For as long as Don Melnikoff can remember, he’s had a natural curiosity for how things worked.
“I drove my parents crazy. I took every phone apart. I took anything that was broken [and] would rip it apart to see if I could figure out,” said Melnikoff.
“I was always fascinated with the engineering side of things and questioning, ‘Is there a better way?’”
Now as president of Biocut Systems, he’s asking the same question, except instead of phones and other household items, his focus is on the innovation of processes in regenerative medicine.
“When someone wants to take something, biologic in this case, and convert it into something else, we’re trying to find the most innovative and effective way to do that. And that’s our strength,” said Melnikoff.
As he approaches his third year in the position, Melnikoff has one goal in mind for the legacy he wants to pave: teamwork.
“The legacy that I want everyone to get out of this experience and this team is that [we] do appreciate and understand your personality and how it may complement someone that’s completely different.”
This mindset probably stemmed from his marriage of the past 25 years. Melnikoff met his engineering lab partner turned wife in 1992, and remembers their match being one that began with their complementary learning styles.
“She was not the hands-on person, so I did all the labs, but she was really good at theory. So, she would help teach me the theory and I would help teach her how you applied it,” said Melnikoff.
Similarly, the Biocut team aims to tap into talent from various backgrounds: technical and nontechnical. Whether it be a biomedical engineer assisting a mechanical engineer, or a salesperson teaming up with a designer, Melnikoff wants to set a standard of collaboration and mentorship that will further please customers. This idea of a “flat” company culture places no hierarchy on experience or background, but rather opens the door to mold potential and curiosity into mission-driven autonomy.
“We ask that everyone mentor people. If you see something wrong, don’t yell at them about it. Go and explain to them or talk to them or suggest to them how they may do it a little bit better next time. We all want to see each other get better.”
Over the past three years, the company’s propensity to alleviate customer pain points has caused the company to double financially.
Melnikoff cites a key part of Biocut’s metrics as how broad of a solutions provider they are to customers and to the regenerative medicine market. The goal is that in times of innovative need, clients know a call to Biocut means guaranteed support.
“It’s less selling something as much as it is them knowing that we’re going to work with them to get it right,” he said.
And even as COVID-19 continues to tear through the country creating more unknowns, that drive for customer delight persists steadily. Melnikoff says the company’s foundation of flexibility has pushed them to innovate and shapeshift along with their clientele.
“COVID actually presented a number of great opportunities for us to do things differently, whether it be webinars, which we did and had some phenomenal results and phenomenal engagements.”
Many of these sessions’ content spoke to the core of Biocut: fostering positive relationships of teamwork and partnership with clients.
“Everyone just adjusted to a new, a new way of doing things very, very rapidly,” said Melnikoff. “I think that resonated with all of our customers…We’re not, you know, slowing things up, we’re trying to help them in any situation they’re in.”
Whether it be the teamwork implemented amongst the Biocut staff or the collaboration of designers and clients, Melnikoff’ s vision as president is clear:
“Together, we’re a lot stronger,” he said.