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Intraco Trading: “The market is very fast-moving”

Intraco has stood for innovative, electronic advertising messengers for more than 25 years. In two and a half decades the company has developed into a global player – always proving to have a nose for the next trend in an industry that is characterised by increasingly shorter development cycles.

The Kooduu – a wireless speaker, synergy LED lamp and cooler all-in-one.

The smart home loudspeakers of GGMM are new to the product range.

“Each and every one of us is surrounded by technology today, in the digital era nobody can get by without it. The market is very fast-moving: The first iPhone was introduced only ten years ago, today 4.7 billion people use mobile devices and we are talking about big data, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality or deep learning. As a company, we have always strived to keep pace with functional products that are on the pulse of time,” explained Oscar van der Spruit, founder and Director of Intraco. When van der Spruit founded his company in 1991, the Internet and smartphones were still visions of the future. However, the company was founded on the assumption that digital accessories would soon be of fundamental importance for the market. An assumption that was reflected by the very first product: the Untangler, a small gadget that prevents corded phones from getting entangled, which became a top-seller. Around ten year later Intraco was one of the first firms to sell USB sticks on the promotional products market, many further innovations followed. Today, several technical leaps further on, the collection includes for example lifestyle items such as champagne coolers with an integrated light and sound or Bluetooth and smart home speakers of high-end design, smart wearables and wireless chargers as well as highly-functional power banks, charging cables or earphones.

Oscar van der Spruit, founder and Director of Intraco.

Around 75 employees work for Intraco worldwide, 25 of whom are based at the head office in Wormerveer, near Amsterdam. Picturesque and yet at the same time cosmopolitan, located directly on the waterfront, the headquarters coordinates the worldwide network comprising of eleven subsidiaries or sales partners, among others in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the USA and China. Intraco has been part of the Scandinavian New Wave Group since 2005, so it can fall back on a strong parent company, together with the corresponding financial power, but also strict compliance requirements. “These include regular audits in the factories, BSCI membership as well as strict quality controls,” explained van der Spruit. The subsidiary Intraco Hong Kong Ltd. that was founded in 2003 coordinates the imports including on-site storage, a purchasing and sales department in Shenzhen is in direct contact with the producers. The customisation of the products can to a large extent be carried out fast and reliably in the Far East, particularly in the case of large volumes. General Manager, Mark van Heesch, summarised: “We have our own SA 8000 auditor in China as well as two employees, who are allowed to send power banks by airplane in accordance with the guidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the transport of dangerous goods. Since we have all of the materials that are needed for our products stocked at our producers we can deliver within two weeks from the Far East.”

Individual and innovative

Philips is one of the brands which Intraco exclusively sells on the promotional market.

However, the key advantage of the China office is without doubt the opportunities it offers Intraco with regards to designing and expanding its product range. The company has been developing its own designs of a variety of electronic products for many years, which are sold on the market under the d-vice originals brand. “Our product managers and graphic designers in the Netherlands work hand in hand with the product designers in the Far East,” the Marketing Manager, Christel Slagt, explained. “Every season the team develops new ideas – the process sometimes involves heated discussions.” The outcome is unique products on a market that is characterised by tough competition and in many cases interchangeability.

Partnerships with well-known brand manufacturers round off the programme: For example, Intraco exclusively sells selected items of Philips, Xoopar and Zens on the promotional products market. The smart home loudspeakers of GGMM and Zens – the Dutch brand stands for wireless charging solutions – are new to the product range Products that make ideal premiums and customer loyalty tools. Under the brand to-Reward, the company develops tailor-made loyalty programmes for a large number of customers. “We already design all of our products and marketing tools in a way so that they can be optimally individualised. Here we fall back on new technologies,“ reported Christel Slagt. “New in our collection are products such as the Light-Shape – an LED lamp, that is activated by tapping it and which can be freely designed in terms of its shape and colour – and or our unique product, the Kooduu – a wireless speaker, synergy LED lamp and cooler all-in-one.” Van der Spruit is convinced: “The market’s demand for personalised and print-on-demand solutions will be much higher in the future than it is today.“ And developments in the technical area won’t stand still either: “The 5G standard is almost ready to hit the market, which will enable amazing speeds in mobile communications,” stated van der Spruit. “And as a standard feature, the iPhone 8 that was presented in mid-September is compatible with the Qi charging standard for wireless charging. One thing is for sure: It is going to stay fast-paced and exciting. We look forward to keep on presenting the promotional products trade with the latest technical innovations.”

// Till Barth

www.intraco.nl

photos: Intraco

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2017-11-06T17:14:28+00:00 October 27th, 2017|