Trust and collaboration are the cornerstones of today’s industrial R&D.
There are many innovative manufacturers of raw material components. With globalization and digitization, getting in touch with the manufacturers is easier today than ever before. However, communication, negotiations, and project work as well as warehousing and managing logistics and volumes all require a lot of work. Distributors play an important role between the end product and component manufacturers. Some of the distributors no longer talk about sales – instead, they talk about providing holistic solutions to their customers. What does this mean in practice?


Global trends, just like consumer needs and wants, are constantly changing. The food and beverage industry needs to be able to react to these changes quickly and proactively. In addition to developing new products, the existing product selection needs maintaining and updating.


The ability to innovate, to create solution-oriented added value for the customer and to hence optimize project delivery is what sets solution providers apart from mere distributors. Added value can be created by solving issues related to the customer’s products and by focusing on the texture, taste, shelf life and other value-adding factors. It is also important to constantly innovate new product ideas together with the customer and to identify new, emerging trends. Together with solution provider, the raw material supplier plays strategic role in end product creation. Hence:

A good solution provider needs to have an established, active, and innovative network of suppliers. Maintaining it requires a lot of time and effort but is essential for successful sales of B2B solutions.

 R&D projects for existing products often address finding alternative raw materials that improve the reliability and cost-efficiency of production. With several approved alternatives, competitive bidding becomes easier. However, finding alternatives can be a challenge, made all the more difficult by the increasingly strict quality requirements and the technical differences between the product features. The same often applies to developing new products.

 What does the R&D project look like from the solution provider’s point of view?



In addition to meetings, there should be hands-on workshops with the supplier, the distributor and the client whenever possible.

Co-working strengthens the collaboration and makes the common goal clearer. All parties must be fully committed to the project, and there needs to be trust and a shared vision between the parties in order for the project to succeed.


At best, the collaboration between the distributor and the customer is a long-lasting cycle of cooperation that renews itself organically in the form of new projects. R&D projects are based on deep trust between the distributor, the customer and the distributor’s supplier. Customer-centricity, mutual trust, and the willingness to find solutions together are what separates a solution provider from a manufacturer of a single raw material.