Taking Care of the Nation’s Health

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

As we age, many of us feel less energetic than we once did. Even young men and women in their twenties and thirties sometimes don’t have the same vigour when playing sports, chasing after their kids, or just getting out of bed in the morning. Lack of sleep, improper nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, chemical pollutants, and stress are just a few factors that lower our immune systems against illness, reduce energy, and age us prematurely. No one can stop time, but we all have the power to be healthier, increase our stamina, and live longer and more fulfilling lives by making better choices, starting with daily vitamins and supplements.

“The big difference between a vitamin company and a drug company is that a drug company looks after you when you’re sick – vitamin companies prevent you from getting sick,” says Peter Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer of Australian NaturalCare Products Pty Ltd. Since 1989, Australian NaturalCare has helped care for the health and well-being of over 300,000 men, women and children across the nation by delivering superior-quality products for health and home directly to their residence or place of work. Proudly Australian-owned and operated, the company has proactive customer service tools to ensure its many dedicated clients are aware of special offers, informed about the latest products, and never run out of supplies of vitamins, minerals or supplements.

Club 4 and Advanced Order Tracking

Australian NaturalCare is the Number One Australian-owned direct marketer in the nation. Unlike other companies, the firm does not make cold-calls, but works from its own large database of dedicated customers, some of whom have been with the company from the very beginning, almost 23 years ago. All orders are tracked through a sophisticated computerised proprietary system developed by the company to better serve the needs of all clients across Australia.

“Our customers are very much in touch with us, because we’re a direct marketing business, and not a retailer or a wholesaler,” says Jamieson. “The other vitamin companies out there don’t know who their customers are, because they sell to a wholesaler.” Through its ordering department, the dedicated staff at Australian NaturalCare often send out three-month supplies of vitamins and supplements at a time. This ensures clients have enough fresh product on hand at all times.

Through Club 4 – the company’s continuity program – customers are informed when a new shipment will be sent, and are made aware of special offers, and much more. Free to join, Club 4 is a revolutionary regular delivery program that is convenient, easy, and ensures customers never run out of the products they take regularly. Since products are automatically dispatched, there is no need to re-order. By logging in to the Australian NaturalCare website, Club 4 members enjoy the lowest costs on products and reduced postage throughout, and orders are backed by the company’s 100 per cent Satisfaction Guarantee. Best of all, there are no pre-commitments, and orders can be easily changed at any time, with additional products decreased or increased. To date, a full 25 per cent of Australian NaturalCare customers take part in the Club 4 continuity program.

The revolutionary program is convenient, and payment is done automatically via credit cards. The company’s clients have enough to concern themselves with in their daily lives, and Club 4 allows them to have one less thing to think about, says Jamieson. “It’s a great service for customers. They don’t have to think about the order, or worry about it. When their vitamins are just about to run out, the next order arrives.” Clients receive a message that their order is about to be shipped, which asks them if there are any changes, followed by another message informing them their products have been shipped.

A Tradition of Quality

Since it was formed in 1989, Australian NaturalCare has become known as one of the nation’s best suppliers of vitamins, supplements, and minerals. Today, the company has a large facility and about 60 staff, including a centre handling inbound and outbound calls. It has grown considerably from the days when it was founded by Barry J Schadel and operated out of the back of his house. A lifelong vitamin enthusiast, Schadel had worked in a number of positions in Australia’s health and fitness industry, and wanted to try his hand at direct marketing. Ads in newspapers for vitamins and supplements received overwhelmingly positive responses, and the business soon grew.

Since that time, the company has had a number of majority owners, including respected wine experts Cellarmasters and today, Equity Partners. Present-day CEO Peter Jamieson entered the company in 2005 as General Manager, and knew Schadel. Today, Australian NaturalCare is poised to embark on the next stages of its vision, with a newly-revamped website, and one of the nation’s best-known direct marketing gurus on board. “We have a very committed structure that is really all about increasing the health and well-being of all Australians,” says Jamieson. “The capital ‘C’ in the company name is all about the care.”

Much of the company’s business comes from well-deserved word of mouth. Australian NaturalCare is 100 per cent Australian owned and takes great pride not only in serving the health needs of the nation, but in hiring locally and supporting Australian industries. Since all products are made with pride in Australia, customers are assured they are getting the freshest and finest quality each and every time, something not all other vitamin companies can boast.

