Case Study 

Our case study is an illustration of the many issues that face organisations who manufacture in Asia but encounter quality issues around packaging quality, and how working with Imago Packaging and the process we adopt can help resolve the issues. 

Background

Hot Box are a market leader in Children's fashion and source their products across Asia although 90% of the goods are made in China.   

They have recognisable brands and ranges which follow the same graphics, colours and imagery. 

The UK Purchasing team have specialist agents in Asia who QC their product and due to the nature of the goods are stringent with testing and ensuring that the companies employed are socially responsible and environmentally aware. 

Hot Box were exhibiting at the Spring Fair NEC, where the distinct range and brands were on show, the stand was impressive and the investment made meant that the display and clothes themselves were stunning and of the highest quality.  There was one thing however which severely compromised the whole effort and that was the poor quality and variability of the packaging.   

Solution

Imago had a brief discussion with the key marketers and decided a meeting should be held to discuss the issue of the feasibility of improving the packaging.   Hot Box found that they identified with Imago as they had been in business for a similar length of years and shared the same ethos of striving for excellence and were passionate about CSR and environmental issues.

The key for Hot Box was that Imago’s staff were able to take back control of a previously uncontrolled element of their product, their packaging!

Each of the clothing manufacturers had their own packaging suppliers who were not audited to any standards and who didn’t have FSC accreditation despite the products carrying the FSC logo.  

The Results 

Imago Packaging analysed the issues that Hot Box were encountering, took the packaging specifications, standardised the materials (paper and plastic) checked and sent the artwork files (some of which Hot Box themselves had set to the wrong colour settings) to the Imago China team who produced colour proofs, which showed the printed results on uncoated and gloss papers, as well as Polypropylene.

Imago chose two of their existing printers in Shenzhen one for the paper packaging and the other for plastic.  The paper products supplier established the machine printed colour standards which Hot Box approved. Imago's China team then adjusted the files so a good match was achievable on the polypropylene, again Hot Box approved and quite frankly were amazed how close a match had been achieved!

Hot Box agreed with their clothing manufacturer to subtract Imago's costs from the unit price of the product making the uplift in quality cost neutral!

Once the project was finished and delivered to the manufacturer files and plates were wiped to ensure there were no counterfeiting possibilities in the future.

All the information regarding colour and materials now resides with Imago Packaging's production teams in both the UK and China.

Conclusion

Hot Box have now placed several ranges with Imago and intend to partner Imago Packaging exclusively for all their ranges and brands.

The problem of packaging variability and poor quality has disappeared and a two premium retailers have now ordered ranges, specifying that the whole project including the packaging needed to be FSC accredited and factories pass a CSR audit.