How ‘Easy’ Drives Flynn O’Hara
We spend a lot of time – the majority of our time, actually – talking about logistics. How do we make sure every school has what they need to outfit their students? Who needs to be where when? What do our suppliers need to do their job effectively and when do they need it? It’s a major undertaking, but we love to do it. Spending our days in the logistics mindset, we have a special empathy for other logistics experts. That’s right, we’re talking about heads of families! And school administrators! And kids! Think about it: how many hours does it take for a parent or guardian to get their kids on time to the right place with what they need? What is school administration but one giant logistics puzzle? We know it’s hard for everyone. Being in logistics, though, makes us excellent problem solvers. So over the years we’ve come up with a standing daily mission. From the minute we walk through the FlynnO’Hara headquarters doors, we ask ourselves, “How can I make things easier for families, administrators, and the students they serve?” It drives everything we do, and we thought we might talk about some of the things we do to make sure we make it as easy as possible for our stakeholders to get what they need from us when they need it.
Every year the panic is the same: how am I going to make sure that every student in my school has the right uniform on the first day of school? Some of our schools have more than a thousand students, each with different needs. When we talk to our administrators, the ask is the same: when you’re our uniform supplier, can I worry less about that part of my job? The answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ We tell our administrators the first day they work with us that school uniform logistics are on us. So, we’ll make sure the ordering process goes smoothly. We’ll make sure parents are informed of important dates and times. We’ll make sure the orders are right and that the first day of school is uniform-drama free. Administrators have many things to worry about throughout their day. We make sure school uniforms isn’t one of them.
Parents are understandably skeptical when we tell them that we’ll make their school uniform purchasing painless. Many of them went to a uniformed school or have been at a school with a different uniform supplier. They remember what a drag it was to go through the process of ordering and shipping before September comes. But a lot has changed. Our website makes it simple to see what you need and how to get it to you in time. We have locations throughout the United States so that 90% of the students we serve have a physical place to go to if they’d prefer. And, we guarantee our products: parents shouldn’t have to worry whether a uniform is going to last through the year. If it doesn’t due to defects or wear and tear, we replace it without question. In a life of constant motion and decision-making, our families could use a little serenity. So, we try to give it to them, even if it’s just about their child’s school uniform.
And we’re not done. We’re currently updating our stores to make them more user-friendly. We already have the lowest time-in-store metrics in the industry, but we think they can be even lower. So we’re working on that. On the digital side, we’re constantly improving our website so that it’s easier than ever to get your uniform to your door without ever having to step foot in the store. And, we’re listening. We talk to our administrators constantly about how we can make the process even better for them. We get in touch with parents on Twitter and Facebook to find out how we can be more helpful. It’s in our DNA – from the very beginning, Ed Flynn started the company to make sure the local-to-him schools were able to get high quality uniforms quickly and easily. So while we’re changing a lot, Ed’s vision for the company will never change.