Behind-the-Scenes of Lab Coats and Scrubs: An Interview with Stan Langer, Vice President of Central Uniforms, Inc.

image1Did you know Central Uniforms is a family-owned business? You may have if you’ve been with us over the years since having our store in downtown Philly, but now that our business is online and we reach customers who are much further than Jenkintown, we thought it would be fun to put some faces to names and let you look behind-the-scenes with Central Uniforms.

So to kick it all off, we’re starting with the man who started it all, Stan Langer, Vice President of Central Uniforms, Inc.:

What’s the backstory behind Central Uniforms? How did you get started?

Central Uniforms used to be owned by a family friend and I worked as a sales representative.

I honestly never had any intention of one day owning a lab coats and scrubs company like Central Uniforms, but 33 years ago the business started to decline and eventually I was presented with the opportunity to buy the business.

I thought, “Why not?” and decided to give it a go, and over the years we built up a thriving store in Philly.

Since you all are a family-owned business and everyone has their own set of responsibilities, what are the positions you fill at Central Uniforms?

My experience as a sales representative with Central Uniforms prior to becoming the owner gave me the knack for knowing what our customers wanted and what they looked for when it comes to lab coats, scrubs, career wear and medical apparel, so my main focus is developing all of our inventory and taking care of the purchasing while my wife takes care of managing and building relationships with all of our suppliers.

How do you think being a family-owned business affects your business practices?

I believe being a family-owned and operated business really allows us to do everything the way we know it should be done unlike a place with corporate oversight that keeps communication and new idea implementation relatively slow moving.

When we see a need, we can meet it quickly and efficiently, and when our suppliers and customers are working with us, they’re talking to the people who are customizing their order and helping them make their purchase.

For example, my wife and daughter are the ones who service our corporate clients such as hospitals and universities, and we love that we’re the ones listening to their needs, building the relationship, and then we’re also the ones filling their lab coats and scrubs orders, not a manufacturing facility that we don’t have any part of. Keeping it all in-house truly allows us to serve our customers.

Also, being family-owned means we’re able to make the decisions that we know will be best for our customer’s needs. For example, having our brick-and-mortar location in downtown Philly worked for many years, but as technology has developed, taking our storefront online is what we needed to do to best serve our customers.

What is the number one thing you think sets Central Uniforms apart from other career wear and medical apparel companies?

Similar to the benefits of being a family-owned business, we’re able to directly fill the needs of our customers.

Many years ago we sold a lab coat that many people liked, but it still didn’t have all the features we knew our customers wanted in a lab coat. I got in touch with the manufacturer and was able to create a custom and original Central Uniforms lab coat that was created specifically with our customers in mind. To take a customer’s wants and needs and apply them straight to your product doesn’t always work with other large companies where messages need to passed through the corporate infrastructure to have a change made.

We’re also big on customizations, which isn’t something you can get with some other career wear companies. We can customize pretty much any aspect of your lab coats and scrubs whether it be the sizing, the branding of your workplace, you name it.

What’s your favorite thing that you get to do with your job?

Over the years I’ve developed a knack for merchandising and I have a good grasp of what our customers need and like.

You can’t carry every piece of career wear and medical apparel that’s being manufactured, so I enjoy creating a curated collection of the lab coats and scrubs I know our customers will love shopping from.