This month’s case study is about Beech’s, a family owned British chocolatier who has been making quality traditional British chocolate since 1920. They currently produce for their own brand, and for a small number of selected “own label” brands for quality retailers. The company is headed up by Andrew Whiting with the support of his son Peter.
Swedbrand has been collaborating with Beech’s since the mid 2016 to help them fulfil their vision of having their products on the shelf of additional large retailers. From our first meeting in Preston, we identified that the make-up of our production partners and logistics team would allow us to facilitate in a key area of their many ventures.
Openness and honesty from the outset enabled both parties to identify the challenges of the first project, and were also a key influencer in their decision to begin the collaboration.
The biggest challenges we faced at the beginning of the collaboration can be summarised as follows:
- Lead times were too short for production to stay in Asia;
- The price point needed to stay the same or reduce without a loss in quality.
In order to help Beech’s reach their deadline, we tasked our sourcing team with evaluating our European supplier network to identify a suitable local supplier. We proceeded with white and production sampling to ensure the quality matched that which is already available in Asia.
Final samples were delivered at the same time as full production was started so that marketing photography could be started. We communicated progress at every stage of production to deliver the products within the agreed timeframe and to the correct standard.
This project was a success, both our partner and the end user were extremely happy with the result. So much that repeat orders are now being placed.
Currently, we are developing a number of their existing packaging items to offer similar solutions: cost savings, reduced lead time and quality improvements.
As both our brands grow stronger, we hope to keep investing in a mutually beneficial relationship.