Diageo’s Supplier Diversity Program looks back on the International Women’s Month with a highlight on key wins with women owned businesses

This article was published by Diageo

Supplier Diversity Is Good Business! Diageo recognizes that diverse suppliers can often deliver greater agility, as well as access to fresh ideas, experiences and lower cost structures that can result in accelerated product and process innovations. This mindset is one that we actively encourage at Diageo both with our own employees and with the partners and suppliers with whom we work.

“As the sponsor of this critically important initiative, I see first-hand its impact on our bottom line, by increasing the diversity of our supplier base, we generate more choices in supplier sourcing, increased capacity, innovation, agility and deliver savings. This initiative, working hand-in-hand with our focus on diverse talent, is one of our priorities in delivering an efficient and effective supply chain, allowing us to create high-quality products, at the best cost for our consumers.”
-Erik Snyder
 President North America Supply and Procurement

 

Our Supplier Diversity Program turns four years old in June and we are proud of the progress we have made. International Women’s Month in March (2019) provided a great opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made with women-owned businesses.

Not only have we have doubled our spend with women-owned businesses since our program’s inception, but half of our diverse suppliers are owned and operated by women.

We are proud of this progress and would like to highlight two of our Woman Business Enterprises (WBEs): The Spearhead Group, headed by CEO Heather Fritzsche, and Enthuse Marketing Group, headed by Kim Lawton & Kristy Snyder.

The Spearhead Group, is a new supplier to Diageo North America, providing our world-famous Crown Royal Purple bags. We selected The Spearhead Group for their focus on superior quality, cost, and service, as well as great leadership and aligned values. Heather herself has earned numerous distinctions working with some of the world’s best-known brands to reimagine the visual identity for countless products across multiple market sectors. Their core values (listed below) also align with ours and provide a foundation for a great partnership.

  • Drive value and excellence in the marketplace
  • Provide leadership opportunities for women and work policies that support families
  • Buy from other diversely-owned companies
  • Do the right thing
  • Act with equal respect for clients, colleagues and suppliers
  • Always go the extra mile with entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking

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The Spearhead Group Adds Design Services Pioneer, Bill Hutto Design

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The Spearhead Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the latest Pioneer, Bill Hutto Design.

The team at Bill Hutto Design excels at creating original, targeted primary and secondary packaging, product design, and development. They work primarily with companies in the U.S. and beyond, specifically in the spirits, fashion, and personal care industries.

“It’s exciting to be working with such an amazing team at Spearhead! Their unique process and seasoned professionals allow us to create amazing packaging and product development that has a significant impact on the client’s position in the marketplace.” –Bill Hutto

In collaboration with Bill Hutto Design, we have already excited our audience with several custom designs including:

 

“I’m so happy to be working with Bill – the speed and quality of the design work is really making a big impact on our business already. As always, design work in the development of Physical Brand Enhancement is a complimentary service we provide our clients so that they can achieve their goals quickly, cost-effectively, and often times exceeding their own expectations.” – Heather Fritzsche, CEO and Co-Founder, The Spearhead group.

 

About Spearhead:

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Limited Edition Ceramic Spirit Bottles, Now Part of Spearhead’s Physical Brand Enhancement Offerings

When we looked at the spirit space through the lens of Physical Brand Enhancements, what we discovered there was not a real way to create one of a kind glass bottle shapes for Limited Time Offers (LTOs). The tooling costs, lead-times and the volumes for custom glass bottles are too restrictive for small volume LTOs.

Usually, the only options available to brands wanting LTOs were stock shape glass bottles and an attempt to create unique labeling to stand out in the market. In conjunction with Spearhead Luxury Packaging (China), LTD, that we now offer Limited Edition Ceramic Bottles, aimed specifically at the Spirits industry!

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“When compared to glass bottles, customized ceramic bottles can be done for smaller quantities with little to no upfront development costs and can be out in the market much more rapidly than custom glass bottles. I am so very proud to support the greater Spearhead team with this unique offering along with Customized Luxury Boxes”

Tony Lau, Managing Director, Spearhead Luxury Packaging (China), Ltd.

