Ray DeCarlo Joins The Spearhead Group Advisory Board

The Spearhead Group is proud to announce that Ray DeCarlo has accepted a seat on our Advisory Board.

As a Spearhead Advisory Board Member, Ray will continue to focus on leading our domestic packaging vision. Ray has over 35 years of experience in high-end value-added packaging sales, with extensive experience in paperboard and plastic folding carton sales, thermoforming and rigid boxes. Ray has leveraged his relationships and knowledge of converting capabilities and trends to guide his clients on how best to achieve their graphical and functional targets. He maintains an active involvement in various industry organizations including, CIBS (Cosmetic Industry Buyers and Suppliers) and The NJPEC (New Jersey Packaging Executives Club).

“Ray has proven himself to be an integral part of the development of The Spearhead Groups’ domestic packaging. Over the past year, we have seen how Ray’s experience is in complete alignment with Spearheads vision. As our business continues to grow, we are proud to have Ray in an impactful role as an Advisory Board Member.” –  Heather Fritzsche, CEO, The Spearhead Group, Inc.

About Spearhead’s Advisory Board

From the inception of The Spearhead Group, the two founders recognized the value of building a strong and highly experienced team. This is demonstrated in everything that they do and everyone they interact with, from the assembly of the Spearhead Pioneer Program to technical advisors, outside counsel, accounting firms, bankers and yes, an Advisory Board.

“One person alone cannot have the amount of skill and experience we need to take on our vision to create and expand the market for Physical Brand Enhancement. Spearhead was born out of an entrepreneurial spirit, and it is that spirit that needs a team of experienced and innovative experts to grow. We cannot be prouder of the team we have assembled for our Advisory Board.” – Robert Catalano ,President, The Spearhead Group

Ray DeCarlo will be joining the ranks of the following Advisory Board Members;

 

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.

Try Topping This – Over-caps Bring Limited Edition Mania to Brands

Whether you have a new or an existing brand, creating and keeping the excitement around your product is an ongoing challenge. Customers are more demanding than ever, wanting a unique experience with each purchase, and the competition always seems to be jumping one step ahead, creating an environment where brand marketers must remain on their toes to keep connected with the next trend opportunity.

Imagine your customer walks into the store and sees their favorite brand with a beautiful Limited Edition cap, highlighting their city or creating a more giftable holiday feel… chances are they are not only just buying one, but another for a friend or family.

We also look at the idea of functionality into the collectability as well. Some of the concepts developed by Bill Hutto Design (images shown) have built-in measuring cups for perfect drink mixes, flash drives hidden into the cap and even smartphone holders.

“Working closely with our Spearhead Pioneers, we are able to help brands capture unique moments in the customer’s realm, whether it be national, local, a brand anniversary or a holiday. In collaboration with our engineers, we can create a Limited Edition over-cap, that will draw attention to your brand and develop a collectors mentality around the primary package.” – Robert Catalano, President, 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.

New Product Launch: Spearhead Proudly Creates EVAP, the First Ever Personalized E-Commerce VAP For the Spirits Industry

What if all the hassle of developing, forecasting, co-packing and distributing of Spirits Value Added Packaging (VAP) were a thing of the past? What if you could track a VAP ROI and obtain unique consumer data, all while standing out as an industry leader and exceeding your consumer’s expectations? What if your loyal customers could receive a VAP with their name on it?

With EVAP, Spearhead has created an entirely new platform for how consumers get their seasonal spirit gift sets. By using an E-commerce model, the old VAP days of extremely long planning lead-times, complex co-packing, challenging forecasting, and lack of ROI data are replaced with speed, agility, higher returns, and better customer experience.

“According to recent Epsilon research, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.” – Adage. In the spirits industry, personalization has lagged behind due to the regulatory landscape of the industry, but EVAP solves this problem.

“In my over 25 year career in the spirits industry, I have seen almost no change in the delivery medium for VAPs. In fact, retail stores can hardly keep up with the increased demand for shelf space, making it hard for any one brand to stand out. To solve this problem and bring VAP into the 21st century, we are introducing EVAP™, created and developed exclusively by Spearhead.” – Robert Catalano, Co-founder & President, The Spearhead Group

Yes, change is good.

If you believe EVAP™ could be of interest to your spirits brand, then please contact us to learn more.

 

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.

