For an exclusive interview with Mirakl, Klara Svedberg, VP of Parts and Consumables at Tetra Pak, agreed to answer a few questions about the launch of the first virtual Food & Beverage Marketplace. Through this marketplace, Tetra Pak made a wide range of products accessible to their 5,000 manufacturing plants that produce a combined 190 billion consumer packages worldwide.
Why Tetra Pak Decided to Launch a B2B Marketplace
Klara Svedberg, VP of Parts and Consumables at Tetra Pak: "We have a very strong e-business platform today: many of our customers are already buying materials online. But we also see that standing still does not put us relevant for the future. We need to find innovations to the customer needs that we have.
We saw an opportunity to connect and create that network in our industry because of our knowledge, because of our axes and relationship with customers, but also because we saw that there was a gap.
There was a gap in terms of unmet needs. We wanted to be more efficient out, specifically in the purchasing processes of our customers. The marketplace just filled that with all the value that we wanted to bring."
Tetra Pak and the Adoption of the Marketplace Model
Klara Svedberg: "Today, the marketplace is really incorporated in our strategy for growing and improving our service business. We don't see an option of not going into future models.
When there is an unmet need, someone will fill that. That's why we wanted to be the ones to provide the solution because we can.
Some of the pushbacks we've received along the way are more in terms of vision and understanding the big picture. We tend to think about things the same way: top line, bottom line, incremental growth... but we've seen that our marketplace is not the first example.
We've seen many exemples that have come in the later stages, especially around service business. We're spending a lot of time getting a "solution-thinking" approach and partnering up much more.
The marketplace does exactly that but in a very efficient way. We don't have to connect and build internally and then slowly roll out, we can connect and then scale much quicker."
The Rise of B2B Marketplaces is Inevitable
Klara Svedberg: "We see a need to just move ahead! To a large extent, we are a traditional business but we are also pushing the boundaries in different directions.
What we identified as key trends is that you have much more of online sales. We experienced that in our private lives. I shop a lot online myself. Why wouldn't we expect that in our professional lives? And, of course, it's the same for our customers.
This rise of b2b online options are just a must today! I don't think it's even a delight anymore. We need to find how to delight our customers. And we can do that by adding much more than online sales - not just the transactional stuff but really new services, new sellers and eco-system, providing inside support, make the right choices... That's where the magic happens so that's where we're investing for the future."
A Marketplace to Better Serve Your Customers
Klara Svedberg: "The benefits they get from this marketplace solution is that they get everything in one interface. An interface that they already know today because they are logging already to buy their spare parts from us. And, in the same kind of platform or interface, they will now get access to so much more.
They will get access to the sellers that we're onboarding now but also to the new categories as we move forward. This marketplace really simplifies both the ordering process but then also managing because you don't have to do all of that vetting yourself. You can trust that our sellers are verified by Tetra Pak that means they're good quality products that fit food or management food and beverage industry"
Who's the typical buyer persona?
Klara Svedberg: "Today, the typical buyer on our customer site varies because we deal with very small dairies up to large multinational food and beverage producers.
Most of them though, when it comes to this type of material will buy them from their plants. Being the plant manager, even maintenance manager or some local procurement responsible.
Those are the ones that are struggling today with managing thousands of different suppliers that they need to validate in terms of quality, responsible sourcing, managing different invoicing systems and just keeping all that administration at check."
How can Range Extension Help a Brand Like Tetra Pak
Klara Svedberg: "When we launched the marketplace for MRO products, that is very much the start.We want to expand that assortment further but also start exploring what other opportunities are out there.
We're looking at some really interesting other categories already. Let's see which ones are the first ones that will move, but what is important for us is always what the customer needs. We want to listen to our customers now and to see what else would they like to get through this channel. And then we’ll be flexible and adaptable to just build to their needs."
The Future Goals of Tetra Pak with this Marketplace
Klara Svedberg: "We see huge opportunities for the future. As I said, it’s a starting point, we are starting now in Germany, we have a few more markets lined up already in Europe but we want to go beyond Europe, especially in markets where there is a need for such a marketplace and where we get that need from our customers.
So to sum up: global solution in the markets where we have the relevance and also expanding to other categories, maybe to categories we haven’t thought of yet."
Written by Julie Delazyn
Julie has worked in communications and marketing with tech companies and big corporations for the past 10 years. As a former NYTimes journalist in Paris, she is a passionate advocate of storytelling.