10 Questions: Gary Steinberg

March 21, 2012
Issue 8

01 Crosstex started as a dental company, not a medical company that later expanded into the dental industry. What advantages does that offer you? The primary advantage is to our customers. Being a dental company, we are more responsive to our customers and their needs. During the recent H1N1 pandemic, we made sure our dental customers were never in a back-order situation. Our medical counterparts couldn’t provide the same level of support to their dental customers.

01 Crosstex started as a dental company, not a medical company that later expanded into the dental industry. What advantages does that offer you?

The primary advantage is to our customers. Being a dental company, we are more responsive to our customers and their needs. During the recent H1N1 pandemic, we made sure our dental customers were never in a back-order situation. Our medical counterparts couldn’t provide the same level of support to their dental customers.

02 The commitment to dentistry is evident in your leadership. Can you explain that?

It started with my father, Norman. He envisioned Crosstex becoming a leader in the dental industry. Together with my brother and partner, we made that vision a reality. We built a senior management team that totals more than 160 years of dental experience and that has been with the company for an average of 18 years.

03 How else does that loyalty play out in terms of your overall customer service?

We also have a loyal employee base. Many of our employees have been with the company from 15 to 30 years. Our warehouse manager in New York has been with the company for 35 years and his son 16 years. You can’t replace that kind of experience when it comes to serving the customer. These team members are our quality system-simply put, they “know” the customer.

04 You’ve also remained consistent in your support for U.S. jobs. At a time when cost-cutting often leads to moving manufacturing offshore, why is this a priority?

In one word-control. More than 90 percent of our sales represents products manufactured in the United States. It enables us to have better control of our quality and inventory. We are in control of our destiny. It also allows us to be responsive. For example, we were able to more than double our monthly mask production to meet our customers’ needs during the recent pandemic.

05 How has staying U.S. based enhanced your R&D process?

It is difficult to develop new, innovative products from several thousand miles away. During the past few years, we have created numerous products that are unique to Crosstex and the dental industry, primarily because we do it here, in the United States.

06 What products are you most proud of?

We have transitioned our products from a commodity to a necessary tool through education and innovation. MaskEnomics is an example of this. We created a system that not only identifies and explains the various levels of our masks, it also educates end-users and provides them with a means of selecting the best mask for the task. It also allowed us to develop the BioSafe antimicrobial face mask, the only antimicrobial medical face mask that is water-based and silver-free and begins killing harmful bacteria on contact. BioSafe is sold in numerous countries while awaiting FDA 510K clearance to be sold in the United States.

07 What others?

Two other products immediately come to mind. Our Sure-Check self-seal sterilization pouch with internal/external Class 4 multi-variable (parameter) chemical indicators was the first of its kind. These multi-variable (parameter) indicators respond to the three criteria required for effective sterilization-temperature, for a specified period of time, and the presence of steam. The other product is our Comfort Plus saliva ejector, which minimizes patient trauma-the first real change to saliva ejectors in more than 40 years.

08 What do you see as some of the major infection control trends over the last year?

Increased awareness, among both providers and patients, as a result of the recent H1N1 pandemic. Dental teams really get it now: Wearing the right mask for the right procedure is critical for personal protection. They understand wearing masks is all about “their” protection. There also is an increased desire, by most mask wearers, for greater comfort. This is reflected in the increased sales of our Ultra Sensitive line of masks.

09 There hasn’t only been disease to consider, but also tragic world events. You’ve been active on that front as well. What is Crosstex’s response relative to social responsibility?

When the earthquake occurred in Haiti, we worked with our distribution partners by providing 30 pallets of assorted products very rapidly to support the relief efforts. We also work, on an ongoing basis, with AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Feed the Children and other government and non-governmental agencies. We also have our Pink with a Purpose cancer awareness program in conjunction with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

10 What’s the one thing you’d like the industry to think of when they think of Crosstex?

Protection. From face masks to sterilization pouches, to hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants, our products protect against the spread of infection. And with our Patient’s Choice line of preventative products, we help protect patients as well. Crosstex Protects-it’s as simple as that.