Production Partners Limited

Engineering marketing for 21st Century needs

Marketing communications has evolved through many transformations over the last 30 years.  No one else knows this better than Lee Shaw, founder and owner of Production Partners Limited, a full service marketing production agency.

The company offers full print, packaging, point of sale and ‘below the line’ production services, specialising in paper engineering and epaper technologies. An innovative thinker, Lee is able to ‘engineer’ paper concepts for direct marketing, packaging and point of sale. “Last year, we won a Gold at the Pride in Print award for a Monteith’s rebrand pack and this win attracted a lot of new business.”

Arriving in New Zealand during 2003 and subsequently working for a large trans-Tasman print group, Lee identified a gap in the market.  “One manufacturer cannot supply all needs; there was a need for an independent production service, supported with sound process management, and industry supplier knowledge to complete the offer with competitive pricing.  A ‘how to make this project easier’ approach,” says Lee.

Lee established the company in 2008 and its growth has been untarnished by the ‘reputed economic climates’.  Advertising agencies account for 60 percent of business, frequently requesting project management, print consultancy, cost management and support services.  Direct clients, such as tourism, transport and manufacturers account for the rest of the business.

Most clients are based in Auckland or Wellington, and Lee relies on good supplier relationships and networks, using all modern cyber communications to coordinate, backing projects up with regular quality control and site visits.

“I always wanted to do my own thing.  After three years of long hours and sacrifice, I have developed a solid business and hope to now focus on a steady growth.”

Paper Engineering is the service that tends to be the door opener.  Complex folding, eye catching packaging, 3D pop-ups and interactive marketing material offer a good point of difference.  Lee publicises these products using videos of a size he can email to prospective clients, to demonstrate the company’s unique services.  They are also available on his website to view.

The company will shortly complete one of its largest campaigns for an agency client, marketing the new Toyota FJ cruiser, which Marc Ellis will be promoting.  “This has been a very intense, precise project and it will be satisfying to roll it out exactly as it was intended.”

Lee believes his company’s industry knowledge and ‘can do attitude’ gives clients the upper hand.  “We know the right suppliers for the job and we work with the suppliers to achieve the right price and product.  Most of our suppliers are New Zealand based, and we occasionally source specific products from Australia and Asia on request.”

A stickler for communication, in 2007 Lee fired the company’s first accountant for lack of support and turned to Markhams.  He enjoys regular contact with Sam Bassett and team members Sonia Pereira and Belinda Young.  “Relationships are paramount to good business” says Lee.  “Sam understands what makes my business tick.  He is an effective business sounding board and mentor.  I call him to bounce ideas around, ‘I’m thinking of doing this, what’s your opinion? How will it affect the company’s financial position?’  Sam’s advice is always spot on – whether via email, phone or my favourite – paper,” Lee concludes.

Published Autumn 2011.

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