Woman using smart watch at work

Across industries, technology is being used to increase efficiency and improve results. From how warehouses manage their stock to the channels that retailers use to attract customers, modern developments are opening up new opportunities for businesses to save money and improve their profitability.

The vast range of developing technologies means that all areas of industry can be revolutionised for long-term success. One such area that will soon experience a cultural shift is workwear. Long-standing norms could be transformed by emerging technologies, creating a range of cost-saving initiatives for businesses.

A history of workwear

At a glance, workwear has not changed much since its ancient beginnings. However, that is primarily because it has always played a crucial role in production and industry. Since the ages of Romans and Egyptians, uniforms have been used to distinguish peoples’ jobs in society. In the modern world, businesses use a similar system to separate employees at different levels. This grouping can also create a sense of unity amongst staff, the classic argument of white and blue-collar workers.

Beyond the importance of appearance, workwear’s primary role is often the protection of the user. In this regard, the core of workwear has not drastically changed for generations. Hi-vis jackets and hard hats are still the uniforms of construction workers, and whilst the materials have become more advanced, the design and role of the garments have not changed.

The development of wearable technologies

As previously mentioned, the primary reason workwear has not changed is because it plays an essential role in business. However, this status quo means many companies are slow to recognise the potential advantages that modern workwear could provide.

One of the most significant transformations in the history of workwear will be the imminent proliferation of wearable technologies. Such items have been around for many years, primarily as an addition to the consumer fashion and technology markets. Products such as smart glasses have mostly been unsuccessful with consumers, but things like the Apple Watch have found a broad customer base.

In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook reported that their sales from wearable technologies had grown by 30% in the previous quarter, making it a large and profitable industry in its own right. Apple’s success shows that there is substantial demand out there for wearable technologies that can make our daily lives more productive. As the majority of our daily lives involve business and production, logic dictates that this should perforate deeper into the business world.

The potential of wearable technology for business

There is a vast range of technologies that are being cited as potential industry leaders in the future. Recent developments in blockchain technology have seen many reference it as a potential cornerstone of future supply chain management. The internet of things also has the potential to transform daily business management, and wearables could be a key part of their wider integration.

Examples of future wearable technology are often seen in the construction industry. One of the most expected is a wearable protective jacket equipped to provide details about the status of the wearer. In a large construction site, this could alert and provide details to medical departments if someone experiences a fall. Another popular development is augmented reality and its potential to be integrated into hard hats. Builders could see schematics laid in real-time and to scale over the building area, allowing for unparalleled precision and accuracy. With much of this technology already available in small devices such as smartphones, it may not be long before it becomes commonplace as a convenient wearable.

The future of business workwear

However, wearable technologies for industry are yet to take off in the same vein, despite the huge strides being made. One of the main reasons for this lack of wider use is the expense that is often associated with these technologies. However, given the increasing likelihood that they will become commonplace in the future, businesses should be paying attention. Wearable technology has the potential to drastically improve the workplace, creating cost-saving opportunities that could last long into the future.

Here at Expense Reduction Analysts, we are experts at helping businesses reduce their costs through effective supply chain management. Our cost reduction consultants have experience working in a range of industries and remain on top of the latest developments, ensuring long-term savings for our clients in a variety of cost areas. If you are interested in how your supply chain could be made more efficient through the use of technology, why not get in contact with our team today?