Kemin Industries' feed pre-conditioning programme is at the heart of its broader work to ensure quality feed in Asia and worldwide.
With its liquid business' (http://news.kemin.com/2018-05-24-Kemin-Launches-New-Brand-Identity-Liquid-Business) rebranding, Kemin promotes a range of liquid applications including specSMART®, an offering for the protection of feed raw materials; MillSMART® (https://www.kemin.com/ap/en/products/millsmart), a programme for the feed milling segment; and foragSMART®, a solution for the preservation of forages.
In light of the recent Product Application Department (PAD) conference in Singapore, Tom Verleyen, Kemin's global platform director of nutrition and liquiSMART®, and K.V. Chandrasekar (Chandru), general manager of the company's feed technology platform for Asia Pacific, speak to eFeedLink about the June event and Kemin's liquid programme.
When was the PAD conference first held, and what is the impetus behind this event?
Chandru: The PAD enables the application of our liquid products at our customers' sites. Started in the early 2000s, the PAD conference has been going on for about 20 years. Kemin has various animal nutrition and health business units in India, China, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, South America and South Africa.
Every year, we hold the event in different locations. Last year, Europe was the host; the year before, it was the US.
The idea behind PAD is to bring all our product application engineers to one place where they share their ideas, successes and best practices.
Verleyen: This year, there is a strong focus on sharing best practices of our application units for the specSMART, MillSMART and foragSMART segments, which is aligned with the rebranding of our recently launched liquid business.
We want to ensure such experiences are uplifting for the whole organisation.
Concerning the new branding, can you elaborate the drivers and benefits for the end users?
Verleyen: It makes sense to first provide the background on why we started with the rebranding of our liquid portfolio.
We have realised the market prefers to use liquid products, which have more advantages compared to dry products, such as ease of application, a more standardised usage, and less manpower and handling required.
The application of liquids is more consistent because you do not need to rely on the manual addition of the additive. You are embedding the liquid application into automation so you are sure the feed or raw material is treated properly.
Our branding reflects two dimensions. First, we define segments to which we offer our liquid technology and address our customers' needs in those segments. We believe we can make it easy for them to use liquid products and support their businesses.
There is a significant market for people who have not used our solutions. We want to show they are missing opportunities for better revenue, quality and product application. Additionally, we want to reach out to people who have been using dry products and explain to them the benefits of liquids (http://news.kemin.com/2018-05-24-Kemin-Launches-New-Brand-Identity-Liquid-Business).
The second dimension relates to the relevant services we offer, which are branded under the SMART advisory team. Our services include three components that support customers.
The first is our product application department, which deals with application equipment and software that ease the application of our liquid products.
The second service is CLS (Customer Laboratory Services), an analytical service which assesses quality issues our customers face and demonstrates the impact of our solutions. The team is often on site to support sampling and undertake trials.
The third service relates to our technical services. Customers rely on Kemin for its technical advice and support in implementing our programmes.
These services are part of our total service package - the SMART team - which we market with our liquid programme. Our aim is also to work closely with customers in the relevant areas.
Can you describe more about the Customer Laboratory Services?
Chandru: CLS complements our liquid programmes.
When we do trials for MillSMART, we need support from our laboratory with the collection and analysis of feed samples. In order to prove our products' benefits to our customers, they have to be tested so that customers can gain a better understanding of them.
Hence, when customers implement our programmes, they can be sure that their feed is in the right condition.
When raw materials need to be treated for a certain period, CLS ensures it is not tainted by bacteria or salmonella. We conduct a test before and after treatment, and can show customers the elimination of salmonella post-treatment.
Our customers may find similar services with other vendors, but they may not realise the advantages of having a team like CLS, which has become an expert in this field after years of conducting feed sampling.
We will also send our teams to customers' facilities to conduct trials and related activities. CLS will ensure every parameter of feed treatment is in order so that customers can successfully implement our programmes.
Can you explain recent developments in relation to the milling efficiency aspect of MillSMART?
Chandru: In our MillSMART feed processing programme, a pre-conditioning solution is used to improve four important key performance indicators or 'P's of feed mill: production efficiency, process, pellet quality and profitability.
All around the world, we see a strong interest in this programme, which runs in both online and offline formats depending on the feed mill's size.
Kemin believes in the benefits that online platforms can bring to customers. The online programme targets the largest feed mills and is doing very well in Europe and Asia.
More people are thinking about big data and using online sensors to capture relevant information. From a quality control perspective, tracking data is the perfect tool to ensure all information is gathered for our customers.
Can you share the outlook concerning liquid and powder applications regionally?
Verleyen: The markets that have a strong preference for liquids are Asia, India, Europe and North America.
Markets which are quickly moving towards liquid applications are Latin America and China.
For most of our products, we still offer them in both dry and liquid forms.
However, we want to have an open conversation with our customers about the benefits of liquid products. We want to partner with them in understanding what is the best solution for them, whether liquid or dry.