David Weaver is the president and CEO of Aphex BioCleanse Systems, Inc. For over 40 years, he has demonstrated leadership skill in the field of domestic and international marketing, which includes a wealth of import/export experience. He has created “high volume Patented Health Care solutions for sanitizing and disinfecting medical devices and hard surfaces.”
As the leader of Aphex, David Weaver has taken the mantle in developing “sanitizing products for agriculture, mold remediation and wound care for animals.” The company also offers a “non-alcohol hand sanitizer” which “provides lasting protection using the latest chemistries for pesticide and dye free uses.”
Additionally, David Weaver also has vast business knowledge of the markets in “Europe, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.” He has managed “manufacturing organizations” with workforces ranging from “10 to 3000 people.” He has shown his skill in “restructuring operations, including mergers and acquisitions to create efficient supply chains to create significant increases in throughput, improved inventory turns, decreased product cost, and reduced inventories in factories.”
David Weaver has also led “multiple ERP systems implementations, including SAP, re-engineering business processes, streamlining operations.” He had also worked as a Supply Chain Manager for Kodak, where he reduced inventories by $200 million. Likewise, he has also “directed hardware and software product development efforts leveraging process management and advanced engineering tools,” which shortened development lead times by 4 to 6 months.
Throughout his career, David Weaver has earned recognition due to his reputation as a “hands-on manager that empowers teams; aligns strategy, actions, and measures; flawlessly executes fundamentals; and communicates with the workforce to consistently hit quality, cost, delivery, and service targets.”
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
David Weaver: I hold over 40 years of experience in engineering and design and was responsible for the creation of much of Aphex’s proprietary formulas. Previously, I spent over two decades as an optical engineer for Eastman Kodak, where I earned a name for myself by streamlining the company’s technology and operations, training its team around the world and innovating for the photography industry. Following my role with Eastman Kodak, I went on to found my own digital camera company, where I led the company to sell over $100 million within the first year through my innovations. I also helped Motorola launch the first-ever camera phone. At Aphex, I bring my innovative mindset, passion for disrupting the status quo and entrepreneurial spirit to the team.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
David Weaver: One of the most difficult obstacles I had to help my company overcome when we first started our journey was receiving agency approvals from the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With so many sanitization products on the market, we knew we would need even more than our first-of-its-kind water-based cleaning technology to make a splash. Becoming the FDA’s first approved hand sanitizer would help elevate our product to the level it deserves while gaining consumer trust. However, what many people don’t know is that federal approval processes can be incredibly pricey. In order to achieve this goal, we needed to first raise the capital to get us there. Today, we are proud to say that we were able to raise that capital and more, have gained EPA approval and are in the FDA approval process.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
David Weaver: It’s a funny story, actually. Hy-IQ®️ Water, our proprietary water-based cleaning solution that serves as the base of our products, was actually discovered by mistake. We were testing out formulations and, for some reason, the formulation we meant to create kept boiling. So, we rearranged our formula a bit and accidentally made an industry-changing discovery with Hy-IQ®️ Water. This experience has taught my team and myself to never stop experimenting.
Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Intellectual property: You need to have technology that distinguishes you from your competitors and need to make sure that technology is patented. Probing the USPTO website can help you see what is already out there and what technology is most likely to be granted a patent.
2. Determine whether your product is better patented or as a trade secret. You don’t have to patent everything and with the amount of information you must publicly disclose to receive a patent, some things are better as an unpatented trade secret.
3. Spend quality time on the things that will make you successful. To do this, focus on your target and figure out the steps you need to take to get there as quickly as possible. Hire salespeople and spend a decent amount of time training them if your goal is to increase sales.
4. Keep close track of your sales, payroll, government taxes, etc. If not, you could be subject to a time-intensive and costly review process.
5. Hire quality people: You must have quality people on your team that are self-motivated and share your company’s goal. When they join the company, they need to have a clear direction and know where they are going.
Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?
David Weaver: I agree that businesses with a purpose are more driven to accomplish their goals. At Aphex, our goal is to modify the current landscape of sanitization by replacing the current chemical-based options with our safe and environmentally-friendly water-based solution. We also aim to help eradicate germs in the world and help our population prepare for the next pandemic.
Having a social impact angle helps drive us forward and recruit others with similar passions and goals.
Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?
David Weaver: Increasing conversion really comes down to finding out what your customers’ needs are and being able to anticipate those needs before they are even stated. This allows you to be prepared, show an excellent level of customer service, build trust and showcase how your products can solve their issues.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with this in order to stand out. One way I demonstrate the effectiveness of our products is through a luminosity scale, which shows how many germs are on a surface. We measure the level of germs on a surface before and after our product is used and give the customer visual evidence that our products really do work.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
David Weaver: First, deliver on your promises. Do not make promises you cannot fulfill as this will backfire and result in a lack of trust in your brand. Second, create a recognizable product. You know your product’s differentiators better than anyone. Use this knowledge to your advantage and make sure it is part of your packaging and messaging so that customers know why they should choose your product. For us, our Hy-IQ®️ Water product is our largest distinguisher. We have made it a large part of our branding and packaging so that consumers associate our brand with our proprietary Hy-IQ®️ Water solution.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
David Weaver: You can keep with our latest updates by following Aphex’s social media accounts:
LinkedIn: Aphex BioCleanse Systems
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!