing it, but that they also it’s going to last, that they’re not going.
Tersh Blissett: To have to replace it. That’s the thing about Carhartt. [00:06:00] I still have a Carhartt jacket from high school now. I mean, we’re south Georgia. So you had to wear Georgia boots in a Carhartt jacket. I mean, that was kind of our uniform for high school. Yeah, but I still have mine. And granted, I don’t fit in it as well as I did back then. But a little snug. It’s a little snug. But now my my son, he’s. He’s in middle school about me. I’ll be in high school and I’m sure he’ll he’ll snag that thing right up. But that thing has lasted forever for me.
Chris Walker: It’s interesting you say that, because that’s part of it as well. So you’re from Georgia? I’m from Michigan. If we work for the same company, weren’t probably not going to wear the exact same clothing because you’re going to be in warm. I’m going to be in cold more often. So when we build that assortment, we create it. It’s around the how do we have for that type of a breadth of of and where how do we have something where you look like you’re still from the same company?
Tersh Blissett: That’s a good point.
Chris Walker: And had that same appearance. But you’re going to be wearing more breathable, lightweight. And I’m going to probably more often be wearing layering with with a little more heavy weight.
Josh Crouch: So, Chris, take take me back just because I’m not as [00:07:00] familiar with the CG model service yet. So anyone that’s listening to this that doesn’t maybe they like Carhartt, but maybe they don’t know. You guys offer Santa service.
Chris Walker: Fantastic question.
Josh Crouch: I appreciate it to what that looks like.
Chris Walker: So we actually officially launched about three years ago and the team had existed prior to that and what we called industrial. And it was it.
Tersh Blissett: Was I remember seeing magazines with that and I was like, Oh, I like that. But I mean, it said industrial and we were, you know, like construction at most. So I was like, Oh, this might be a little, little harder. Like it might be a little thicker material. Like, I just it was a confusion point for me at that time. And I was talking to our uniform guy and he was like, Oh yeah, you can order this. And he would order samples for me and everything like that. But definitely I had some confusion personally with the name.
Chris Walker: And F was a big part of that. So back in that time there was, you know, we were offering our normal, you know, our full mainline assortment. But then we had the FR and FR of course was much more because it’s regulated, it was more in those businesses, you know, and people were buying [00:08:00] it more, you know.
Tersh Blissett: That was far simpler.
Chris Walker: So I’m sorry. It’s it’s flame retardant. So it’s it actually is it’s burn resistant, melt resistant. And things that for companies like electric utility is a perfect example. They have to have that FR product. So you see more company buying versus just for individual buying.
Tersh Blissett: That’s a.
Chris Walker: Good point. So the team at that time was a bunch of subject matter experts, which they still are today that focused on understanding those those regulatory requirements and who needed what based on what their jobs were. Right. Well, then, because that was very business focused, it evolved into there’s other businesses besides just those that require fr they want to have that uniform look, feel, experience. And so about three years ago, we transitioned into having a formal separate division within the company that was focused strictly on the B2B space. And that’s where we started to expand outside of that predominantly of our need, which you still have it here. So you’ll have teams where there’s still somebody that’s going to be out and need to have that R rating or, [00:09:00] you know, protection. Right. So but we’ve expanded beyond that into those where they don’t have that requirement, but they still have the uniform ones.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, that’s that’s a great thing that you’ve you’ve mentioned there because with our uniform personally within our business, I have a challenge because like we have a very specific and we’re in South Georgia and keep that in mind. So like our guys, they need to wear shorts and like they’ll wear black polos or black button downs and then have t shirts underneath it. But then the one guy could be working in an attic and the other guy could be working inside of a zero degree freezer like a blast freezer. And so for me to have a consistent uniform between all of these guys is very challenging because sometimes I’ll have to order some samples and it’s like, Oh no, like, yeah, they’re orange, but they’re not similar enough orange to get by. So yeah, that’s really cool and it’s a great point. I mean, it’s a real challenge for sure.
Chris Walker: Well, and you want, you want to be able to hire somebody in three years. Put him in the same [00:10:00] uniform you put him in, which is part.
Josh Crouch: Of our keep changing it. So you got that like rainbow of uniform.
Tersh Blissett: Exactly. Or it looks like they faded. Like somebody sat in the sun all day and like, you should probably get a new uniform. It’s like, oh, no, this thing is brand new. It’s just in the back closet. I just found it. It’s was like, okay.
Chris Walker: Well, that’s part of our assortment as well. We’re on our main line. So our retail styles, they may be seasonal, they may come and go one year, two years, maybe they do last five plus. Our assortment is focused on that five year, that longevity. So we tried to minimize that transition so that you do have the ability to hire, you know, bring us on board for the, you know, this year’s staff. Then next year you got some turnover, you got some growth, and you want to be able to hire that one in two and have them look exactly like everybody else.
