Alliances have formed a key part of JBT’s expansion strategy over the past six years, helping bring major innovators such as Laser Food, Ice Gen and Aurratech to the JBT portfolio and providing these companies, in turn, with access to sales, service, manufacturing and sourcing operations that span 25 countries.
Under the leadership of Carlos Fernandez, JBT Liquid Foods has pursued a strategy of expansion through acquisitions, but also – equally importantly – through strategic alliances with well placed, global innovators.
“We have had a clear growth strategy under Carlos as JBT Liquid Foods President, whether through new product development, acquisitions or by working with companies that either have solutions that complement our existing core technologies, can help us get into a new area, or explore the edges,” explains Sam Mudgal, JBT’s Alliance Coordinator for Liquid Foods.
Alliances, he says, provide JBT with a faster means of entering new markets than new product development. “We do both renovation of our existing product line and innovation, and that requires a significant investment of finances, resources and time,” continues Mudgal. “Alliances are a really quick way of bringing new technologies to our customers in a shorter space of time.”
Such arrangements, he says, have a clear strategic objective of supporting JBT’s aim of market expansion by providing valuable exposure to new markets and customers, while helping expose JBT customers to the latest market trends. Alliances, explains Mudgal, enable JBT to become a major distributor – generating potential financial rewards in the process – of a cutting-edge technology, and at the same time allowing the allied company to benefit from worldwide sales network, marketing potential and, when applicable, manufacturing capabilities.
“It’s a win, win, win,” says Mudgal. “A win for JBT, a win for participating companies and a win for our customers.” Of course, such arrangements are not purely altruistic, but rather have a very solid financial justification. According to JBT data, alliance-sourced commissions increased by 60% year-on-year in 2018, proving they are not just viable arrangements, but profitable ones too.
Mudgal says JBT alliances can take many different, multi-faceted forms, from co-manufacturing, joint product development to a joint sales strategy. “An alliance relationship can provide an easy, quick, less risky, and adaptable access to a technological solution or a product offering,” he adds.