New branding, a new logo, a name change and a sizable investment of funds—and six new wholly-owned vertical manufacturing facilities spread over three campuses in China and Taiwan—are just part of the sharply focused vision CEO Barry Freda has set for WWP. Over the last four decades, the cosmetic industry supplier has made a number of innovative strides and out-of-the-box decisions that will fuel its next giant steps forward.
When World Wide began in 1980, as World Wide Sourcing, the company did most of its procurement out of Asia. In 1994, the name was changed to World Wide Packaging, perhaps ahead of its time in predicting the future turns of the global beauty business. Once located only in NJ, there are now multiple sales offices across the U.S. as well as on the other side of the world, making the company’s name more relevant than ever. And plans are in place to expand to other regions—and continents.
When Freda entered the business in 1999 as president/CFO, the ex-auto parts executive ventured to build a sales and marketing organization—a mobile platform with everything outsourced. He rose through the ranks and has now served as CEO for the last 11 years.
Similar to today’s pressing demands, Freda says 20 years ago the company concentrated on shipping samples, generating quotes, and processing orders in the same day, as well as keeping a consistent 7-to-8-week lead time. Because of their vast stock portfolio of 3,000 fully tooled and ready-for-production packages, all of their sales were stock items. As they grew, the addition of engineering and CAD systems allowed the opportunity to sell modified stock, and eventually, full custom designed and tooled packages as the main business. WWP has always kept a “very narrow” supply base and was also one of the first in the industry to manufacture in Taiwan, dating back to 1980.
On the Map—with Flexible Tubes
In 2005, component-based WWP added a second product line—flexible tubes—which “greatly expanded business opportunities with new brands and took our products international,” according to Freda, which continued to help them expand their global footprint.
In 2012, once again ahead of the industry curve, Freda says WWP “green-fielded” its first factory in China, opening the doors in 2013 to a completely vertical tube facility, which offered better control of quality, tooling, lead times and IP protection than outsourcing could accomplish.
Freda says the company’s expertise in rigid packaging led them to innovate and transform the tube business, one that went from simple flip-top and CT closure models to striking, prestige, injection-molded rigid caps being married to tubes. “We brought luxury to the tube market,” says Freda.
The ability to make different heads, along with technology for “over-the-shoulder decoration” made WWP stand out even further. Other industry innovations, according to Freda: a tube within a tube, for dispensing multiple products. Then came tubes with airless dispensing systems, such as its Paragon Pumps engineered for optimum product dispensing, followed by industry-leading fully wrapped decorative holographic foil, gloss and matte hot stamped deco over the foil and matte foil.
Most recently the company added to its capabilities with direct flexo imaging (DFI), which Freda explains, “allows you to perfectly replicate a decoration every time.” Any image, in perfect registration, regardless of complexity, color requirements or SKU proliferation, can be achieved and offers customers the additional benefit of shorter lead times.
Today, WWP boasts more than 3,000 employees worldwide; encompasses nearly 3-million square feet of wholly owned manufacturing facilities, including dedicated component and tube manufacturing facilities in China and Taiwan; and produces over 300 million units per year in the cosmetics/personal care/skincare sphere.
The company mission, say Freda, is to be a fully vertical partner, that provides the quickest turnaround time available, especially when it comes to Full Service. “We can provide the resources to seamlessly handle everything from concepts in formulation and packaging, to design, modeling and engineering, manufacturing, filling and global logistics.”
While WWP grew three prosperous businesses—Flexible Tubes, Rigid Components and a Full Turnkey Cosmetics Division—today and going forward, it’s the third, Full Turnkey, that interests Freda the most. It’s also the division that caught the attention of Bain Capital, which, early in 2018, came in as a financial partner and greatly infused WWP’s growth. With Bain’s support, the cosmetic industry supplier added an incredible five facilities in China in under a year—and propelled its successful verticalization model to new heights.
In the U.S., WWP’s 22,000-sq-ft. corporate headquarters in Florham Park, NJ, includes a vast sample room that holds more than 3,000 fully stocked and tooled SKUs, an expansive product showroom, and a modern design and engineering center equipped with the latest state-of-the-art polymer modeling equipment.
Freda says while the U.S. remains WWP’s largest concentration, “Our huge China business opened up a whole other market complementing our already established U.S. business.”
Plans for 2019 and Beyond
As WWP has evolved through the years from a sourcing company to a full-service vertical manufacturing company, the company has decided to rebrand with a name change, to simply WWP.
“We’re no longer strictly a packaging company,” says Freda, and the new logo “reflects our far broader product and service portfolio with a sleek, modern statement that preserves our long history in the industry.”
With the focus on full turnkey production, Freda says they are looking into additional full vertical manufacturing facilities for all three business segments in the U.S. and elsewhere, possibly Europe.
“Going forward,” says Freda, “It’s full turnkey, first,” with secondary packaging included—”making WWP a true one-stop shop for all brands, from Indie to legacy.” He adds, “From color cosmetics to tubes, we’ll continue to bring innovative packaging and creative ideas to the industry for many years to come.”
Video: View Our State of the Art Tube Manufacturing Facility