Man’s best friend Featured

4:21pm EDT January 3, 2012
Man’s best friend

When Steve Tsengas comes into work every morning, he is greeted at the door by his administrative assistant’s French poodle and his receptionist’s mixed breed dog. At OurPets Co., a producer of food, treats, supplements, grooming products, toys and other supplies for the pet industry, almost every employee is or has been a pet owner.

That love for pets is what drives the company’s innovation and industry-leading product development forward. Tsengas, chairman and CEO of OurPets Co., started the company in 1995 with just one product: a big dog feeder to help with the health and posture of bigger dogs. The product was an immediate success, and now the company has hundreds of pet products.

“Over the last 16 years, we’ve grown to approximately $20 million a year, and we have about 600 individual products,” Tsengas says. “We market our products worldwide in Canada, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Japan and Europe and are beginning to move quite aggressively in South and Central America.”

The company has grown at a double-digit pace, and Tsengas credits four areas for the business’ success.

“We’re committed to innovation and there are two types of innovation,” he says. “Evolutionary, which is brand expansion, and revolutionary, where we come up with products that really set the trend in the pet industry. We also identify new segments like obesity, senior pets, senior owners, health and wellness trends, and that is part of the innovation.”

It’s more than just the portfolio of intellectual property that has allowed for the company’s growth.

“No. 2 is a world-class supply chain operation, and we’ve been beefing it up significantly over the past few years,” Tsengas says. “As part of the world-class supply chain operations, we developed a fulfillment center that is growing even faster than the overall rate of the company. We provide fulfillment centers for Walmart, Amazon, QVC and Sam’s Club.”

The third and fourth areas helping the company are innovative, aggressive marketing and strategic acquisitions. The company is always looking for the next new thing.

“We have these categories of brands, so part of the effort is to continuously push for more products to support those brands. If you look at it like a matrix … and flowing downward are the needs and then going horizontal are the capabilities and where these intersect are how we keep coming up with products.”

HOW TO REACH: OurPets Co., (440) 354-6500 or www.ourpets.com