Keeping a global partnership local

Keeping a global partnership local Producing more than 30 million beverage items annually across more than 60 manufacturing sites worldwide, Refresco lays claim to being the world’s largest independent bottler.

The company, which has grown rapidly thanks to a series of acquisitions over the past two decades, has a global partnership with PET preform specialist Retal that is tailored to suit regional markets.

“Maintaining quality is expected across all aspects of working with global partners, but that doesn’t mean that everything is the same everywhere,” says Gennadiy Khmelevskiy, global key account manager at Retal. “The details specific to local markets are important, as is knowing the preferences of each team in different locations.”

Retal produces PET and rPET preforms and HDPE closures for Refresco. The partnership, which began when Retal successfully tendered for a project with Refresco Benelux, hinges on being able to produce and provide the right product at the right volume.

Offering the correct technical solution with the best priceperformance ratio is, of course, imperative, Khmelevskiy says, but it’s what goes beyond this that makes the partnership. “As a dedicated sales and service person, it’s particularly important for me to diagnose any painpoints in the business and find an agile service solution that heals that pain. I also rely on our excellent service team, who can get to any Refresco business unit within 24 hours.”

Khmelevskiy is Retal’s single point of contact for Refresco and regularly communicates with Martijn Tempelaar, Refresco’s senior central purchasing manager, to ensure projects are progressing as agreed. “Keeping open communication with my Refresco contacts means that I stay aligned with Refresco’s headquarters in Rotterdam [in the Netherlands], as well as understanding the evolving needs of each business unit.”

Tempelaar agrees that being able to create solutions that can be quickly adapted for other locations helps to make a profitable partnership for both parties. “It is far easier to work with a smaller number of partners and repeat whatever elements of the project can be repeated, so we’re focused on the aspects that need to be changed. Building up trust is a longterm priority for us, and I trust the Retal team.”

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