SDC Nutrition emerges from its merger as one company

Companies need to understand that synergy and how things could go wrong quickly. They shouldn’t try to rush the integration. Otherwise, lead times will increase and orders will be delayed.

“Our biggest lesson was just being overexcited about the opportunity and not realizing that we could have maybe planned and taken a little bit more time to grow the topline of the business,” Marszalek says. “Because, quite frankly, there were moments where we felt like we overpromised and under delivered for customers. We had to make good on that in the past few months to get back in good graces and make sure we didn’t lose those customers, or try to win back customers that we lost.”

Pushing to improve

Now that the integration is complete, SDC is examining efficiencies and operating expenses.

Executives are focused on what equipment is necessary, how many people are needed and how to improve operations, as business has leveled off and is no longer backlogged, Marszalek says. For example, they are looking at how to sequence properly so SDC has fewer changeovers.

Personally, Marszalek has brought in experienced people and tried to stay out of their way, trusting that he had the right people handling the right pieces of the business. Over the past six months, however, that’s changed. He’s decided to become involved.

“Not because people weren’t doing their job, but just my input and insight and the way that I challenge them elevates their thinking process and their ability to execute,” he says.

While some founders struggle to get out of their people’s way, Marszalek found the opposite to be true.

“Now that I’ve started popping in more meetings and attending more calls and having more one-on-one time, the feedback that I’m getting is, ‘Sean, no, keep pushing us because the way that you challenge us makes each department better,’” he says. “They wanted me more involved because my expectations are really high and I think it makes them better.”