Choosing the Right Chemical Blender for Your Water Treatment Business

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 will discuss several options available to water treatment sales and service companies.

The different types of chemical manufacturers of water treatment chemical products can be categorized into three major categories:

  1. Toll Blenders
  2. Direct/Indirect Sales Formulating Manufacturers
  3. Non-Direct Sales Formulating Manufacturers

Different Types of Blenders

Toll Blenders

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

Business Model:

  1. Typically low-cost manufacturing– Based on limited support staff and extremely low overhead.
  2. Extremely limited formulating expertise– This is not required to support the toll blending type of business.
  3. No new product Research & Development– This type of company does not perform product development.
  4. No technical support– Staff is usually not versed in specific industry and application knowledge. While knowledge of basic blending is required, knowledge of water treatment is not required.
  5. No performance accountability– No responsibility for the product’s performance in the field is assumed by the blender. If a product has been formulated improperly for a particular application, it is the company’s responsibility to provide 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 blenders focus on providing finished products for their own direct water treatment chemical sales and 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:

  1. 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 utilizing excess manufacturing capacity.
  2. In-house product line is limited to avoid conflict with direct sales technology– To assure differentiation in the marketplace on a direct basis, new and unique technology is normally delayed or eliminated from the offering for non-manufacturing companies.
  3. Sales and technical support limited by direct sales efforts–This type of company focuses on avoiding conflicts between direct and indirect business.
  4. Limited performance accountability– As discussed earlier, resources are directed to higher-profit businesses.
  5. Potential for business conflict– Advantages associated with taking over indirect business may outweigh the 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

These types of blenders provide finished products to non-manufacturing water treatment companies. The companies are specifically set up to sell through selective distribution only.

Business Model:

  1. 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.
  2. In-house product line represents the latest technology that is made available for all customers– The manufacturer increases sales by providing distributors with a competitive advantage based on up-to-date technology.
  3. 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.
  4. Sales and technical support specifically designed for non-manufacturing water treatment companies– A high level of technical support differentiates this type of manufacturer from standard Toll Blenders. Maintains in-house experts in water treatment formulating and applications.
  5. Accountable for product performance for all formulations– Through the cooperative effort of product development, the manufacturer has input into the product and can thus assist in the application of the product in the field.
  6. Limited potential for business conflict– The 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.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Blender

Another critical aspect of selecting your water treatment blender is the availability of the latest technology blending components. Water treatment R&D has changed. The water treatment industry has shifted product development from National/Global water treatment chemical manufacturers to raw material suppliers. 

Look for a blender that bridges that gap by maintaining internal expertise and key relationships with raw material suppliers to help develop new products with new advanced raw material components.

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 evaluating and applying the new raw materials into blended products.

What Type of Blender is Best for Your Business?

Choosing a blender becomes a very personal decision for the business owner. Some owners may be driven by economics, whereas others may be driven by the quality of the product or support. Local competitive situations may vary and influence this decision, as well as many other factors. Download the comparison chart to help you choose the blender that’s best for your business.

QualiChem, a non-direct sales formulating manufacturer, offers excellent value to the regional water treatment business owner with its wealth of services and support. At QualiChem, The Blender Matters. For more information on chemical blending services, please get in touch with us today.