For Unlimited Scalability, Spearhead Contracts With One of the Worlds Largest Design & Print Management Providers

In order to provide unlimited scalability, along with the most advanced graphics and pre-press services to our multinational customers, the Spearhead Group has officially aligned with one of the worlds largest design and print management providers.

“This decision gives Spearhead’s clients the most advanced equipment and technology to best manage artwork development, color management, pre-press, and continual color quality management for various PBE applications. By creating this relationshiop, Spearhead is able to scale without limits and provide the best graphics services to our customers while keeping unit and production costs low.  We think this will be a game changer!” Heather Fritzsche , CEO and Founder of Spearhead

Services will include retouching, image assembly, file creation, color separation and digital/film output and image carrier preparation, as well as ongoing quality control at printing and production locations globally. Spearhead’s clients will see a tremendous benefit as their projects each receive the most advanced and thorough artwork and review process, creating the best quality product.

 

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.

Chris Kegan Joins Spearhead’s Advisory Board

After almost a year as a Procurement Advisor for The Spearhead Group, we are very proud to announce that Chris Kegan has accepted a seat on our Advisory Board.

As a Spearhead Advisory Board Member, Chris will continue to focus on leading our Procurement methodologies and disciplines, both domestically and globally. One of Chris’s additional focuses in this new role will be to also review Spearhead’s expansion into more primary packaging, including such areas as glass bottles.

“Chris has been an incredible asset to The Spearhead Group from the first moment he agreed to join as a Procurement Advisor. Chris’s never-ending energy, collaborative approach, and entrepreneurial spirit make him a real joy to work with. Now, as Spearhead continues to grow, we could not think of a better candidate to sit on our Advisory Board to help guide us all into the future.” Heather Fritzsche, CEO /Co-Founder of The Spearhead Group, Inc.

Chris Kegan is a Global Strategic Procurement Executive with over 26 years of expertise in transforming organizations to bring greater value via strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, and risk management. With over 11 years in various procurement roles at Diageo and over 4 years at Beam Suntory, Chris has demonstrated strengths in driving innovative thinking in a collaborative, entrepreneurial type atmosphere. Chris is recognized as an adaptive change agent with a proven track record of transforming business performance with his results-oriented & inspirational leadership. Throughout his career, Chris has driven collaborative new product development by leveraging the supplier base, developing core processes and driving continuous improvement with his expertise in glass bottles and primary packaging.

About Spearhead’s Advisory Board

From the inception of The Spearhead Group, the two founders recognized the value of building a strong and highly experienced team. This is demonstrated in everything that they do and everyone they interact with, from the assembly of their Spearhead Pioneer Program to technical advisors, outside counsel, accounting firms, bankers and yes, an Advisory Board.

“One person alone cannot have the amount of skill and experience we need to take on our vision to create and expand the market for Physical Brand Enhancement™. Spearhead was born out of an entrepreneurial spirit, and it is that spirit that needs a team of experienced and innovative experts to grow. We cannot be prouder of the team we have assembled for our Advisory Board.” – Robert Catalano, President/Co-Founder of The Spearhead Group

Chris Kegan will be joining the ranks of the following Advisory Board Members;

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 Pioneer, Greener Planet/TPC, First in North America to Install the Scodix E106

Chattanooga, TN – Greener Planet/TPC installed the Scodix UltraPro just over a year ago as an experiment to test the market for 3D UV High Gloss and Variable Density printing for folding cartons in the prestige beauty and spirits industries. With the Scodix technology, polymer height for printed effects can achieve up to 250 microns, allowing for varying levels of height and gloss to achieve a stunning effect. Scodix effects can resemble foil, matte, silk screening and embossing in one digital print.

Immediately after the installation of the Ultra Pro, it expanded the range of special effects they could offer clients for smaller runs. In fact, the marketing piece Greener Planet/TPC created on the Ultra Pro — titled “Rise & Shine” — won a national Benny award, as well as a regional Printing Industry Association of the South (PIAS) Best of Show award.

“(The Rise and Shine marketing piece) really helped us kick off this technology, and communicate the new capabilities properly with our existing as well as target customers.” – Joseph A. Schmissrauter III , President, TPC Packaging

However, Schmissrauter noted that within a year they realized that client demand was well beyond what the UltraPro could keep up with, requiring an even larger and faster system. The original purchase agreement of the UltraPro allowed for an upgrade once a larger version was commercially available, and after a visit to the Scodix facilities in Tel Aviv this past summer, Greener Planet/TPC made the decision to authorize the switch to the bigger E106.

