Manufacturers

Blendhub boosts supply chain transparency

02-Apr-2014 - By Sarah Hills
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Premium Blendhub has created a new centre that offers a fully transparent management model of the raw materials in food powder blends, to help customers optimise their supply chain.

The food ingredients and portable powder blending company said the challenge was to "improve or cheapen" its customers' products with new suppliers, tariff codes, and support and advice about locations to perform the blending process.

Mar González, the supply chain excellence center manager, told Nutraingredients that it was more than a consulting service providing a list of suppliers and prices. The aim was to optimise its customer's own blends, with its knowledge in raw materials, suppliers, processes, duties and market trends. 

The launch of the centre follows Premium Blendhub's Smart Powder Blends system, based on open or transparent formulas as opposed to what the company has described as the old 'black box' blending system. This old system in theory protects R&D and blending expertise but arguably can limit traceability of ingredients and competition in pricing, with producers unaware of the ingredients used in the blends they buy.

González said the centre was driven by its vision of a 'whole product' for purchasers of food powder blends.

"Optimising clients own blends was a natural next step. We are looking for companies who want to outsource all or a part of their food powder supply chain functions to us as a transparent and trusted partner.

"Transparency is the tool that provides sustainable cost control for customers. Furthermore, transparency enables customers to compare offers from different food powder blenders."

Premium Blendhub's headquarters is in Spain but it has expanded in the last few years through a global network of both installations and people that can support its service offering, "anywhere in the world or the value chain".

González added that experience initially came from higher added-value products such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers and proteins but it now operates within the whole range of food power blends.

The centre

Customers fall into two categories - those hiring Premium Blendhub's open formulas and those who want to optimise the supply chain of their own products or formulas.

The centre has a map of raw materials providing customers with an international list of suppliers for each raw material, as well as information on the different qualities, prices and locations. Premium Blendhub would be responsible for the management of the blends, aiming for the best solution on import duties, price and transport, for example.

Premium Blendhub was created last year with the merger of Premium Ingredients and Blendhub, which manufactures 'Portable Powder Blending', a portable powder ingredient mixing factory.

Black box thinking

The black box system may be the norm but it has its critics. Earlier this year CEO of GoNutrition, Oliver Cookson, claimed that the use of 'proprietary blends' of unspecified ingredients allowed sports nutrition firms to market inferior products - particularly in the current price-conscious climate, as inferior quality ingredients cost less.

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