 

Spearhead works closely with ceramic bottle engineers that understand the dynamics of different spirit proofs, and designers like Bill Hutto Design to capture the essence of the brand within what can be done with the unique nature of ceramics.

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Once a brand embarks on exploring Limited Edition Ceramic Bottles with Spearhead, the first thing they will notice is how closely we listen to your brand cues, like shapes, colors, and overall feel. The liquid inside is hidden, so we understand the ceramic now becomes 100% the visual messenger of the products flavor, color, and aroma – these things normally conveyed suggestively through clear glass.

The overall goal is to meet customer expectations through other means, and when done properly, customers are all too happy to not only purchase the product but will also display the bottle as a work of art.

 

“Partnering a unique, customized ceramic bottle offering, with the other unique Physical Brand Enhancement offerings, just seemed like the right thing to do. We haven’t seen anyone in the market offering an opportunity to combine everything from design, expert engineering, R&D, and with all the componentry of customized stoppers, luxury boxes, neckers, booklets, all the way to localized co-packing… and yes, we can even put it in a customized textile bag for you!”

Heather Fritzsche, Co-Founder & CEO of The Spearhead Group, Inc.

 

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Living Sustainably at a Conference

Did you know that plastic packaging accounts for over 40 percent of the total amount of plastic waste? It’s estimated that in 2015, around 55% of global plastic waste was discarded, 25% was incinerated, and 20% was recycled.

I’m from WBEC-East, and in Philadelphia, it is reported that up to HALF of what we put into our recycling bins is actually being incinerated for various reasons, including contamination, insufficient capacity, and the financial cost of recycling.

What this means to us, here at the conference, is that if you are using plastic packaging, and even if you think you’re doing the right thing by throwing plastic recycling into a recycling bin, chances are that it won’t even be recycled.

I could talk about this at length, but I want to focus on our everyday choices that can help limit the plastic we are producing here at the National Conference & Business Fair. It can be hard to focus on sustainability when we’re away from home and experiencing all of the opportunities that this conference has to offer — there’s barely time to sit down, and so many back-to-back events that we want to experience. However, with just a small amount of effort, you can help reduce your footprint on the environment by focusing on just a few small tweaks to what might be your current routine.

SO HERE ARE SOME CONCRETE STEPS:

  • WBENC’s Hydration and Coffee Cart have generously included both reusable coffee cups and reusable water bottles in your tote bags – so use them!  Baristas everywhere are generally fine with you handing them your cup when you order.  When you’re done, it’s easy to wash your cup out in the restroom or rinse in a water fountain. I did this all through Summit & Salute and it was never an issue. (Did you know that paper coffee cups are lined with plastic so they aren’t recyclable?  Even though your brain sees the cup and sees “paper”, it’s still also plastic.)

  • Skip the bag: Most of us are carrying big conference bags anyway, so if you purchase something from a food vendor or hotel/conference center store, there is no need to take a disposable bag. I generally find that every store immediately moves to put purchases in a bag, so you will have to speak up, but a confident “I don’t need a bag, thanks” works just fine.

  • Bring your own toiletries: We’re here for almost a week, and if you flew here only with a carry-on, you’re a better packer than me!  But if you can check a bag and bring your own full-size products from home, you will eliminate all the waste of the little mini products in your hotel room.  And if you drove here, there’s no reason to not bring the products from your own bathroom at home.

  • Make sure you clean up after yourself. I know the WBENC National Conference isn’t quite as crazy as the Floatopia party in Virginia Beach last weekend, where over 10 TONS of garbage was left of the beach. Plastic entering the water – like Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor – ends up as microplastic, which is infinitely harder to capture. So make sure you take your trash or dispose of it properly.

These are all small things, but if everyone did them, we would be able to make a difference!

And one final plea to the WBEs and Corporate Members and Sponsors – in your business, can you focus on sustainability? Can you consider alternate sources of packaging materials that could reduce the use of single-use plastic, or use more sustainable paper?  Can you reduce the amount of material you use for your product’s packaging? Do you have resources that can help support the US recycling industry to make it more effective? What can your business do to make an impact?