Tersh Blissett: Well, tell me tell me this is it just the field staff or is it office staff also?
Chris Walker: It’s office staff as well. Yeah. And we’re increasing that focus as well to try to bring it in and and allow people to, based on their needs, still look like they’re part of the team.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that’s a good point because that’s that’s another challenge in [00:11:00] like getting similar colors and tops and bottoms and all of that. So now do you have office staff bottoms that are like slack ish materials that are not super thin? I mean, super thick or is it?
Chris Walker: Yeah, we do Excel. So like a good example would be our rig B bottom, which is actually today’s the only day. I’m not where I would live in the rig because, you know, they’re so comfortable that got the, you know, the five pocket for me. The Five Pocket is my favorite phone, phone holster and everything. Little lighter weight, you know. But it is that very professional look. So, yeah.
Tersh Blissett: It’s it’s and that’s male and female.
Chris Walker: Well, we’re we’re we’re continuing to expand our women’s assortment. And that’s part of our focus with the assortment is to to be very complementary so that the entire team and women don’t feel like they’re getting you know, we just always jokingly call it the shrink it and pink it. You know, it’s truly a guys in a different color. But so it actually fits appropriately everything from our sweatshirts to and the the bottoms actually is an interesting [00:12:00] area for women’s. We actually have our the women’s leggings which, you know, leggings are.
Josh Crouch: Are like the thing I have a.
Chris Walker: Wife and two daughters.
Josh Crouch: There’s nothing but leggings. And man, are they expensive? Oh, yeah. Yes.
Chris Walker: So we have now the rugged version of that for really women. That’s cool. Again, for the exact same things. The fits, right? Yeah, the stretch is right and it’s durable to last. And what they’re.
Tersh Blissett: Doing nice, that’s really nice. So typically and I know this, this is varies with every single business but maybe you can kind of I don’t know is there do you track about how many uniform sets each company is buying per employee? I mean, are we doing like five uniforms or 12 uniforms or like.
Chris Walker: It’s it absolutely varies across the entire floor. So, you know, you’ll have some companies that will think even beyond the one per day of the workweek. Five is that kind of window. But people will go extend it into like a seven. They’ll buy them the entire, you know. Yeah. You know. [00:13:00]
Tersh Blissett: There’s nothing worse than having somebody come in with dirty clothes and they’re like, Yeah, I haven’t watched any clothes. I need a spare set so I can wash them one day while wearing them. Yeah.
Chris Walker: We’ll even have companies go the other extent where they’ll give you, they’ll, they’ll buy two or three but then they want to make it available for the employee to actually go out and buy more on their own so they’ll stipend, you know, or a lot for.
Josh Crouch: The first couple. And if they want more gear here, you can go buy more.
Tersh Blissett: So with with that, do you brand them or do we have to send them out to to a seamstress to have them branded?
Chris Walker: Well, the great thing I can tell you is we actually have this website we launched two years ago. It’s our D to be website and it’s built around being a more of a DIY one stop shop that you can actually control your own destiny. You can go out and you can bring it’s called on the website, it’s brand your gear and you can put together your head to tell. You can upload your logo once you’ve registered and then you can you can buy it yourself. Comes to your door.
Josh Crouch: Oh, that’s free done.
Chris Walker: So you don’t have to. Which is been interesting. This, this show we’ve had several conversations with the smaller companies. When I say small or, you know, [00:14:00] 50 or under, you know, employees.
Tersh Blissett: That’s.
Chris Walker: Still big. And people talk about and there are a lot of what’s been so rewarding here, because I grew up in the trades, my dad was a plumbing heating contractor and it was he never had more than like three or four folks, but it was always with that. It was we’re going to unions to get our car. They’re going to take it over to Bob’s embroidery and I’ll pick them all up. I got to figure how to do.
Tersh Blissett: That in the middle. Don’t forget about it too. Like, Oh, I forgot those things. Been sitting over there for three weeks.
Josh Crouch: Well, in the last holiday party we had, we had I think we, I think Mark got coats for all the guys. Yeah. I think he got Carhartt coats at Duluth trading and had somebody like put a patch. So the patch on you like it kind of piecemeal it together because I don’t think he knew that you guys had this service that could help thing on your website where you can actually brand it and have the logo and stuff like that on it. So that’s nice. You guys putting that all together sort of like a one stop shop instead of this multiple piece thing that.
Tersh Blissett: That’s so convenient.
Josh Crouch: Cause.
Tersh Blissett: Even if it costs more, just the convenience of it, like it’s honestly.
Chris Walker: Sometimes that’s a penny too because we’ll have a lot of promo is a free.
Tersh Blissett: Comradery [00:15:00] and things like that.
Chris Walker: I mean, it’s it really people love it. And that’s been the conversation here. People that share that inconvenience, they’re there. Wow. You know, it’s the same thing. They didn’t they weren’t aware. So that’s part of this mission to make sure we get that word out that not only we continue over the last three years to try to make sure people understand we are a uniform company as well. So it’s not just company X out there that’s able to outfit your 50, even thousands of people. If you’re aware of our United Airlines program that we did.
