“Our bottle filling devices reduce the average drainage loses by 30%” — interview with Alex Solovev
Profibeer portal interviewed Alex Solovev, the Chief Of Development of Boel Technologies company, that entered the market in 2016 with new beer dispensing systems.
“We created a durable device, which is easy to use and maintain”
How long has the company been on the beer dispensing market?
Boel Technologies emerged on the market as a separate project in 2014. One of the holding’s directions — selling equipment for drinks dispensing from kegs — proposed to create our own product: a defoamer tap.
iTap sales launched in 2016. It was a year of test-sales, mostly within the holding. It allowed us to find out the weak points in the devices, fix it and release the final product in 2017.
Tell us about the product line, what do you produce, how many filling systems do you have?
We offer 2 types of defoamer taps: itap and itap2 to dispense 1 or 2 types of drinks accordingly. Also, we sell additional accessories for our taps, like a removable clamp-lock for filling glass bottles.
In Q3 2017 we offered our customers G-CONNECTOR: an adaptor to fill a glass from a defoamer tap. At the end of the year we offered an option to install unique brand handles on itap defoamers.
Knowing the pro’s and con’s of drinks bottling, we created a durable device, which is easy to use and maintain. The lack of cartridge, the valve system, the most direct drink flow channels — this is how we managed to reduce the foaming and speed up the filling.
iTap2 is a device for 2 types of drink, with 2 separate channels and individual valves. It prevents mixing when used 1 at a time, while also enables pouring both sorts at a time.
“Our goal is to provide quality, not to conquer the mass market”
Who buys your equipment? Do you have customers only among the Siberian companies, or you also sell to other Russian companies?
We sell devices all over Russian Federation and Former Soviet Republics. Recently we started selling devices in the USA, Canada, and the UK.
Our clients are both large and small beer producers, their distributors and chain stores.
We know the beer equipment and get the feedback all the time from both the wholesale and retail channels. This allows creating the products that are highly in demand on the market and adjust to the clients’ needs faster.
The production unit and the headquarters are located in Novosibirsk, Russia. We have offices in several cities including St. Petersburg, and dealers in multiple regions of Russia.
At the moment we are looking for dealers and long-term partners in North America and Europe.
How would you describe your participation in Beviale Moscow expo? What feedback did you get?
The expo in Moscow revealed high interest in our devices. But also we found out that many potential clients don’t know about us. As a result, we received 5 requests for dealership contracts, now we evaluate their capacities in claimed territories.
How difficult is it to compete with well-known companies that are already established on the market?
The competition is inevitable. We aim not to compete with the tap producers — we create a unique product who has its niche and customers. We don’t have a goal to conquer the mass market of cheap devices. We produce quality, durable devices: those who appreciate it switch to itap.
To you plan to expand the product line? Do you proceed the development?
We are constantly developing new things. For instance, recently we added a clamp-lock for glass bottles because there was a high demand on devices to fill glass bottles fast and without excessive foam. We launched this clamp-lock that allows filling glass bottles using the same devices as for filling PET bottles, without adding more taps.
“We made a decision that we can afford 5 years of warranty on itap”
You’re introducing a 5-year warranty on your equipment. Can you tell why you made this move?
The test sales in 2016 and the feedback from the clients showed that the devices are in good condition after 2 years of exploitation, don’t require any fixes or details changes. The construction simplicity, secure nodes and lack of multicomponent details improve the devices quality. We made a decision that we can afford 5 years warranty on itap from the production.
Who is in charge of systems development in the company? Do you have a special department or you hire other organizations?
There is a Construction and Technology Department in the company. We don’t hire other organizations, since we have enough resources and expertize on our own.
We go through the standard stages: demand from the market, construction solution, economy model, production, testing, releasing a final product. The time differs for every product, G-CONNECTOR took us 5 months from the idea to the product release.
Tell about the prices. In what range do you work?
The price is what is noticed first. But not many people count the cost of ownership.
The things that matter for a defoamer tap user include safety, lack of downtime because of breaks, minimal drainage, fast filling.
When customers compare our products based on the price alone, they don’t count the cost of the spare details, cartridges, downtime loses during breaks, technician payments. The experience from the beer drainage analyses showed that using itap the average drainage loses are cut by 30%, which equals money as well.
Which is why, if you compare itap according to its price alone, it may be in the higher pricing niche. However, if you take the cost of ownership into account, itap is a very efficient offer.
Head over to the Boel website for more information about the iTap product line!
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