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Ben Abernathy Joins Spearhead as their Global Packaging R&D Advisor

We are very proud to welcome Ben Abernathy to the Spearhead Group as our Global Packaging R&D Advisor. Based out of the Kentucky Flagship Innovation Center, Ben is strategically positioned to help expand our strategic Physical Brand Enhancement offerings within the bourbon belt and around the world.

Ben has over 17 years of experience in spirits, food, and household consumer packaging innovation and commercialization, working with such companies as Kraft, Cadbury, Clorox and most recently Beam Suntory. Ben has a vast amount of experience in not only package engineering and development, but he also has a natural ability to lead, inspire, and influence a broader team towards achieving overall organizational strategies.

“Having worked with Ben for many years, I knew that he would be a perfect fit for Spearhead as the Global Packaging R&D Advisor role. Ben is an extremely talented individual, able to approach all the technical aspects of a project with an eye on practical real-world application of designs in production, client co-pack/assembly and the final consumer usage. In addition to his technical background, Ben is an all around great person to work with; his straight forward, honest and ethical approach to everything that he does, fits nicely into Spearhead’s core values. We are very proud to call Ben part of our team.” – Robert Catalano, Co-Founder & President, The Spearhead Group, Inc.

With the addition of Ben to the team, Spearhead’s clients will see an increased technical presence on their projects, and our Spearhead Pioneers will also have an additional engineering resource dedicated to product development and production controls.

“I am both excited and honored to join the Spearhead Group. Their innovative and progressive approach to packaging and Physical Brand Enhancement truly inspire me. I look forward to further strengthening Spearhead’s commitment to producing quality products that make a lasting impact on consumers.”- Ben Abernathy, Global Packaging R&D Advisor

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Michael Murphy Joins The Spearhead Group in Singapore

The Spearhead Group is excited to welcome Michael Murphy, as Innovation Advisor to the APAC region. Based in Singapore, Michael will work to expand Spearhead’s offerings of Physical Brand Enhancement throughout Asia and will strengthen the offerings from our Kentucky Flagship.

“After working with Mike in his previous roles at Diageo, we have kept close as both our careers evolved over the years. During that time, I have come to know Mike as an extremely skilled professional, with an eye for detail and a passion for innovation and product development. Mike being based in Singapore is extremely advantageous for our continued global growth. We are proud to have him join our team.” – Robert Catalano, President, The Spearhead Group

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Michael has over 25 years of experience across multiple industries in such areas as product development, brand change and renovation, innovation commercialization, supply chain optimization, team leadership, and key relationship building. Throughout his career, Michael has held numerous critical roles in fortune 500 companies such as Avon, Tiffany & Co and Diageo.

“I am so very humbled to join The Spearhead Group to help increase brand presence through Physical Brand Enhancement here in APAC. I have always focused on consistently adding value through sustainable product innovation, adding clarity to ambiguity and delivering luxury quality. These attributes are engrained in our DNA and I cannot wait to work with the global group of such talented professionals.” – Michael Murphy , APAC Innovation Advisor, The Spearhead Group

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

The Spearhead Group Welcomes Innovation Advisor, Lana Toler

We are excited to introduce Lana Toler as Innovation Advisor to The Spearhead Group. Lana will be based in Louisville, KY, at our Kentucky Flagship location within the office of our Spearhead Pioneer, Acuity Packaging & Logistics. She will be the primary Innovation lead for Spearhead’s Bourbon Belt expansion.

“Having known and worked with Lana for a number of years, Heather and I knew she would be a perfect addition to help lead our Innovation offerings in Louisville, KY. Lana is down to earth, creative, smart, and incredibly knowledgeable on operations and project management. We are lucky to have her onboard and we are looking forward to growing together in the Bourbon Belt and beyond.” – Robert Catalano, President, The Spearhead Group

Lana is a creative and collaborative innovation manager who transforms ideas into consumer-driven experiences on a global scale. Lana has decades of experience, including more than 16 years at Beam Suntory, in various areas of R&D, successfully collaborating with National Accounts, Sales, Technical, Manufacturing, Marketing, and Insight teams. She has been running her own business since the beginning of 2018 consulting with various spirits related businesses and has built teams, developed workspaces, and standardized ways or working.

