It should be kept in mind that the FMCG sector is more than the stores visited by customers every day. It also includes the incredibly difficult logistic undertaking – import and export as well as safe transportation of goods; first to a warehouse and then to a store. Brand Distribution is one of the Polish leaders in this area of business. On the difficulties posed by this job, we talk with Wiktor Sawosz, President of the Board.
What is the potential of Brand Distribution and what makes you stand out among your competitors?
Brand Distribution Group has already been operating on the FMCG market for more than 26 years. Over such a long time, we have seen many changes taking place in the worldwide and European economy; not only have we survived but have also recorded growth during the recent global economic crisis ten years ago.
Many years of activity in the ever-changing business environment has brought enormous experience we wish to share with our partners and contractors. We were one of Poland’s first companies involved in FMCG trade and exports on such a large scale, and our market position has only strengthened over the years. Therefore, it is safe to say we stand out among many new companies of a similar operation profile, not only with our experience but with the safety and stability we can offer to our partners. Brand Distribution Group is a recognized brand in the FMCG environment, associated with high quality products and services. It took many years of consistent operation and even more hard work to get there, so we are all the more concerned with maintenance of high standards.
We are involved in both the export and distribution of many well-known global brands on the Polish market – among others, we are the official distributor of such goods as Huggies diapers, German Dalli detergents, or Kopiko coffee beverages.
Our customers, both domestic and international, include chains of brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, wholesalers, cash & carry wholesalers, distributors, as well as independent importers.
Among its competitors, Brand Distribution Group also stands out with the wide range of assortment, orientation to constant development, and a highly qualified expert team. The people and their common effort are the foundation of our success. Despite many years of development and a large scale of operations, we are a company with Polish capital and we remain faithful to family values that have accompanied us since the very beginning.
How will the further development of Brand Distribution be supported? Innovations, investments, or maybe a new company strategy? What is the recipe for the company’s success?
Along with the new market trends and changes, we strive to evolve steadily and to adapt to the changing conditions. The companies that do not advance go back and their chances of survival in a highly competitive environment are scarce. Over the years, I have seen the emergence and disappearance from the market of many companies with a profile similar to ours. The path of constant development with unceasing orientation to customer needs brings effects and we intend to continue this.
When we were starting our operations many years ago, the majority of our trade portfolio and our source of profits was trade in household chemicals; today, most of our turnover is generated by trade in foodstuffs, such as confectionery, ice cream, or beverages. We have to be open to changes. As a company, we do not perceive changes as problems – we are ready for new challenges, we are not afraid of them and we see them as opportunities for development. The necessity to be innovative and to put additional effort is a natural market-regulating mechanism.
This year, we put even more emphasis on the promotion of products from the bio/eco category. Our strategy, and also our mission, is to offer products capable of bringing new, better quality into the life of consumers worldwide. We believe people want to live on a good level, in harmony with nature and with themselves. Currently, we have branch offices in England, Germany and Spain, but we also plan to open new branches in other countries, so that the range of our operations could be even broader, so we could be even closer to our foreign contractors and partners. We believe this is the key if we wish to have a positive impact on the life of people abroad.
Many years of your experience has allowed you to create a wide range of products. Please tell us about the company portfolio.
Brand Distribution Group trades in a wide assortment of FMCG from such categories as: household chemicals, cosmetics, beverages, confectionery, snacks, ice cream, coffee and tea. We work not just with products by well-known global companies but also with those by lesser producers, representing a unique value.
Our portfolio is constantly expanding. In the era of globalization and economic boom, new interesting, innovative products continue to emerge on the market and we try to constantly keep track of the situation. We are concerned with being up-to-date, watching the market trends and noticing novelties that might be interesting to our customers.
Despite global operation and acquisition of commodities from sources throughout the European Union, we are particularly concerned with the development of cooperation with Polish producers. We believe in the quality of Polish products and our philosophy involves the intent of the strongest possible support to the domestic economy. We wish to support the development of other Polish enterprises and to promote Polish products outside the EU.
Which countries are most strategic to the company? Do you plan expansion into new foreign markets?
At the beginning of operations of Brand Distribution Group in the 1990s, most of our customers came from the former Eastern Bloc countries. Currently, our activity is fully global – last year, we exported products to 78 countries worldwide.
With our broad product portfolio, I believe there can be a niche on every market we could help our contractors to fill by offering products they are interested in. The task of Brand Distribution Group is to find a solution that will answer our business partners’ market needs and to offer them this solution.
Trying not to ignore the potential of any market, we have recently put more emphasis on the development of cooperation with customers from more geographically remote destinations – we are successfully developing cooperation with and supplying products to contractors from North and South America as well as Asia.
Transportation of products to distant countries is not easy. How does Brand Distribution handle this task?
In this case, the key to success is cooperation with reliable carriers as well as the dedication and professionalism of our team responsible for the preparation and coordination of shipments, even to the most remote parts of the globe.
The Export Department of Brand Distribution Group is a team of committed professionals responsible for specific markets. Our experts have profound and practical knowledge of the nature of a given market, locally applicable legal regulations, as well as the procedures necessary to carry out exports. This enables them to support our contractors and partners with knowledge and experience.
The export process is supported by the Transport Department and Customs Department, both of them functioning within the Brand Distribution Group and staffed by highly qualified specialists. They know well what shipment to individual countries involves, what criteria have to be met and what actions should be taken to avoid potential complications typical of a specific destination.
I would also like to mention that shipments to distant countries require appropriate preparation of the cargo so it would not be damaged during maritime, rail or road transport which often takes several weeks. Our warehouse personnel have the knowledge and experience in this regard, which makes the cargo they prepare appropriately secured each time.
To sum up the answer to this question: the know-how, professionalism and commitment of our team help us avoid many unpleasant surprises and complications.
What benefits could be expected by companies that wish to cooperate with you?
We can offer full partnership relations to companies that decide to cooperate with us. We care for the transparency of our operations and for business based on the “win-win” principles. For 26 years, we have been involved in the export and foreign promotion of Polish FMCG products. Every company interested in cooperation may expect us to share our experience and knowledge for the sake of development of the common business.
To potential producers and suppliers, we can offer: the possibility of the promotion of their products on export markets (those on which we operate); bringing their products to customers in the most remote parts of the globe; promotion of products as a part of our portfolio at industry fairs; customer contact and export process coordination by experts employed at Brand Distribution Group, having many years of experience and proficient in many foreign languages.
Potential customers can count on receiving an offer for both products of well-known global brands and unique goods by lesser-known producers. We can consolidate a broad assortment of products from different, often distant countries, and prepare them for shipment in a single vehicle or container. What we offer to our partners on the standard basis is development of complete export documentation, provision of necessary certificates, as well as an option to carry out transportation to the country of destination. If required, we draw up declarations (stickers) in the official language of a given country and place them on the product.
Both on the part of purchase and of sales, the contact takes place in a maximally individualized manner, strongly oriented to the needs of the other party and with intermediation of our highly-qualified specialists. We are concerned with provision of high-quality service in order to facilitate all of our partners’ business operations as much as possible and so they could enjoy cooperation with us in security.
Thank you for the interview.