ZMC-USA: A Portrait of Trust & Transparency
ZMC-USA, The Woodlands, TX, is a subsidiary of China-based Zhejiang Medicine Company Limited Xinchang Pharmaceutical Factory, or ZMC for short, which has been manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients, vitamins, carotenoids, microbiological drugs and medicines, natural drugs, and food and feed additives for over 50 years. Globally, according to the company, ZMC is the largest supplier of biotin, the second largest supplier of vitamin E, the third largest supplier of natural vitamin E, and the second largest supplier of fermented CoQ10. Despite its size and success, however, few outside or inside the nutraceuticals industry are familiar with the company. ZMC-USA was established in 2006 to help build awareness and tell its story.
First and foremost, Scott Steinford, president, wants the industry to get to know ZMC-USA for its openness and honesty. “The importance of being a named subsidiary lies in the openness of sourced material and the implied confidence associated with the name,” he said. “The typical business model of every other Chinese raw material ingredient manufacturer has been to rely on a network of distributors and brokers to act as a sales channel to its customers. The problem created with the typical model is the ingredient manufacturer is shielded from many of the market dynamics and customer requests.”
Sander Krupski, national sales manager, added, “With new GMP requirements, transparency of supply has become a requirement that changes many of the dynamics of the distributor role as material must now be identified by the original manufacturer. For example, Certificates of Analysis (CofAs) and other documents must come directly from the original manufacturer.”
It seems the days of relying solely on brokers and distributors may soon be over, especially since working as a subsidiary rather than through a broker also has tremendous cost benefits. “The cost differences between the various models have ranged from either favorable to the supplier or negligible, as distributors typically receive 8-20% of sales depending on price and volume of the ingredients provided,” Mr. Steinford commented. “ZMC has both realized and projected cost savings through its adoption of a direct to market philosophy. This savings was made possible by coordinating market pricing and increasing volume through customer transparency and market penetration.”
In recent years, ZMC has made progress on several fronts. In 2005, it completed a new COQ10 facility, offering substantial production efficiencies that resulted in greatly reduced costs to customers. In 2007, ZMC was awarded a U.S. patent for lutein, which details the simultaneous process for the isolation and purification of lutein and zeaxanthin from crude plant oleoresin. The company also continues to participate in several clinical trials by donating or offering study investigators discounted product.
The senior members of ZMC-USA have extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries. “It is with this combined source of experience that ZMC-USA looks to effect a change in the landscape of the industries we support,” Mr. Steinford said, adding, “It is the belief and goal of ZMC-USA management that the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries can work more cooperatively to improve healthcare. ZMC-USA hopes to encourage a dialogue that underscores the potential synergies between the industries.” Having one foot in the nutrition industry and one foot in the pharmaceutical industry, ZMC-USA is perfectly positioned to carry out that mission.—R.W.
1776 Woodstead Court, Suite 215
The Woodlands, TX, 77380