Cliff Davis, founder of Quality Resourcing Services, (QRS) had a successful career with large personal care and fragrance companies where his executive level sales and marketing experience led to expertise in packaging, purchasing, product development and global sourcing. In 2009, he established QRS to help small and mid-size companies navigate these crucial and challenging areas of business. Davis spoke with MODERN SALON about how manufacturers can ease internal burdens by turning to an outside pro.
MS: TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE PRIOR TO QRS.
CD: I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in engineering, but really did not want to be an engineer. I joined the management training program at Estee Lauder, a company that actually set out to hire engineering grads because they liked the logical thought processes that a study of engineering develops. I worked with Lauder’s Aramis brand in planning and purchasing and became executive director of marketing. My next position was with a marketing and promotional company where I learned the importing business. I spent 10 years with Crabtree & Evelyn and was involved in packaging, product development and quality control.
MS: HOW AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO ESTABLISH QRS?
CD: After 25 years, I decided it was time to do these things on my own and began developing the concept for a company that would provide sourcing services for other companies. I literally started the company in my basement in 2009. The state of the economy made it seem like a bad time for a start-up, but I thought, it can’t get any worse. I did get some business early on, and in 2010 I had secured more customers and hired my first employee. We now have 11 employees.
MS: WHAT SERVICES AND SUPPORT DOES QRS OFFER ITS CLIENTS?
CD: One of the services we offer is developing upscale packaging for our clients. We can handle design, sourcing, and customizing. If a client wants a particular type of plastic cap, for instance, we can facilitate that through our contracts with plastic engineers in China. We create innovative packaging for companies that are too small to have that kind of expertise on staff. Packaging has to be melded with the image of the product. If you are dressed inappropriately for an interview, you may not get the job no matter how qualified you are. Product packaging is the same. It has to work with the product’s marketing and image.
QRS also helps companies with product development. Small and start-up companies, and even some larger companies lack resourcing capabilities, require smaller minimum orders and face cost challenges. Our staff has experience in these areas and we have a network of manufacturing partners in the U.S. and Asia allowing us to select the right labs for the product the client wants to develop. The QRS team members all have executive level experience in product and packaging development. For companies that are not equipped or do not have the budget for in-house development and R&D people, we can take their projects from start to finish. We provide ideas and concepts and contract the work to our trusted, quality partners. We have partners in the areas of hair care products, bath and body products and fragrance, which requires very specialized expertise.
MS: WHO ARE YOUR TARGET CLIENTS?
CD: We generally work with start-up to mid-size companies, but most of our customers are growing into bigger companies. We work with larger companies on projects and customized packaging. Spencer Forrest is one of our customers who required very unique packaging for delivering its hair fibers that are applied to thinning hair. We often get business from unexpected places. We don’t “cold call,” we acquire new business through our connections and word of mouth. We consult with companies on projects, but generally do not charge any upfront fees. Our added value is that customers pay for packaging and product development as we supply it.
For more information on the services provided by QRS, visit qrsllc.net.