Let’s sit down and talk ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS AT DFROST

Hi Jochen. You are DFROST’s production expert. Can you explain to us how exactly your production process works? Is it in any way different to the way other agencies work?

I think there are only few agencies with more than 25 years’ of production experience. I don’t mean collaboration with producers: I mean our own, cumulative production experience. What sets us apart from others is not our theoretical understanding of materials and processing technologies. It is the concrete knowledge of what can be done in practice, considering the POS requirements and the client’s wishes.

Many top brands have come to trust in that knowledge: Hugo Boss, Porsche Design, Daimler, Breitling, Omega, Swarovski, Babor and Tommy Hilfiger are just a few. Our expertise allows us rapidly to find constructive, solution-oriented approaches for upcoming projects on the client side as well as on the producer side. And we can present them during the initial production and client kick-off meetings using 3D data, visualisations and design drawings. We frequently bring samples, references and CAD data to the very first meetings. That reduces the producer’s preparation time considerably and, in turn, improves the production speed.

The processes we use with our production partners have developed over the years, and we optimise them continually. Our partnerships are among equals: we understand each other innately in every single step, from the initial sampling to the prototype construction and the final, serial production. Our production managers regularly visit the production site, where they touch base with the project managers, actively control the individual production steps and do quality assurance. This creates a high level of closeness and security, which our clients really appreciate. We like to take them to the production site, too, so they can see how their product comes into being and stay abreast of what is happening.

 

What are your greatest challenges and obstacles? And how do you overcome them?

The world is changing faster every day. There is less time for everything, but standards are higher than ever. Every day, we face the challenge of producing the same high quality while cutting costs and maintaining all functions and visual aspects. Having an innovative, creative team and equally capable partners who actively explore new trends, such as alternative and environmentally friendly production technologies and sustainable materials, is priceless.

In this day and age, it is important to provide clients with multiple options. We allow them to exercise their own creativity and choose the best solution independently. And that brings us back to expertise and what is possible: those factors are the basis that allow us to create and offer such varied options for our clients.

Who are DFROST’s partners? What do they do?

We often choose our producers based on the material mix or design of their products. We work with many producers and specialists in metal, wood, plastic and print all over Europe, whose services we can combine and manage whenever needed. Full-service providers are an important part of our network. They offer all segments and are used to using the relevant material mix, so they can guarantee us short routes and fast reactions.

When we need larger product volumes and a single material only, using a specialist provider with a dedicated machine fleet is clearly the better choice. But full-service providers are incredibly valuable for complex installations and set-ups. Besides the classic production facilities, our partners also include theatre artists and scenery construction experts. They can cater to the most unusual requests and add a suitably unique touch to special projects.

 

What has been the largest project or the largest product volume you have dealt with?

I can’t exactly narrow that down to a single project. In general, it’s our Christmas campaigns. Christmas is the most important time for our clients; it generates the highest turnover of the whole year. Clients who have hundreds of displays worldwide generate increased volume at Christmas, which often leads to an enormous variety of products. This demands the full attention of all our team members. The period between the initial request and the final delivery takes around nine to ten months, so you can imagine the amount of time and energy we invest in a single campaign.

 

What has been your favourite production project? What has made you most proud?

That’s an easy one. It was our very own ‘baby’: the development of a window box for an exclusive watchmaker. The window box is a type of display case the size of a wardrobe. It is a perfect showcase for presenting watches in a display window. We gave it a programmable LED back wall, which lets our client backlight and animate their motifs. Despite the backlight, our client can still attach shelves, product brackets, presenters and other decorative tools to specific parts of the back wall. This ensures that the set-up looks the same at all points of sale. Another highlight: the back wall pivots—along with the entire scenery. Imagine opening a door and entering a room. As a result, you can integrate the whole scenery and products into the box and perfectly adjust the spot lighting without having to enter the display. Our client plans to use the systems worldwide. They have already set them up in London and Zurich; Dubai and Singapore will be next.

 

Let’s make it happen.

Boris Bihl

Head of New Business
T +49 711 664817-125
[email protected]