Now, more than ever, the synergy between sales and science is absolutely crucial. Without sales, there is no funding for the science. And without the science behind a great product, there are no sales. The following information is a breakdown of a successful team and atmosphere in a modern beverage company.
Beverage Industry Commercial Management
Commercial management is responsible for the decisions regarding new product launches and line extension. These decision makers have a commercial education. They are missing a specific technical background. Usually they switch frequently between different business segments.
Technical experts have an education in food science. They are responsible for the transfer of commercial ideas into successful beverage concepts. They need a deep understanding of the products from ingredients to production technologies and packaging. They rarely switch between different business fields. The ingredient suppliers work hand in hand with these specialists and share technical knowledge about their ingredients and their application in beverages.
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Team Approach: Commercial/Technical
Project management requires a team approach between commercial and technical experts. To make adequate decisions, a basic understanding of technical issues for commercial experts is needed.
Knowledge Management for Commercial Experts
The classical way to transfer basic technical knowledge is achieved by training in different departments with internal experts. This model requires a timeframe of several months and is usually executed by technical experts who are not skilled to train people. For those trainers, training is an additional job on top of their daily work load, as projects have top priority. Chemical, physical and technological facts have to be explained in a comprehensive and thorough manner which requires didactic experience.
Due to these facts, training is often a full-time job performed in seminars and workshops by experienced trainers utilizing presentations on key technical topics like tasting and label checking as well as demonstrations at the lab bench. In addition, real business examples and visualization through video clips turn these seminars into a living picture and immersive experience.
The goal of this training for commercials is to develop a basic technical understanding of the product. This is key to becoming a valuable partner and decision-maker in a project team.
Level of Technical Knowledge Necessary
The depth of this knowledge depends on the complexity of the beverage field. The importance of “free from,” functional and sometimes ethical expectations makes the projects increasingly complex.
The level of technical knowledge necessary for commercial experts is strongly dependent on the product they are responsible for marketing. Ingredient suppliers usually afford a very deep understanding of technical issues regarding their ingredients and application.
Ingredient suppliers, like color and flavor houses, are much more technically driven as compared to a company producing commodities.
And finally, a professional education is a very powerful tool to motivate employees. A senior consultant who knows the commercial beverage market and has also been exposed to the technical side can help a company avoid expensive mistakes in product development. Paying more for a quality consultant can save a company more in the long-term.
- Haug M. Produktentwicklung in der AfG Industrie. Fl. Obst 78 (2011) 482-485
- Haug M. Berufsbild Getränkeentwickler. Im Spannungsfeld komplexer Marktanforderungen. DLG Lebensmittel 05/2010, 24-25
- Haug M. Rohstoffe – das Herzstück von Getränken. Fl. Obst 77 (2010) 284-287
- Haug M. Getränke mit wenig Saft: Zusammensetzung, Rohstoffe Technologie, Produktentwicklung, Marktprodukte. GDCh Fortbildung 2011 Fruchtsäfte, fruchtsafthaltige Getränke: Technologie, Untersuchung und Beurteilung
- Haug M. Aktuelle Konsumentenerwartungen – Herausforderungen für die Hersteller von nichtalkoholischen Getränken. Fl. Obst 77 (2010) 519-522
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