ATF Magazine Feature - May 2011
When Australasian apparel brand owners and retailers began
sourcing from across Asia Pacific, they soon found a well known
'local' label solutions provider had already started developing
their own infrastructure across the region.
"We began establishing the foundations of our Asia/Pacific
network over 20 years ago" says David Marshall, CEO of Image Label
Systems. "We could see the inevitability of the changes to sourcing
patterns, and we responded accordingly". Marshall leads a business
with facilities in China, Hong Kong, India, Fiji, Australia and New
Zealand, and he outlines the key behind their growth:
"A vital aspect for us is ownership of our own operations. The
partnership model doesn't work because it compromises both control
and flexibility. When these are compromised, so too is the quality
of the solution delivery, specifically brand consistency, supply
reliability and cost optimisation."
"For example, we own all of our variable data print bureaus. We
don't use subcontractors simply because if we compromise control,
the integrity of our customers' data is placed at risk, and we
won't accept that."
Marshall says that by owning their own facilities, Image Label
Systems has the advantage of paramount flexibility, which allows
them to tailor solutions to individual customers needs.
"Our first contact with the customer is not about trying to sell
anything; it's about trying to understand their supply chain. That
enables us to prepare a considered proposal as to how we can add
value. It isn't often we can't streamline the supply chain process
and remove both costs and delays."
As the sourcing habits of Australian and New Zealand companies
evolve, Image Label Systems continues to lay the groundwork to
further expand its footprint throughout Asia and the Pacific.
"We are committed to being on the ground in the places where our
customers want to do business, and we realise this means the
ongoing expansion of our footprint as individual supply
"There are a number of locations throughout South East Asia
where we have done the groundwork to effect a start up."
"Our past expansion has already demonstrated that we have the
flexibility to grow our offering rapidly, and we look forward to
embracing further growth" he adds.
And while e-commerce has long been part of Image Label Systems'
supply chain offering, in the days of offshore sourcing Marshall
remains a firm believer in face to face contact.
"Ownership means having our own people on the ground in those
places, and to us that is more important than an e-commerce
"We deploy very good e-commerce tools; however managing
distributed supply chains successfully requires a personal
presence, more so when multiple languages, currencies and time
zones are taken into account. Put simply, we deliver because we're