Case studies

“We have been very pleased with what Canon has offered us. Our ability to provide more services such as design, printing and marketing consulting for our clients has better secured our business relationships. It also has made us more indispensible and this helps us in our long-term growth.” Mr. Michael Foo, Director, Salon Specifics

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  • Customer Name
    • Salon Specifics Pte Ltd
      Distributor of professional hair care products to more than 700 hair salons in Singapore

“We have been very pleased with what Canon has offered us. Our ability to provide more services such as design, printing and marketing consulting for our clients has better secured our business relationships. It also has made us more indispensible and this helps us in our long-term growth.”
Mr. Michael Foo
Salon Specifics

Business Overview

Based in Singapore and established in 2002, Salon Specifics Pte Ltd is a fast growing distributor for professional hair care products from popular brands such as the Kin Cosmetics from Spain, Anthocyanin from Korea and Crema formulated in Italy. Equipped with a fully operational studio for training and research, the company prides itself in its commitment to customer service, product support and training, and quality products with distinctive and innovative packaging. Salon Specifics caters to a clientele of over 700 salons in Singapore. To further boost its market share, the company further enhances its services to clients, by opening another arm, Concept Consultants Pte Ltd, that caters to the consultation and printing requirements of customers.

The Challenge

Effective cost management with smarter solutions
Then: High marketing expenses and wastages

To promote its wide range of hair care products, Salon Specifics required marketing collaterals and catalogues for distribution to its client base of 700 hair salons. These also included training and educational materials on product usage, of which Salon Specifics engaged external printing firms to produce. As is the convention with offset printing, print quantities had to be fairly large. Over time, the company found that they frequently needed to update their catalogues with new pricing and newly-launched products. As a result, obsolete collaterals would have to be reprinted with the new information and in similar large quantities. This was costly and wastage was high. For collaterals that required smaller quantities, Salon Specifics had to rely on normal inkjet printing or photocopies. The print quality of the collaterals was compromised and did not present a befitting image of its products.

Keeping clients closer with the Canon Advantage
Then: Finding connections for a deeper business relationship

Salon Specifics understood that merely providing hair care products and support services were not sufficient to maintain a unique and sustainable business relationship with its clients. In order to strengthen this relationship, the company looked for ways to enhance its offerings.

As part of its research, Salon Specifics noted that their clients were facing similar needs and issues in the marketing department. With the proliferation of hair salons in Singapore, Salon Specifics' clients also had the need to produce publicity collaterals to promote their salons. They were facing the familiar challenges of high wastage and expensive print runs as well as the inflexibility of keeping their collaterals updated in a cost-effective manner. It was apparent that there was an opportunity for Salon Specifics to fulfill their clients' wider needs of mitigating costs and ensuring quality in marketing collaterals production. And this was when Concept Consultants Pte Ltd was born, to meet such needs from the customers

Strong returns on investment
Then: Reliance on only one main source of income

Salon Specifics felt that its main role of providing clients hair care products was not enough. As part of its business strategy evaluation in 2010, Salon Specifics worked in consultation with Canon to explore various means of strengthening the client-supplier relationship as well as additional revenue sourcing opportunities to increase its profit margins. "The design and printing value-added services offered by Salon Specifics for its existing 700 clients is just the tip of the iceberg. At Canon, we constantly seek creative avenues on how we can help our customers boost their bottom lines with the very solutions that they already own," said Mr. Mike Lim, Senior Group Account Manager, Canon Singapore.

