Keeping customers through effective biological solutions.

I remember as a child, a sign at the dentist’s office that said “You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the one’s you want to keep”. It reminds me of the biological business. In today’s economy, every once in awhile we will temporarily lose a client. Alas, the allure of a “Bacillus” product that is 10 or even 15% cheaper. We wish them well and hope someday they will be back. Quite often they are, once they lose a few customers. They tell me their sad stories of how saving 10% on a raw material caused them to lose some of their best customers. In the long run, the 10% savings cost them 100 fold. We smile and welcome them back with open arms and remind them how important sustainable and residual business is to their bottom line.

You see in this business you get what you pay for. There are commodity products and performance products. Based on our DNA testing of competitive products, the lower priced commodity products frequently have fewer strains and a less effective range of substrate digestion, enzyme production and lower activity at various ranges of pH and temperature. In many cases, the more economical product actually has a lower count, by as much as 60%. This is like buying a chemical ingredient without looking at the percent actives. At the end of the day, this all translates to poor performance. Further, we often see no rhyme or reason to why the strains were put together, don’t they know which strains get along and which don’t (stay tuned for “Can’t we all just get along”). You really have to ask yourself, is this an application where the product has to work? If so, what technical support needs to come along with the product? Waste treat-ability studies, application review and custom strain matching are all a part of the biosolutions business and should come with purchase of every product.

So when customers ask me which of their customers they should have switch to our products, I always tell them, “Just the one’s you want to keep”.

– Michael R King, Ph.D