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Independent online grocery supermarket Ocado asked JSD to create a smart, modern and professional look for its delivery teams. The uniform had to suit all weathers ­– heatwaves, rain or snow – as they drive the vans and make deliveries. It had to meet extensive tests for health and safety, visibility and be easy care. Importantly, it had to carry the distinctive Ocado ‘swirl’ logo and create a positive and memorable brand impression for customers. JSD first worked with Ocado in 2002 and in 2015 won back the contract to develop these bespoke, all weather, reflective uniforms for the hard-working Customer Service Managers (CSMs).

When customers order online groceries for home delivery, the only representative they meet is the delivery driver (CSM). So it is vital that this uniform lives up the Ocado brand and its reputation for excellence and makes a positive, lasting impression.

Susanne Malim, MD JSD

We worked with the client for 22 months to develop this bespoke multi-layered collection. Ocado knew that the previous uniform – much of it from low cost stock ranges – did not reflect its image and had negative customer feedback. JSD set out to give the company a bespoke uniform that lives up to its distinct brand and has fit-for-purpose design elements and fabrics. Throughout the design phase, we consulted with the Ocado marketing and operations teams and with the CSMs.

“We developed advanced performance fabrics to give Ocado its first ever range of high vis layered workwear,” explains our in-house designer, Christina Burke. “It was a first for JSD to incorporate such high visibility into each garment: the reflective elements across every item ensure drivers can be seen in the dark. We also colour matched tones to the client’s brand palette – soft apple green and Ocado grey. Every item carries the distinctive Ocado ‘swirl’ logo in a reflective print.”

The three-layer bonded fabric that JSD created for the soft shell jacket has a unique tweed-like effect that is breathable and waterproof. The cargo trousers are designed with multi-functional pockets to hold the equipment that Ocado’s delivery drivers need. Another vital layering item is the polo shirt in a wickable, high tech fabric.  Even the baseball caps glow in the dark.

Extensive health and safety, visibility and wash tests were conducted by JSD. That was followed by comprehensive wearer trials, with modifications made to uniform items where necessary, in response to the drivers’ feedback.

“The service we offer is completely bespoke for Ocado,” confirms JSD Sales and Marketing Director, Ann Dowdeswell. “The way in which the company trains and employs its staff is unique and we have reflected that in the bespoke online system JSD has developed to meet those exacting recruitment needs.”

We created an automated HR file feed so that new recruits can take their own measurements and order their workwear online. This helps Ocado to reduce returns and control its budget around the issuing of uniforms.

The stock is held in multiple locations – at Ocado distribution hubs and in JSD warehouses across the UK – and orders are turned around fast, Monday to Friday. JSD has also created a bespoke forecasting model for the client: this allows Ocado to analyse the stock being held in all centres and to order uniform items ‘Just In Time’.

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