Outstanding Uniform Terms of Reference Trial/Pilot Covering: Panther Discovery Female Fit (Sizes 2-7) and Vegan Trainer Footwear Panther Stormflex (formerly Vulcano) Boot Revised Stormproof Jacket
Branches may recall that over the past 18th months or so there have been two further trials and one pilot concerning new and replacement uniform footwear and a revised Stormproof Jacket, which started in advance of the wider trial on the new full uniform range.
Whilst it can now be finally reported that all of these separate and outstanding trials and pilot have been concluded, it needs to be noted that the initial Terms of Reference timescales have overrun by quite some time. This has been mainly due to delays on the part of the uniform manufacturers and their internal supply chain problems which are linked to the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With these outstanding trials and pilot now completed, Branches can be advised of the following developments against these three new uniform items. For ease of reference, the trials and pilot activities have been listed separately below:
National Terms of Reference – Uniform Trial Panther Discovery Female Fit (Sizes 2-7) and Vegan Trainer.
LTB 314/19, dated the 24th of May 2019 set out an agreed Terms of Reference covering a trial of the Panther Discovery Trainer which is made without any animal ingredients or by-products and sizes 2-7 are based on a female fit (and re-titled the Panther Emiliana Trainer).
As outlined above and due to initial supply chain issues, the actual trial was delayed by a number of months but finally commenced in September. The trial itself saw up to 1K of the trainers being issued (500 in sizes 2-7 and 500 sizes 8-13). The trial review and feedback confirmed a widespread positive response on the new footwear, in particular, as it is based on a female fit. Equally, feedback was very positive and supportive on the first Royal Mail vegan footwear option.
As such, it can now be confirmed that both the Panther Emiliana Trainer (female fit sizes 2-7) and Panther Discovery Trainer (size 8-13) will now be added to the Royal Mail non-safety footwear range.
National Terms of Reference – Uniform Pilot Footwear Panther Stormflex Boot (Formerly the Panther Vulcano Boot).
LTB 420/20, dated the 12th of August 2020 set out the pilot of the Panther Stormflex Boot (formerly titled the Vulcano Boot) designed to replace the Magnum Boot.
The Magnum Boot had been part of the footwear range for some 15 years and it was clear that it had fallen behind many other boot options available ‘in the wider marketplace’, in relation to its weight, flexibility and comfort. Equally, it was also noticeable that employee requests for the boot had been in decline over the past few years.
As such, a pilot was agreed on a possible replacement boot called the Panther Stormproof Boot which is based on the same sole and general design of the Panther safety Vieste Boot. Whilst the pilot was due to commence in September, again there were delays experienced on the part of the manufacturer’s supply chain.
In total some 1k of the boots were involved in the pilot and whilst feedback levels were slightly lower than hoped, it nonetheless confirmed a widespread positive response on the replacement boot.
As such, it can now be confirmed that the Panther Stormflex Boot will now be added to the Royal Mail non-safety footwear range as a direct replacement of the Magnum Boot.
National Terms of Reference – Uniform ‘Mini Proof of Concept Trial on a Revised Stormproof Jacket.
LTB 433/20, dated the 28th of August 2020 set out the Terms of Reference of a ‘Mini’ Proof of Concept Trial on a Revised Stormproof Jacket.
The Terms of Reference itself was designed to seek some initial feedback on the revised Stormproof Jacket design in advance of the wider new uniform trials. Whilst the ‘mini’ trial was small scale, it nonetheless helped to inform some minor design adjustments which were made in advance of the Jacket being subject to the wider new uniform trial.
Noting the slight design changes which resulted in the ‘mini’ proof of concept trial, the feedback received was extremely high and very positive. This constructive and positive feedback on the revised jacket was also reflected in the wider new uniform trials.
Due to this high level of positive feedback and the need for Royal Mail to place a re-order of Stormproof Jackets this year, the decision was taken following further discussions (with the Union) by Royal Mail to move forward the switchover of the revisited Stormproof Jacket before the actual timelines for the national rollout of the new uniform in 2022.
As such, the revisited Stormproof Jacket will now be available in line with the current and normal uniform order process but noting that there remains some limited stock of the current version.
The conclusion of these outstanding two trials and pilot will hopefully be welcomed by Branches as it seeks to further improve footwear provisions and options for members (noting the Panther Discovery Emiliana Trainer are based on a female fit sizes 2-7) and will see a revised and improved Stormproof Jacket which will be available in advance of the wider national rollout of the new uniform range.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 500, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
CWU Assistant Secretary