They provide high-quality, effective nutraceutical products and health protocols along with professional educational services and pathology testing to over 500 practitioners in New Zealand and over 300 in Australia. Based in Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, they've been operating since 2008 and currently employ 14 full-time employees.
Governance is Fundamental
John Hutchinson from PlanA Consulting first became involved with Nutrisearch in 2014 when the company had two business partners: a full-time chief executive (CE) and a part-time technical advisor. John was brought in to chair board meetings as an independent third party with no fear or favour, only the company's best interests in mind.
Initially, John's role was to help the two owner-operators work through management and day-to-day operational issues in order to move the business forward. The aim was to gain and retain traction in the highly competitive nutraceuticals marketplace. From the outset, fundamental to John was to introduce and establish a disciplined governance structure.
"I really like the fact John has run his own energy business outside of his business consulting role, which perhaps sets him apart from those consultants that have only ever been employees or managing directors of larger corporate firms, but have never had their own money in the game."
The next phase in the path forward for Nutrisearch was the development of well thought through and robust plans for the coming quarter, 12 months, five years and ten years. With hindsight of the previous eight years in business, and plenty of ambition for the future, John and Adam embarked on advanced development of the governance and business structure.
"John has also helped us set 10-year, 5-year, 12-month and 90-day goals, along with the necessary planning to ensure we stay on track with high-pay-off strategic activities, and to achieve these milestones on time every time."
Throughout 2016 and 2018 John and Adam met every three months to track and hold-the-line on solid governance practices, company structure, and to review and assess day-to-day management. John and Adam also continued to carry out considerable work with the Nutrisearch senior leadership team while keeping a good keen eye on the bottom-line.
Quarterly meetings have followed a disciplined (but flexible) structure as follows:
John continues to meet with Adam and his operational team when required, which includes Adam calling on John as an independent sounding board when it comes to the implementation and management of key strategic activity.
"John has added value to Nutrisearch by introducing us to different professional service providers when needed to assist us in navigating certain business challenges. His incredibly broad business skills base in all the areas needed to add value both commercially and on a personal basis have been invaluable."
Although the factors contributing to success are often complex and dynamic, the results from John's involvement with Adam and Nutrisearch are clear. A more robust governance structure has undoubtedly contributed to better day-to-day operational systems. And efficiencies and profitability have dramatically increased over the past five years with turnover up substantially.
Looking forward, John's involvement with Adam will inevitably remain at a higher level. It's likely they'll meet two or three times a year to review YTD financials and check in on the plan for the coming 12 months. The future will also likely see Adam 'extracting' himself from day-to-day operations in order to drive new opportunities with his senior leadership team.
"I can't recommend John personal integrity enough. He's taken a very genuine interest in our business and its outcomes. He has also assisted me personally as a director / shareholder to look after myself, take those well needed breaks and help me with personal 'outside of the business' goal setting, which is really important to maintain a healthy balance between work, downtime and family life."