The Scodix E106 offers many benefits beyond just a larger format to the original UltraPro; it ultimately offers a first to market breakthrough of technology to the North America printing industry. Not only can the E106 easily create the special effects that can’t be easily created on traditional equipment, but it can also be done with incredible speed to market. The speed to market advantage comes from the fact that there are no dies or traditional set-up needed, so ultimately quick change over between jobs can be accomplished easily. This means high premiumization, regional and promotional market approaches (such as retail, sports team, state, and duty-free specific opportunities), lower price points and a lightning-fast market reaction time.

Once again, Greener Planet/TPC Packaging are proving why they are recognized as leaders in innovative packaging and key Spearhead Pioneers ” – Heather Fritzsche – CEO, The Spearhead Group, Inc.

The Scodix E106 is expected to reach the floor of Greener Planet/TPC by this November and be up and running early next year. In collaboration with Greener Planet/TPC, Spearhead will be inviting a select few clients to exclusive individual open houses to be some of the first to see the extent of the Scodix E106 capabilities.

 

About TPC Packaging/Greener Planet

TPC Printing & Packaging has taken a major step in becoming a more environmentally sustainable organization by partnering with Greener Planet, LLC. – a woman-owned business. TPC Packaging and Greener Planet are a highly experienced, independent producer of custom folding cartons and promotional packaging. They are a full service, front door to back door, customer-driven, service-oriented producer of folding cartons. From the start of a program when you first talk to their Account Representative through Order Entry, Design, Pre-Press, Printing, Post-Press operations, and Product Delivery, they are completely focused on meeting their customers’ needs.

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 Pioneer, Curtis Packaging Installs New Koenig & Bauer 106 UV Press

Curtis Packaging is one of the first Spearhead Pioneers and is a leader of packaging solutions through printing innovations and environmental stewardship. Curtis Packaging has recently installed a new Koenig & Bauer 106 UV Press that will aim to further increase performance, flexibility and economic efficiency.

Curtis has dedicated itself to continuously redefine best practices to ensure they are at the forefront of protecting the environment. They currently use 100% renewable energy with 25% generated from their on-site solar arrays. With this most recent investment in the most efficient press in its class, Curtis continues to lead the way for the packaging industry.

“It is difficult to say if Curtis is a sustainable company with a focus on innovation or an innovative company with a focus on sustainability. But either way, we really appreciate our long-term partnership with Curtis, and look forward to sharing more with our clients about how Curtis can help achieve their cost, quality, sustainability, and innovation goals.” – Heather Fritzsche, CEO, The Spearhead Group

The 15-station Koenig & Bauer press will join two existing Koenig & Bauer Rapida 130 large format presses. With multiple coaters, Curtis allows for maximum flexibility to run any size job at a competitive rate, from 500 to over Five Million sheets. The 106 can handle any material, from lightweight paper to heavy board, from plastic films to corrugated packaging. The same can be said of the finishing concept: Gloss or matte effects, all-over or spot finishes, single and multiple coating application radically increase possibilities for creative packaging design.

The new press is the only one in the world with these specific configurations, enabling Curtis to run 11 colors and 4 separate coating processes in one pass. It is equipped with inline Color Control capability and System Brunner Instrument Flight print quality measuring system. The press possesses unique, bleed-free metering in the ColorTronic ink duct guaranteeing maximum repeat accuracy while the VariDamp dampening unit maintains the necessary balance – enabling Curtis to rise to every printing challenge.

Additional features of the press include an Ergotronic console, which provides detailed reports on overall press performance down to the smallest component. All operating functions are structured for process-oriented access via the modern touchscreen monitor. The console also possesses tailored workflow components for integration into company-wide production control and management systems.

About Curtis

Curtis Packaging is a 170-year-old packaging company that has a storied history of being able to produce consistent, extremely high-quality folding carton packaging. Curtis is at the forefront of the industry in sustainability, and with a carbon-negative facility is able to tout a sterling reputation for environmental stewardship. Curtis is also a leader in packaging innovation, in the arenas of both structural design and graphic displays. Constantly developing new ways to present products and have them stand out amongst competitors, Curtis has become known for packaging proficiency in the Cosmetics, Spirits, Medical Products, Chocolates, and Golf Ball industries, and continues to look for opportunities to grow and expand.

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.

What is a Spearhead Pioneer?

From the conception of Spearhead, we not only aimed to create a whole new market sector focused on Physical Brand Enhancement, but we also focused on delivering it with a unique approach to our manufacturing partners.