“I’m incredibly inspired by the creation of The Spearhead Group and the mission to reach consumers using the sensory cues of Physical Brand Enhancement. The company is not only woman-owned, but has a keen sense regarding sustainability as well as team building that make this group stand out. I am humbled by the opportunity to work with such a great team!” – Lana Toler , Innovation Advisor, The Spearhead Group.

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Spearhead Adds On-site Quality Advisor to International Quality Team

The Spearhead Group is pleased to announce an additional resource to expand quality offerings to our client partners. Spearhead is unique in the industry as a result of studying not just manufacturing, but assembly and copack of the PBE products we provide to Fortune 500 Spirits and CPG companies. With the addition of Abdulrahman Alrifai to our team in Canada, working inside our clients’ bottling and copacking locations, we will create a data-driven set of quality metrics, and achieve faster and better performance of our products for our clients.

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Abdulrahman Alrifai has over 30 years of industry experience in food manufacturing, consulting, auditing, and guiding worldwide food professionals through safety systems implementation, using different international standards like HACCP, FSMA, ISO 22000, BRC, OHSAS, ISO 9001, and 14001. Abdul is currently a member of the American Society for Quality, ENACTUS, Windsor-ESSEX Food Council and Standard Council of Canada committee. In addition, Abdul is a Certified Lead Assessor for the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and maintains a CITP designation.

Abdul’s on-site skill set and experience, combined with our Advisory Board Member Tom Harney‘s expertise in Quality and Regulatory Compliance, creates an unmatched service extension to our clients.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Abdul and Tom to implement feedback from the sites where we deliver our goods all the way back to the origination of raw materials, which will create value by improving quality and efficiencies on the production lines here in North America” Vianney Becerril , Product Development Manager, The Spearhead Group.

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Launching Spearhead Luxury Packaging (China) Co., Ltd.

Spearhead is once again cornering the space of Physical Brand Enhancements. From sustainable paper packaging with our strategic material supplier, BillerudKorsnäs, to our recent announcement about Spearhead China and Cambodia for reusable textile packaging, we are now proud to introduce our newest addition to the Spearhead family. Spearhead Luxury Packaging is now incorporated in China to supply innovative luxury packaging, with a specific focus on the North American spirits and beauty industries.

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Spearhead Luxury Packaging will focus on creating luxury boxes out of all types of materials, from hand-finished wood to uniquely wrapped paper, textile and leather materials, and including high-end ribbons, magnetic closures, and medallions. Spearhead’s luxury boxes will exceed our client’s expectations by approaching this category like a fine craftsman, taking care of each element from the base materials selection all the way to each piece of hardware. Everything will have the care and attention our clients have come to know from Spearhead.

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With this addition, Spearhead can now design and develop luxury boxes to fit any discerning brand and consumer taste.

“The key in this space is quality, and by that, we mean 100% quality. We think of Luxury Box Packaging like a high-end piece of furniture. This space is all about giving brands prestige on the shelf, and ultimately giving a customer a repeated experience of prestige and luxury when opening and displaying at home.” – Robert Catalano , President & Co-Founder, The Spearhead Group

Spearhead Luxury Packaging will function similarly to the groundbreaking Spearhead Pioneer Program. Only 2 – 3 of the very best manufacturing locations with the best quality or unique innovation have received invitations and accepted to join the program, with additional partners only being accepted on the basis of an application to the program. The partners we have accepted in Asia are proven and reliable, with demonstrated quality systems, ISO9001, SA8000, G7, and Sedex audit/certifications.

Brand innovation is happening at breakneck speed, and to stand out to consumers, you have to be innovative in every aspect of your branding. Spearhead Luxury Packaging has been created to help brand owners create the differentiation that is needed to stand out in such a crowded space.

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring ROI on PBE activities.

Welcome to The Spearhead Group Blog

The Spearhead Group provides Physical Brand Enhancements to clients in the spirits, beauty and personal care industries. Headquartered in Yardley, PA midway between New York City and Philadelphia, The Spearhead Group offers companies a modern, full-service, consultative approach from concept to reality.

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