Health E-Insights: What’s the focus of your company?
Mr. Chernyak: We supply proprietary science-backed raw materials to dietary supplement manufacturers and marketers within North America, both U.S. and Canada. We focus on innovative ingredients, fully-traceable and backed by well-designed human clinical studies, that target health indications which are important to various consumer demographics.
Health E-Insights: As the president of the company, how accessible are you to your customers?
Mr. Chernyak: Highly accessible. I began my career in business development and it continues to be a key function within my role. I receive great personal satisfaction being on the front lines, assisting our valued client partners in creating new research-backed health innovations.
Health E-Insights: If you could wave a magic wand and make a change in the supplement/food industries, what would it be?
Mr. Chernyak: Putting science and innovation ahead of, or at least on a level plane with cost of goods. I firmly believe that, if you build a great product that utilizes well-researched ingredients of a high quality, the market will respond, even at a premium price. I still see too many companies prioritizing cost above all else.
Health E-Insights: What are some of the biggest lessons about business you’ve learned over the years?
Mr. Chernyak: There are many. Listening to the customer is critical. Blindly pitching an idea without first gaining even a basic understanding of their needs and wants often results in wasted effort. However, before that can occur, the stage must be set. It’s of utmost importance to build trust with the client, to take the time to nurture the relationship, to gain the client’s confidence and trust. Then, and only then will they give you an inside view into their business so that you may hope to deliver the right solution. We focus on attracting sales professionals who are great listeners. One of the other key learnings is that timing is everything. No often means not today. It could be the right idea but not quite the right time. Maintaining regular communication and staying in touch with the client tips the scales in favor of securing the right project when the client is ready to take action. I preach this to our sales team, constantly.
Health E-Insights: What are the top two metrics to which your company pays the closest attention?
Mr. Chernyak: Gross margin contribution per employee is one. We strive to be a capital-efficient business. We also look at customer longevity. We’re proud of the fact that our client partners tend to stick with us once they become customers.
Health E-Insights: In which direction do you see the supplement industry moving?
Mr. Chernyak: We see the industry striving for higher standards of evidence and higher standards of clinical substantiation. It seems it was not long ago that animal data was sufficient and that human studies were nice-to-haves. Today, human data is no longer optional. The industry is demanding well-designed human studies and they are scrutinizing the data. I like to see this as a consumer. It would be important for me to know that the product I’m consuming utilizes ingredients that have been adequately researched.
Health E-Insights: How do you continue to find inspiration in your work?
Mr. Chernyak: I love this industry. I really value the greater good element. We’re playing a part in creating and sustaining good health and well-being. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Sheldon Baker is CEO of the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration or public relations consulting, contact him at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.