Tersh Blissett: Oh, I wasn’t.
Chris Walker: It’s a big one. You know, we can we can do, you know, the entire gambit. So just really quick on that. So we we actually outfitted the launch was gosh to your point earlier when you said, gosh, 2022, it’s been three years and we launched with UOL. So we outfit the entire below the wing. So it’s 28,000 workers below the wing at United Airlines. It all wear Carhartt. So it’s everything from their their fuel or fuel folks, their ground crew, the the folks that do the catering, you know, replace.
Tersh Blissett: All of that and you know it.
Chris Walker: So [00:16:00] yeah. Yeah, it’s a it’s a beautiful program. I mean, and that was one where we truly went to the end, where across the border we had a nice a decent runway, I should say. And there was a lot of of development based on not the not just management, but it was very much from the end user, the wing a wing walker. You know, a great example. We talked about the Five Pocket Rigby Oh yeah. They’re wearing a very similar, but the pocket is built specifically to those ones. So when they’re done, they slide them in there. So it’s that.
Tersh Blissett: Kind of yeah, yeah.
Chris Walker: So it was very much that collaboration with the end user. So yeah, so part of that messaging is to get out there and make sure people know we are a uniform provider as well. Yes. Were your favorite, you know, brand when you go in to one of our retail partners. But you know, we’re also one you can go to when you want a uniform, your folks consistently.
Tersh Blissett: So that’s cool. So I need about 27,998, 98 more employees and then we’ll get some custom pants made.
Chris Walker: When you put your logo on its costume.
Tersh Blissett: So [00:17:00] there you.
Josh Crouch: Go. That’s good. That’s true.
Tersh Blissett: I need some for the the Bluetooth.
Josh Crouch: His head in his has to be in this model. Oh, suit, the tie jacket and the vest and everything because.
Tersh Blissett: Give me a hard time.
Josh Crouch: Specialty. Right.
Chris Walker: Well, if you if you if you ever want to go out and look at it, it was, oh, and I’m going to forget the football player that we have. Shame on me that we actually. I. Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m blanking out, but. Yes, thank you. Von Miller.
Josh Crouch: I heard.
Chris Walker: Him. Yes, thank you. I got I got my smart guy in the back by Miller. We actually made him a Carhartt Duc Saito. So the Duc, you know, our our core duck, he actually you know, he was he was on an award show and he wore a tuxedo.
Josh Crouch: So we guys got some he’s got some interesting just I’ve seen some things where he showed up to and like the full cowboy outfit. Oh, he’s just he’s a he’s a character.
Chris Walker: Comes from a farm background. It was a really good story we did with his family at all.
Tersh Blissett: So yeah, that’s cool.
Chris Walker: Yeah. So it wasn’t just [00:18:00] because of promo. We we tend to when you see stars in our advertisements, it’s not just because it was somebody famous. We wanted to be.
Tersh Blissett: Right on their calls.
Josh Crouch: You just didn’t overpay.
Tersh Blissett: Them right on their coattails.
Chris Walker: Yeah, they like to be involved. Jason Mamo, another great story. He’s. He’s a big winner. So.
Tersh Blissett: Jason Momoa.
Josh Crouch: He’s a big.
Tersh Blissett: Big.
Chris Walker: Big Carhartt fan.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, that’s really cool. That’s really cool. So if people want to to sign up for this program or learn more about the program, where where do we send them.
Chris Walker: So they can get on to our our corps website and they can find links there to the Carhartt Company gear pages. And then once they’re on there, I mean, it just it’s made so, so easy, particularly if they want to brand it. You know, there’s actually a section called Brand Your Gear. Every style that’s already set up to be embroidered is on there and that just walks them through the registration.
Tersh Blissett: And okay, cool. And I’ll get those links together or me or Josh, actually, Josh will probably do it and we’ll add that to the show notes.
Chris Walker: Congratulations. [00:19:00]
Josh Crouch: Yeah, that’s why he brought it.
Tersh Blissett: You have a notepad? Oh, okay. Yeah. That invisible, that bolt there, that impenetrable vault.
Josh Crouch: Yeah, right.
Tersh Blissett: Cool, man. Well, I appreciate you taking some time out. Thank you. All the same and everything. This, this, your booth is awesome. Like, the decor is exactly like our house decor. And so it’s like, I can see Julie trying to figure out how to pack these these stools up and take them home with her. So, yeah, it’s a.
Chris Walker: Nice setup. Our team does a great job of setting it up. Great. Great presents.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, well, we appreciate it, truly. And if anybody has any questions at all, we’ll put the links in the show notes. And with that being said, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe day until we talk again. Next time on Service Business Mastery Podcast.
Chris Walker: We’ll see you.