7 March 2005
Creative Casing(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2004)
Direct-Pack Industries Ltd
Consumer goods manufacturers are increasingly keen to find appealing packaging that will endow their products with the flair to attract customers in today's highly competitive marketplace.
Their enthusiasm bodes well for Direct-Pack Industries Ltd, which boasts a wide assortment of packets and containers - from cotton, Kraft paper and high- (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags to non-woven, paper and PVC bags.
The three-year-old packaging manufacturer's extensive product portfolio, quality and service have secured a loyal following, particularly in the middle- to high-end European market, according to marketing and merchandising manager Candy Cham.
"The company got off to a flying start by having a French partner in the group of directors and a sales office in Paris to directly take care of importers and end-users," she explains. "This enabled us to respond promptly to our customers and address the time-difference problem."
She says that Direct-Pack has two factories in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, one specialising in manufacturing paper bags and the other plastic bags. "This arrangement provides full control over the production of our two major product categories to ensure we attain our pledge of fast delivery service," Cham adds.
"We consistently maintain around 200 workers in our paper bag factory as all items need to be handmade, while our plastic bag factory keeps 150-200 workers depending on the flow of orders."
Since its establishment, Direct-Pack has built a strong European customer profile, including leading brand names in the cosmetic, perfume, wine and cheese industries.
"We offer quality designed bags made to customer specifications," Cham says. "We use their colours, choice of materials, handles and accessories to create appealing packaging that reflects the quality of their products."
Minimum orders depend on the materials and size of the order, while Direct-Pack prides itself on being able to meet most customers' individual requirements. "Most of our first-time orders include new bag designs and we have a team of designers on staff to handle these requirements," Cham adds.
Prices are equally dependent on a customer's personal needs. "Pricing will change depending on the material used, custom sizing, additional design, handles and quantities," Cham explains.
All bags enjoy "very fast" delivery regardless of the customer's location. "Delivery is made 3-4 weeks after order confirmation using a variety of delivery methods according to different geographical regions," Cham says.
Its stronghold in Continental trade accounts for about 90% of Direct-Pack's OEM and ODM business, but it is also pursuing a broader range of markets - including Japan, Australia, Eastern Europe and South America - to take advantage of rising demand for quality packaging.
"A lack of local production of packaging items, plus the mushrooming consumer markets in those regions, are creating new opportunities for us," Cham claims. "The Australians' strong interest in environmental issues is an added bonus as it helps boost sales of our products."
Direct-Pack also deals with established end-users in Hong Kong, including winning a coveted contract to supply paper bags for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Sourcing Guide last year.
Cham notes that growing concerns about environmental issues and more stringent legislation on the use of packaging materials worldwide, particularly in Europe, are influencing the choice of materials.
Direct-Pack moulds its packaging materials to meet higher environmental standards, so customers can relax in the knowledge that their packaging satisfies environmental criteria in their particular country.
"Apart from paper, which itself is recyclable, we also use more environmentally friendly materials and make our products more readily recyclable," she says. "Packaging also tends to be lighter in weight and made of less material in order to meet increasing recycling targets."
Popular Direct-Pack items include environmentally friendly Kraft paper bags; non-woven bags made of recycled PP plastic material, PP woven bags and HDPE bags that are firmer and stronger than many other materials.
"These can be re-used to reduce packaging waste," Cham adds. "Another trendy item is paper bags with spot UV lamination, which is a kind of value-added effect that has proven popular in recent years."
Thanks to its ability to offer such a profusion of innovative ideas and designs, Direct-Pack's packaging looks set to be as equally appealing as the contents.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES