Choosing the Right Chemical Blender for Your Water Treatment Business

Posted by Doug Frassa on Aug 5, 2015 8:00:00 AM

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When requiring chemical blending services, you must have the proper manufacturing partner to succeed. There is a world of difference between a one size fits all blender and an experienced custom water treatment bender dedicated to your needs. This article discusses several of the options available to sales and service companies.

The different types of chemical manufactures of water treatment chemical products can be categorized into three major categories. The categories include Toll Blenders, Non-Direct Sales Formulation Manufacturers and Direct/Indirect Sales Formulating Manufacturers.

Toll Blenders

Blenders providing finished product for resale based on supplied formulas are referred to as Toll Blenders.  Toll Blenders normally do not specialize in specific market segments and make no differentiation between the manufacturing of cleaners and water treatment chemicals.

Business Model:

  • Typically low cost manufacturing – Based on limited support staff and extremely low overhead. 
  • Extremely limited formulating expertise - as this is not required to support the toll blending type of business.
  • No R&D – Product development is not performed by this type of company.
  • No technical support – Staff is normally not versed in specific industry knowledge.  While knowledge of basic blending is required, no knowledge of water treatment is required.
  • No performance accountability – No responsibility for the performance of the product in the field is assumed by the blender. If a product has been formulated improperly for the particular application, it is the responsibility of the company providing the formula and no corrective assistance is provided.

What this means to you:

A low cost blended product without support.

Direct/Indirect Sales Formulating Manufacturer

These types of blenders focus on providing finished products for their own direct water treatment chemical sales as well as resale to non-manufacturing water treatment companies.  This business model allows the blender to take advantage of opportunities to capture the high margins associated with direct sales.

Business Model:

  • Non-direct business is utilized to increase purchasing leverage on raw materials – The manufacturing of products for resale benefits the manufacturer by augmenting raw material purchases and by utilizing excess manufacturing capacity.
  • In-house product line is limited to avoid conflict with direct sales technology – To assure differentiation in the market place on a direct basis, new and unique technology is normally delayed or eliminated from the offering for non-manufacturing companies
  • Sales and Technical support limited by direct sales efforts –The focus of this type of company is to avoid conflicts between direct and indirect business.
  • Limited performance accountability – as discussed earlier, resources are directed to higher profit business
  • Potential for business conflict – Advantages associated with taking over indirect business may outweigh potential lost indirect business relationships.

What this means to you:

A blended product with limited support and the potential for competition with the direct sales arm of the contracted blender.

Non-Direct Sales Formulating Manufacturer

Blenders providing finished products to non-manufacturing water treatment companies. The companies are specifically set up to sell through selective distribution only.

Business Model:

  • Lower cost manufacturing– With no direct sales force and the associated cost, this type of manufacturer has low overhead with the added benefits of technical support and other resources.
  • In-house product line represents the latest technology that is made available for all customers – Manufacturer increase sales by providing distributor with a competitive advantage based on up-to-date technology.
  • Customer product line developed through cooperative effort – Customer offering can consist of proven formulas from the manufacturer, updated formulas from the customer, or custom formulas for a specific application.
  • Sales and Technical support specifically designed for non-manufacturing water treatment companies – A high level of technical support is what differentiates this type of manufacturer from standard toll blenders. Maintains in-house experts in water treatment formulating and applications.
  • Accountable for product performance for all formulations – Through the cooperative effort of product development, the manufacturer has input into the product and is thus in a position to assist in application of the product in the field.
  • Limited potential for business conflict – Business model is designed to sell only through selective distribution. No direct sales competition.

What this means to you:

A quality blended product with your branding and focused support to help you achieve your goals.

Another important aspect of selection your water treatment blender is availability to the latest technology blending components. 

Water treatment R&D has changed.  The water treatment industry has shifted product development away from National/Global water treatment chemical manufacturers to raw material suppliers. Look for a blender that bridges that gap by maintaining internal expertise as well as key relationships with raw material suppliers to help develop new products with new advanced raw material components.

So when choosing your water treatment chemical blender, you will want to look for a supplier that plays a vital role in the product development process. When emerging products and technologies become available, your blender should be engaged with evaluation and application of the new raw materials into blended products.   

For more information on chemical blending services available to you, please contact us today.

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Topics: Water Treatment Business

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QualiChem's Water Treatment Solutions Blog offers helpful information about:
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