A premier partnership between Neogen and Key Diagnostics has brought 15 years of SME food safety and detection expertise into the company fold.
Key Diagnostics was started in 2008 to service Australian food manufacturers in need of microbiology diagnostics, with food and beverage being one of the key industries the company continues to work with.
Among some of the solutions provided by Key Diagnostics are rapid hygiene diagnostics, food allergens, pathogen testing, laboratory automation, and microbial counting. All demonstrating the expertise provided to the food and beverage industry by the company.
Now, a partnership between Key Diagnostics and Neogen, experts in food processing solutions such as food safety testing kits, has strengthened both companies offerings to the market.
One of the key offerings from Neogen is the Clean-Trace Hygiene Monitoring & Management System, designed to optimise environmental monitoring.
The creation of the product was supported by a team of in-house scientists and engineers and has received AOAC Performance Tested Methods accreditation.
These innovative solutions provide results that are accurate and trusted to quickly, and confidently, make the high-risk decision to verify cleaning and begin production.
Key Diagnostics Managing Director, Trevor Warren said experience and expertise were key factors in keeping up with a rapidly evolving sector.
“Key Diagnostics has been in existence for 15 years and I’ve been selling microbiology diagnostics for 33 years and I have seen the industry transform dramatically over that time,” said Warren.
“Because of that experience we can access resources outside our company. Our customers come to us with a particular problem and know we can get them the right answer.”
Having a customer-centric approach
Warren also attributed his company’s ability to thrive in a competitive sector to Key Diagnostics’ emphasis on customer service and a speciality solution approach.
“We put together smart tools. If there is a product that allows you to do something faster, with less expertise, while getting information sooner, then we define it as a smart tool,” he said.
“When I set up Key Diagnostics 15 years ago those were the types of products I concentrated on. If we can differentiate ourselves and provide our customers solutions to allow them to work smarter, then we were ticking the box.
“By concentrating more on our customers, we have forged strong relationships and that allows us to compete and flourish in a very tough environment.”
Bobby Creasman, Senior Regional Director at Neogen, said the partnership combines both companies’ area of expertise which benefits all parties involved, especially customers.
“It’s an exciting partnership for that reason, and we are thrilled to have Key Diagnostics coming on board as a premium partner,” he said.
“Key Diagnostics has always done a great job of understanding customer needs and determining the best way to meet them, regardless of the size of the customer.
“Neogen has always been great with medium to large companies, but medium to small requires a different approach and Key Diagnostics is great at coming up with customised solutions for smaller and medium enterprises.”
Warren said finding the best solution was all about working closely with the customer.
“A small independent company shouldn’t be doing well up against multi–nationals, but because we focus on our customers and what their needs are, not only what they are doing now, what they want to do in the future,” he said.
“We like to explore with our customers, not to give them alternatives, but to find out where they want to be, and we can source globally in order to put together the best solution.”
Warren said the coming together of Neogen and Key Diagnostics is going to be critical in continuing the work of both.
“We need full solutions for all our customers, food manufacturing is very diverse,” he said.
“You have small mum and dad factories all the way to large multi-national corporations, and everyone needs individual needs and are quite often responding to their own customers’ requirements.
“That’s where we come in and help develop tailored solutions for future needs.”
Leveraging on strengths
Creasman adds that the partnership is beneficial to both parties for several reasons, including each’s area of expertise.
“Neogen has always been great at commercialising science and coming up with the best possible scientific answer and Key Diagnostics has always been very good at teaching customers how to apply that science to improve their business,” he said.
Key Diagnostics and Neogen also help customers in the industry get a clearer image around requirements from governing bodies as standards grow and change, in large part due to company growth.
“It is very much a case of a partnership with the industry we are trying to achieve,” he said.
“The biggest problem with the Australian regulatory side of things is only focusing on what is done wrong, not necessarily how to do it right.
“We help customers understand this part, what can be done to correct any issues and to do it in a way that gives them timely results in a cost-effective way.”
Warren said changes in consumer and regulatory demand always comes with company growth and it can have a negative impact on that growth if not addressed in a timely and affordable manner.
“Craft breweries and distilleries are great examples of this,” he said.
“We are seeing more of these smaller and boutique manufacturers supplying bigger customers like Qantas. This is resulting in rapid growth and that is exciting that the Australian consumers are embracing these smaller businesses.”
Neogen and Key Diagnostics, help manufacturers and producers meet these changes in a timely and affordable way.
“For example, once you start dealing with large customers you have to bump up quality documentation requirements, and other standards,” said Warren.
“Because if they get something wrong, they suddenly become national news. It’s important you provide reliable solutions that will grow with them.
“That’s where I think we have the benefit. We offer solutions that suit the local butcher all the way through to a multi-national customer.
“And as their needs grow, we can move them from one product to another to suit what their new regulatory requirements are.”
Being able to source globally also provides the added benefit of providing global insight which results in better solutions for now and into the future.
“Small companies grow into medium and large companies essentially because they are meeting a need,” said Creasman.
“And we see globally the impact changes in consumer trends is having. Consumers want more variety, better quality, and ethically made products.”
By being able to tap into these valuable insights, Key Diagnostics and Neogen continue to provide and develop the right solutions around food safety and food processing standards.
Now this partnership combines this expertise to benefit their customers and the industry.