On the road: Driving customer relationships

A firsthand account of a day in the life of a UniFirst Route Service Representative (RSR).

Over two million workers across North America wear a UniFirst uniform. But how is such a large number of uniforms delivered, managed, and cared for each day? It’s the hard work and dedication of our Route Service Representatives (RSR) that helps make it all possible.

Our RSRs are the face of UniFirst, maintaining our customers’ uniform and facility services programs so that their businesses run smoothly. They are but one of three service professionals that make up our Triple-Pro Service team assigned to each of our accounts. The average day of an RSR can vary, but what stays the same is their commitment to helping our customers in any way that they can.

Come with me as I hop aboard the delivery truck with UniFirst RSR Alex for a look inside a typical day.

5:00 AM: Arrive at the UniFirst Plant

Early AM, I arrive at one of our ISO-certified garment processing plants ready to step into the shoes of a UniFirst RSR. The air is brisk and the sky dark, as I walk into the plant to meet Alex. When I enter, I see him already hard at work, moving around in the back of his green UniFirst delivery truck. The Route Service Manager comes over to greet me and formally introduce me to Alex.

The truck has been loaded the night before by the production team with all the necessary uniforms and facility products that each of Alex’s customers need to run their businesses. Before we depart for the day, Alex explains to me what he was doing when I first entered the plant. “I double check my inventory to ensure I am prepared for a long day of deliveries. It’s important not to be short on shop towels in the middle of the day” he laughs.

5:30 AM: Depart the UniFirst Plant

And we’re off! Throughout the day, Alex and I will stop to service customer locations with uniforms, facility products, and offer any other assistance they may need with their account. Depending on the day Alex explains he covers over 50 miles within eight hours, visiting upwards of 40 different businesses. I was shocked to hear that; I knew that our drivers were busy, but I was unaware of how many accounts they service on each route. Before I know it, we are pulling in to our first stop!

Upon every scheduled delivery, our RSRs count every garment to make sure there are no uniform shortages. This is one of the many benefits that we deliver to our customers as part of our uniform rental services program.

6:00 AM: The First Stop of the Day

As we arrive Alex tells me, “I prioritize my stops strategically to make sure I deliver what each business needs when they need it.”

Alex’s first customer of the day is a small pizza and sub shop. “The owner is always there bright and early prepping dough for the day. We will be providing him with towels, and aprons,” Alex says as he retrieves the hygienically laundered towels in addition to freshly folded and shrink-wrapped aprons to bring inside. The shop owner looks up from his workstation in the kitchen and greets Alex with a smile. Alex heads into the back where he places the aprons and towels in their proper place and retrieves the dirty ones before checking in with the owner and providing him with his weekly invoice. Despite there being many stops still to come, Alex takes a moment to ensure the customer has everything he needs before heading back out on the route.

6:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Bulk of the Day

After leaving our first stop the day begins to pick up pace as the world around us awakes and businesses open for the day. Like all UniFirst’s RSRs, Alex services various types of accounts ranging from small local shops to large corporations from a variety of industries. Today, I would get to experience the businesses of our customers firsthand and truly see how we always deliver as a company. “Each account is different, even if it is the same company, but at another location.

 There are certain nuances for each business, and you need to adapt to how to best interact with the personnel and how to properly service each stop,” says Alex. The stops become more frequent as the day continues and we service more UniFirst customers. A landscaping company. An oil change facility. An automotive shop. A medical clinic. Stop after stop. Uniform after uniform. Mat after mat. The day begins to fly by.

The truck pulls up in front of a waste management company, the largest account on the route for the day. Alex springs into action to service this account that has over thirty-five uniform wearers, and a large facility service program consisting of logo mats, industrial cleaners, and paper goods. I can tell he has a plan to tackle this stop in a timely, but thorough manner. He carefully grabs the uniforms hooking them over his shoulder and hands me some as well. We enter the main office to greet the facility manager and provide his weekly invoice. Alex asks if there are any new wearers on the account or if any need to be removed, as well as checking in on how service has been. I then follow him to the locker room. Sorting the uniforms quickly, he knows exactly which one needs to go in each worker’s locker. Back to the truck for the mats. Five at a time he carries out the large clean mats into the reception area, swiftly rolling the dirty ones and replacing them with the fresh ones. Back to the truck for paper products. Alex returns to the facility stocking the restroom and office inventories with the essentials of paper towels, toilet papers, and soaps. We walk to the truck and check in on the last few stops.

UniFirst Route Service Representative places a clean Great Impressions® 2.0 Walk-Off Mats in a local business that has a UniFirst managed facility services program.

UniFirst mat services are offered as part of UniFirst managed facility services program.

12:45 PM: Last Stop!

Nearing the end of the day, I find myself proud of all the work we accomplished and excited to see through to the last stop; a local autobody shop. It’s a small uniform program of work shirts and shop towels. He visits with the owner delivering the same care and exceptional service level that each of our customers have come to expect regardless of the size of the uniform program. We then begin departing back to where the day all began.

1:15 PM: End of Day

After a full day of delivering uniforms, we return to the UniFirst Plant. Alex backs the truck into the loading bay to be unloaded and restocked for the next day. He checks in with his Route Service Manager and wraps up his paperwork, along with checking for service requests that might have come through during the day. That way he can address them in a timely manner before the end of his workday. I thank Alex for allowing me to experience UniFirst from his perspective and shook his hand before we parted ways. I head to my car to reflect on the day I spent out on the road delivering uniforms to customers and walking in the shoes of a UniFirst RSR. It was amazing to see firsthand how our Route Service Representatives live by our promise to Always Deliver through their complete focus on our customers. I have a newfound appreciation for their dedication and commitment to providing exceptional service to all of the businesses that we service day in and day out.

To experience the benefits of a UniFirst managed uniform and facility services rental program, contact us today.

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