Laurent Frydlender reveals the secrets of his success as head of Quadpack's French operations.
Quadpack: Please describe the French cosmetics market.
Laurent Frydlender: France, along with Italy and the US, is a fashion hotbed. The cosmetics industry here is very exciting and very trendy. It is always changing, always moving, with four seasons, limited editions and one-shot promotional items. Every day, we see new mascaras being launched on TV. Skin care, too, though these products take longer to develop. The lifespan of cosmetics products in general is getting shorter as cosmetics companies fight to get the consumers’ attention – something we see reflected in the demand for new packaging and less reliance on repeat orders.
Quadpack: What competition do you face?
Laurent Frydlender: With the majority of the world’s skin care brands based here in France, naturally there are a lot of local and European packaging manufacturers targeting the market. Most Asian suppliers have representatives here, too.
Quadpack: How do you differentiate yourself?
Laurent Frydlender: As we are not a manufacturer ourselves, we must be seen to be offering more than our competitors. We are careful to avoid acting as a trading company, instead modelling ourselves as a solutions provider. That means being flexible, staying attuned to our clients’ needs, keeping them at the cutting edge of cosmetics packaging trends and, above all else, providing a fantastic level of service.
Quadpack: So how to you manage to provide that level of service?
Laurent Frydlender: By providing the right trends, at the right price. We are fortunate in belonging to a global concern, so we know what’s happening in the world. This means we can bring real – and realistic – innovation to our clients. We have the knowledge and experience to know what works for our clients, and they know this, too. It is also worth mentioning that there is a trend of suppliers being bought by big groups. We find clients feeling the impact, as personal service, lead times, support and flexibility suffer as a consequence. Despite being an international group, Quadpack continues to offer the service clients want and we remain proudly, resolutely independent!
Quadpack: What is your background, in the industry and at Quadpack?
Laurent Frydlender: I have worked in the cosmetics industry for 25 years. I started as a purchaser, then as a vendor, working with raw materials: glass, carton, plastic. This has given me knowledge that continues to be useful to me today. Then, I worked for a variety of international companies, before joining Quadpack in September 2011. This was initially on a six-month contract to help take the French office to the next level, as it grew from a trading office to a key division of a multinational concern. But I fell in love with the company, the mix of people and cultures and the team spirit that prevails throughout the group, so I ended up staying.
Now, I consider myself an ambassador of the Quadpack Group, a representative of the company in the industry. And I am also a volunteer firefighter!
Quadpack: Have you fulfilled the brief of your initial contract?
Laurent Frydlender: Yes, absolutely. There is still work to do, but Quadpack France has never been stronger. We have some amazing talent here, with experience in different fields and market segments. We have moved from Lucé to Paris, placing us within 10 minutes of 95 per cent of our clients, and our designer showroom attracts many visitors. Our combined experience, reputation and location have equipped us to target AAA customers and we are confident of increasing our turnover three-fold in the next three years.
Quadpack: What plans do you have for the future of Quadpack France?
Laurent Frydlender: We aim to be more productive in glass development. We want to open up the glass market in France. Our partnership with Premi puts us in a perfect position to achieve this. We are also working with our colleagues to promote international service to multinational clients, leveraging Quadpack Group’s global infrastructure.