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.
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
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