“We are one of the only vitamin companies – including the large ones – who can guarantee you that all our products are made in Australia,” says Jamieson of Australian NaturalCare, which makes over 80 products for everything from allergies and sinus health to cardiovascular health, digestion and detox, energy, joints and bones, male and female health, stress and anxiety, memory, weight management, and even pet health.

Therapeutic Goods Administration

Unlike some products made in other countries, every single Australian NaturalCare item is carefully created in Australia by manufacturers licensed by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). As Australia’s regulatory authority for therapeutic goods, the TGA conducts a range of assessments and ongoing monitoring activities to ensure therapeutic goods such as vitamins and supplements available in Australia are of an acceptable standard. One of the toughest regulators in the world, Australian-made vitamins must meet exacting quality standards. Additionally, all natural products sold in Australia must be made by licensed manufacturers according to the code of pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) by law. This GMP code assures customers of consistent, quality products. Australian NaturalCare’s manufactures include Lipa Pharmaceuticals in New South Wales, and major provider Sphere Healthcare.

“When customers ingest our products, they know exactly what they are putting in their bodies, and know exactly what they are getting,” says Jamieson. “That is of paramount importance to us.”

All Australian NaturalCare products are quality-controlled, and undergo extensive testing to ensure they are free from contamination by pesticides, microbes, heavy metals, or other adulterants. All finished products are analysed to make certain labels accurately reflect listed ingredients, and active ingredients are backed up by studies, extensive clinical research and a solid foundation of traditional use. Unlike some companies that pack their vitamins and supplements with a long list of unnecessary ingredients, Australian NaturalCare prefers to create goods with higher doses and fewer ingredients, so customers get safe, effective products that reflect good value for the money.

To back up their claims, the company offers an unprecedented 100 per cent, unconditional money-back guarantee on all products. This guarantee assures customers can feel secure with their purchases, knowing they are buying superior-quality products made by a company that has their health in mind.

“We have excellent word of mouth business,” comments Jamieson. “That is built on the foundation of our integrity, and the fact that we have 100 per cent money-back guarantees – our customers know that, and we honour that guarantee. We’re not one of those companies that questions why they want to send it back. When you have a 100 per cent money-back guarantee, you don’t question why – you just say fine.” As a result, the company’s return rate is extremely low. “You can’t have word of mouth unless you’re a company whose foundations are good and strong and based on quality, respect, and integrity, and that’s what we know we have with our customers.”

Naturopaths and Information

In addition to sending out detailed information with products, newsletters, and Q and A’s about health on the company website, Australian NaturalCare also offers “Ask a Naturopath,” a free, online consultation service with one of three expert naturopaths. Highly qualified, all naturopaths possess an extensive range of knowledge about all of the company’s products, and serve not to sell, but to advise customers on the best possible supplements, vitamins, and minerals for their individual needs. As a result, this service helps clients make better decisions about their health, helps them with knowledge about taking vitamins or supplements along with existing medication, and avoids duplication of products, saving them money. Customers can contact the naturopaths in complete confidence through a free online form, or by calling them directly.

Included in the naturopaths’ duties are new product development, government regulations, and scouring the world for the latest information and technology, knowledge, and health trends. “Our job is to work with our customers, and to supply a vitamin and supplement addition to their life that allows them to achieve their goals in the health sphere,” says Jamieson.

The company’s dedication to its customers has paid off handsomely, reflected in the length of the company’s relationships with its customers (55 per cent have been with the company for more than 5 years, and 20 per cent for more than [10] years) and the fact that those customers have to date placed more than 2.5 million orders, totaling 16.5 million bottles of vitamins. The company continues in its quest to research and formulate the best products imaginable. Always keeping an eye on the future, the company recently introduced a home care catalogue in addition to its regular catalogue. Many of the products include chemical free cleaners, shampoos, skin care items, and pet products, with the tagline “Your essential health partner,” emphasising that the company wants to be an integral part of the health care of all Australians.

“We want to be an essential health partner in not only what [customers] put in their body, but what they have around their body, around their children and in their household,” says Jamieson, adding that many of us don’t know the health impact chemical-based household products may have on us, which is why Australian NaturalCare has a range of natural or organic goods.

“Seventy per cent of Australians are buying complementary medicines, so why wouldn’t they buy from us? Why wouldn’t you develop that relationship with your customer that says you care about their health? We want to be the health partner of all our customers, and as many Australians as we can – our ultimate goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.”

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 16, 2018, 3:51 PM AEDT