Work clothes are a tool that almost no firm is willing to pay for. And this is despite the fact that working (i.e. business) clothing plays a significant role in representing the company. Employees have to use their own financial resources, the employer has no means of reimbursing them, and a problem that arises annoys everyone – employees, firms, and us at Direct People too.
Seeking ways to make life easier is Direct People’s business. In this case it was our task to find a way to obtain clothes required by the dress code though the company. Of course with respect to the Czech tax system.
This means simple, comfortable, pleasant. Like every service we design. We joined the forces with the auditing firm Nexia, and together we developed a system that does not burden firms or employees with paperwork, ordering, trying out different sizes and so on. How does it work?
Employees of the company sign a document stating they will use the clothing to perform their job. Similar forms are already being signed for example if they use a company phone or laptop. They then go to the partner store, where they choose the clothes they like. They just try on the clothes, and if it fits, they can walk out of the store in the outfit they have chosen without having to pay for anything. What makes it different from an ordinary purchase is that employees have to identify themselves as users of the new Casually service. The store then sends the bill directly to the firm once a month in the form of an invoice.
One of our fundamental innovation methods is to determine whether there is a real need for a new product or service. That is why, at the beginning of 2016 we visited a number of potential firms and determined whether our solution could be attractive to them. After receiving a positive response to our project, we began to look for partners. Within a few months we had enough of them to launch the trial operation – Delor, Pietro Filipi, Blažek, T.M.Lewin. Nothing but top brands!
We decided to give it a try on our own, without an investor. In the fall we established the company and signed a contract with the first few firms. Now our Casually service has completed the first year of its trial operation with several dozen employees, and has proven its feasibility in “manual” mode. So we are working on growing our customer base. However, that is the next part of our innovation story.