WHEN the professionals of Cairns gear up to go to work each day, there’s a good chance they’ll be wearing something from Totally Workwear.
The Scott Street business has been going strong for close to 22 years, having weathered the economic ups and downs of the city thanks to strong relationships, a quality product line and excellent customer service.
“There’s not a single year where we haven’t grown,” says Totally Workwear Cairns managing director Chris Kingsbury.
“We’ve kept our foot on the peddle post-GFC.”
The second longest-running franchise in the Totally Workwear group, the Cairns store was voted store of the year in 2015 at the group’s annual September conference, seeing 20 per cent growth in that year alone.
“It was a colossal sense of achievement,” Chris says.
“We’re by far the highest performing store in our group and our market acceptance has been very gratifying.”
Selling a wide range of workwear, corporate wear and safety gear by brands you know and trust, Chris says the store services an area spanning Cardwell, the Gulf and Cape York with a staff of 23.
“Like everybody in business, we pride ourselves on our service. We do boots to suits,” he says.
“Our job is to listen and perform. Everyone who works here is taught in one department and then moved around the business to gain
Adding value to the customer service chain are integrated computer ordering systems, and compliance with internationally recognised ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System and an ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System.
“That speaks volumes for our benchmarked standards and we’re rushing forward to embrace the digital age very quickly,” adds Chris.
“We’re like a clock with many moving parts. We can get the order into our system very quickly and then place the order.”
Maintaining close working relationships with the many local SME businesses in Cairns is important for Chris, who describes Totally Workwear as a “microcosm” of the greater city.
“There’s such a variety of businesses and trades we provide for. We may supply the uniform for everybody at your local service station, or equally the entire business attire for those employed at your law firm,” he says.
“Not surprisingly, we also kit out quite a few Fly In Fly Out workers, en route to industry jobs from Mackay to Broome.”
Indeed, the secret to Totally Workwear’s success in Cairns has been to totally immerse themselves within the fabric of both the Cairns & FNQ regional communities.
The business was one of the first platinum partners involved with the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and support several local sports groups in Cairns, ensuring they are highly visible.
Totally Workwear is also a truly family affair, with Chris’s wife June involved in office administration and custom orders while daughter Jenni is office manager and bookkeeper.
“We’re very proud of the fact it’s become a family business,” Chris says.
“After 22 years in this town, my role as a managing director is to make us well-known and well-received and to drive people towards our business with the expectation of good service.
“Totally Workwear is evolving and growing at a very healthy rate. The key to us going forward is to continually self-improve our processes and the quality of the people who work within the business.”
“We’re a good team and very proud of what we do.”