Our approach is simple yet effective: focus on a select few market leaders, put a major emphasis on bringing innovation to the forefront, and ultimately drive full transparency to all in the process. The Spearhead Pioneer program is an exclusive group, consisting of only established, core field experts. We have discovered that when you try to develop products with too many sources, inevitably everyone in the equation will lose sight of the original innovation goals and it all reverts back to a pricing exercise. We believe this not only dilutes the quality of offerings but also restricts the desire for open sharing of innovation from talented manufacturing partners.

“Innovation comes from knowing your ideas are going to be respected, protected and given the best possible chances of coming to reality. This cannot be done with a massive supplier base approach, it has to be done selectively, with an exclusive few high quality partners, those driven to be true industry Pioneers.” – Robert Catalano, Co-Founder & President – Spearhead

At Spearhead, we drive innovation by allowing not only a safe space to share new to market ideas but also full transparency with our Pioneers and our clients of the entire process. We brainstorm together, we develop together and we win (or lose) together. Spearheading innovation is always a challenge; new and unique ideas are in themselves unproven, and it is our aim to drive the Spearhead Pioneer Program to create the right environment to allow for innovation to not only come to light but to ultimately have the best possible chances of yielding an impactful result.

 

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 Launches Kentucky Flagship End-to-End Physical Brand Enhancement Solution

Spearhead has reached an agreement with Acuity PLS to create the first complete End-to-End Physical Brand Enhancement (PBE) Kentucky Flagship. This latest collaboration with our women-owned Spearhead Pioneer, Acuity PLS, allows us the ability to offer clients a complete turnkey operation for Value Added Packaging (VAP) and Limited Time Offering (LTO) with direct and efficient on-site collaboration.

“We believe creating this End-to-End Kentucky Flagship is the right strategy to expand our turnkey capabilities to our clients. With our Spearhead Pioneer, Acuity PLS, we see so much opportunity to apply our packaging, labeling, necker, medallion, and all other innovative Physical Brand Enhancements directly onto our client’s products, creating the ability to have our creations fully assembled and distributed to the market. We believe this will be the first full turnkey offering of its kind in the Kentucky region, and we could not be prouder to have this expanded service with such a strong Spearhead Pioneer as Acuity.” – Heather Fritzsche, CEO, The Spearhead Group, Inc.

 

 

Acuity PLS has recently moved into a new state of the art location, so the timing of this announcement is perfect. Acuity provides a variety of manufacturing, packaging and logistics services such as thermoforming, secured warehousing, inventory management, co-packing, assembly, serialization, national and international distribution. With added security and controls at this new location, Acuity is also now licensed to handle and store bottled spirits. Acuity and Spearhead are currently reviewing the prospect of adding further automation to this site, including new equipment such as autocartoners and necker robotics, to name a few.

“Acuity Packaging and Logistics Solutions is excited to provide the base facility and production support that enables the launch of the new Spearhead Kentucky Flagship. We feel that Acuity’s thermoforming, assembly, co-packing, warehousing and distribution capabilities offer Spearhead, as well as many of our current and potential customers, this much-desired turnkey solution. Supporting the spirits industries VAP programs has always been a major part of Acuity’s core business. Now coupled with LTO support and plans to further automate our processes, we look forward to supporting the Spearhead Kentucky Flagship.” Kim Woolery, President, Acuity Packaging and Logistics Solutions.

As our End-to-End PBE Kentucky Flagship, Acuity’s facility will now act as a base local operations for Spearhead to allow them the capability to simplify LTO’s and VAP offerings for the spirits industry, by taking Kentucky made products out of a client’s normal supply chain and into a unique and adaptable location to assemble and deliver new-to-market PBE™ to any location.

 

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 Hires Finance Manager Hannah Blumenthal

The Spearhead Group is very pleased to announce that Hannah Blumenthal will join the growing team as Finance Manager.

“I couldn’t be happier to have such a dedicated, talented and highly ethical person on our team! She is the perfect addition and a major asset to our growing business.” – Robert Catalano, President, The Spearhead Group

Hannah comes to Spearhead with more than 10 years of experience serving in the finance industry. She brings a high level of knowledge, skill and personable approach to all that she works with.

“I am honored to join the Spearhead Group. I am happy to be working with Robert and Heather again and to be a part of this exciting new venture.” – Hannah Blumenthal, Finance 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.

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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