Fifty-five year-old Australian family business and Bridgepoint Growth Company Award winner, TrendPac is on track for another impressive year in 2018, after strategically positioning its manufacturing operations to leverage the rapid rise of private label branded products in our major retail chains.
Having contemplated their ability to withstand the onslaught from international competitors at a time when our dollar was at parity and imports were cheap, TrendPac’s decision to stay the course and to invest in the infrastructure required to become a world-class manufacturer is now paying dividends.
As perceptions of private label (or store-brand) products have improved, and retail has consolidated around the globe, innovative and client-focused suppliers like TrendPac have been able to ride the revenue wave. According to consumer researcher Neilsen, the market growth shows no signs of abating soon – with almost two thirds (64 per cent) of Australia’s grocery retailing sector’s $10.6 billion growth to 2021 expected to come from private-label products.
TrendPac Managing Director Steven Hyde’s father started the business in 1963, spending their weekends mixing hair care products in 44 gallon drums on the dirt floor of their factory in Manly Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches. Now TrendPac operates out of the former Proctor & Gamble factory in Berkeley Vale on the NSW Central Coast, employing more than 200 people over a 24 hour, six day a week operation, and designing, manufacturing and packaging upwards of 180 products from dishwashing liquids to skincare lotions.
Far from resting on their laurels as a successful 2nd generation Australian family business, Trendpac MD Steven Hyde turned his eyes to the future, and his desire to simultaneously secure his family’s future and honour his father’s legacy.
“Dad and his partner made around £500 in sales in their first year, now we’re just under $70million in turnover today. We’ve been fortunate that our revenues have always seen steady growth over the years and we are proud of what we have achieved” said Steven.
However, industry is in a constant state of change and transformation now, both for Trendpac in advanced manufacturing, and their clients’ (major retailers and their suppliers) sectors.
“We have always made sure we’ve had our eyes on what’s happening around us. And we have always understood that we have had to react quickly to opportunities as they arise; particularly if investment in new processes and technology has been required to achieve better efficiencies and capacity improvements. There have also been times when substantial investment has been made not knowing with any certainty whether such opportunities will eventuate.”
BridgePoint Group Managing Director, Neil Parker said TrendPac’s situation was not unique amongst high growth family businesses.
“Not taking risks is the risk for companies in transforming sectors. They can be breaking new ground, developing innovative and relevant products for the clients of today, but not realise the market is moving away from them in a way that might threaten their longer-term prospects,” Neil said.
“In family-owned businesses in particular, there is a lot of ‘noise’ around the decision-making process. Stewardship of tradition can be a massive burden and the fear of failure can be paralysing. But standing still makes you a sitting duck.”
“I’d say to anyone that finds themselves in that position, to get some external stimulus. I’m not suggesting that you hand over the reins – though that might be what is needed in some cases. I am saying to find someone that challenges your thinking and raises the bar on performance. That can be a real turning point and the start of a new era of success.”
As well as seeking external advice during this growth milestone, the key to TrendPac’s success is a focus on quality, consistency and service – and being a one-stop-shop for their retail clients. They deliver exclusivity through in-house research and development done in collaboration with customers to develop products they need, as well as coming up with new products and packaging they haven’t even thought of yet.
The 2015-16 financial year was a continuation of the strong growth that had seen TrendPac’s revenue almost double in 5 years, defying an overall reduction in industry revenue over the same period.
This stunning outperformance of the market was due to clever strategic positioning as a private label manufacturer with a reputation for quality and performance, but also listening to clients and where TrendPac could add the most value to their business.
The result saw TrendPac take out the 2016 Bridgepoint Group Growth Award in the $50-$100m category.
“Awards like this provide great recognition for our staff… Knowing their efforts are recognised outside the factory doors helps with maintaining drive and momentum to take their company ahead of the rest,“ said Steven.