The Solution

Effective cost management with smarter solutions
Now: Cutting costs with inhouse printing
At Canon's recommendation, Salon Specifics adopted a Print-On-Demand system with a suite of solutions. These included the imagePRESS C7000VP and imagePRESS 1135, with printing capabilities of speed, colour accuracy and vibrancy to provide professional-looking collaterals. With Canon's fleet of machines, Salon Specifics has been able to print product catalogues and other marketing collaterals at just the right quantities - saving cost and avoiding wastage. "What we like about Canon's solutions is that it has given us more flexibility in our marketing campaigns. We are no longer restricted by minimum printing quantities and high costs. We are free to customise our collaterals whenever the need arises. We can add logos easily, update prices, and insert our latest products and promotions into our marketing materials - all while maintaining our professional corporate image. "Best of all, we can print them absolutely on-demand, whenever we want to. Be it one catalogue, or a hundred, we are not restricted at all," said Mr. Michael Foo, Director, Salon Specifics.

Keeping clients closer with the Canon Advantage
Now: Value-added service for a more secure relationship
As a customer-centric company, Salon Specifics wants to give its clients a value-added solution for a better working partnership. It raised this up to Canon's consultant who looked into Salon Specifics' existing resources to come up with a winning solution. Through discussions, Canon and Salon Specifics worked together based on an objective that would benefit both its business and that of its clients'. The strategy: eliminate the hassle that their clients had to go through for their marketing efforts. The solution: provide a unique, but practical Print-On-Demand service to its existing base of clients. Salon Specifics would undertake its customers' design and printing requirements for their marketing needs. This positioned Salon Specifics as a one-stop solution for its clients' professional hair care business needs. The action plan: Tapping on Canon's advanced technology, Salon Specifics uses its existing Print-On-Demand advantage to cater to the needs of its clients. Clients can now engage Salon Specifics to Print-On-Demand the marketing collaterals that they need and be assured of quality prints at value rates. In addition, the machines' ability to print on a large variety of media, gives customers the option of printing their collateral in many forms. These include bound booklets, posters, stickers, flyers, saddle-stitched newsletters, and even on paper of various thickness or densities. Customers now no longer need to spend time and effort managing and sourcing for external vendors for designing and printing. Instead, they can leave them in Salon Specific's good hands.

Strong returns on investment
Now: Increased Profits with Business Diversification and Expansion
By providing value-added services such as design and printing, Salon Specifics has now expanded its role and relevance in the client-supplier relationship. From strictly professional hair care distributor, it has deepened its roots with its design and printing services, as well as playing a consultancy role to support its clients' marketing, promotions and cost savings goals. Salon Specifics, with its industry expertise, also provides valuable insights into the market to help strengthen the bond with its clients. The benefits do not stop there. By adopting Canon's solutions, Salon Specifics has also expanded its portfolio of clients. Mr. Michael Foo, Director of Salon Specifics said, "Canon gave us the opportunity of diversifying our business. With their machines and technology, we have expanded our services to cater to the printing needs of childcare centres as well. To date, we have successfully printed year books, name cards, exercise books, brochures, flyers, newsletters and annual reports for these centres which require them for their day-to-day operations." From beauty to childcare, Salon Specifics is today broadening their scope towards other sectors as well.

The Results

Today: Enhanced image, increased income and secure partnerships
Salon Specifics has seen multi-fold advantages with Canon's solutions. For a company that is in the beauty industry, aesthetics is an important element in its image. Canon's suite of solutions has given Salon Specifics that boost it needs in its industry. Canon's printing solutions have upgraded the company's image with professional-looking marketing materials, giving it an added boost of confidence in its products and reputation, as well as a bigger slice of the market share. It has also saved on unnecessary expenses with less wastage via the Print-on-Demand capabilities. "We have been very pleased with what Canon has offered us. Our ability to provide more services such as design, printing and marketing consulting for our clients has better secured our business relationships. It also has made us more indispensable and this helps us in our long-term growth," said Mr. Michael Foo, Director, Salon Specifics. Mr. Mike Lim, Senior Group Account Manager, Canon Singapore said, "Delighting our customers, and exceeding their expectations have always been our mantra. We are glad that our solutions have not only solved Salon Specifics' needs, but also gone a step further into helping them increase their profit margins by giving an avenue for business diversification."

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