The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down, with small businesses being hit especially hard. This is a pivotal time for SMBs, and the way they respond to the pressure will determine how their business runs for years to come. Many companies are taking this difficult situation and turning it into an opportunity. In our Positive Pivot series, we’re diving deeper into what these innovative businesses have done, and what lies beneath the surface to produce this kind of creativity and resilience.
This week we spoke with Preston Moore, Vice President of Hyatt Life Sciences, to learn how they turned around to help their community, their employees, and their business.
What is Hyatt Life Sciences?
We’re a Kansas-based company in the supplements space and a member of the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). We’re proud of our science-based dietary supplements. A lot of our research and products are based on the Arum Palaestinum plant. It’s not very well known in the US but is used in abundance in the Middle East. We start with that and add other supplements and herbs to make high-quality products. We’re a part of the process from the ground to the capsule. We’re very hands on and are in control of our own destiny. We’re obsessed with quality and are happy to be a part of the supplement industry.
How did COVID-19 affect your operations?
Everyone, from coast to coast, was scared in the early stages of the pandemic. No one knew what was going on. We were just talking about it at work and decided that we can either be scared or do our part to help. Local schools and hospitals were running out of hand sanitizer. So we wanted to play a small part.
How did your offering pivot during this unusual time? What are you offering now?
With a full stop on in-person events we have had to re-evaluate our offerings and see how we can get better. There will be a day again when we can organize a trade show for our community but in the meantime, we partnered with Alibaba.com on an upcoming online trade show in July that brings our community together virtually. We are really excited about offering another digital avenue for our vendors to get exposure while we are taking a rest from in-person trade shows.
We have medical talent and manufacturing talent on the team. We realized we could make hand sanitizer, but we just had to figure it out. From a business standpoint, it made sense because we had confidence in scaling it and getting the product where it needed to go. We were also able to put people to work. It’s been very rewarding. We started with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) formula and improved on it with some chemistry. Now we’re working on 70% [alcohol] gel and rolling it into our business model.
How do you think the pivot you made in response to COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on your business?
Our culture has completely changed. We’re washing our hands more and using hand sanitizer more—it’s become second nature. The team at Hyatt Life Sciences feels that we have the ability to put out a high-quality product that people can appreciate and is scalable for after COVID-19. You have to look at trends in the short, medium, and long term. Short term, through the summer, there may be a downtick in cases and people may forget. But as soon as flu cases hit (mid-term), there will be a re-emergence of awareness and ample interest in purchasing these products. People will be using hand sanitizer and looking for more sources to provide it. And we’re happy to throw our hat in the ring and scale for the long term.