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Hooked Up

With the addition in March of a hospital in Bakersfield to its client list, biomed services provider enBio continues to pursue a growth strategy that its founder hopes will eventually get the company known nationwide. As much as Arthur Zenian wants his company to grow – he’s eyeing 25 percent to 30 percent annually – he wants to do it at a reasonable pace. Zenian employs 30 people but at the Burbank headquarters there is only he and two others. The rest are scattered in the western U.S., based out of the health care facilities at which they maintain and repair equipment used on patients. What enBio brings is peace of mind that the equipment – ventilators, infusion pumps, imagers, and the like – are in working order and get regular preventative maintenance. For the hospitals and surgery centers this is needed to keep their accreditation, while for the patients it cuts down the risk of a life-threatening malfunction. After all, Zenian pointed out, how many patients give much thought to that machine they are hooked up to? “No one ever thinks about who services it, who maintains it,” Zenian said. At enBio, that’s all they ever think about. Among the facilities enBio works with are facilities operated by Promise Healthcare Corp., Kaiser Permanente, and smaller ones such as Silver Lake Medical Center, and Good Samaritan Hospital in Bakersfield. Negotiations are ongoing for enBio to provide its services in the Dallas region, a first step to expanding outside the western states. FOUNDED: 2008 Revenues in 2008: $2.3 million Revenues in 2009/2010: $5.3 million Employees (2011): 30 Benefits of outsourcing Outsourcing the maintenance and repair services is a cost-cutting measure for health care facilities by not having to hire extra staff to do the work, buy expensive testing equipment, and purchase additional insurance coverage. With medical facilities not making new equipment purchases it becomes all the more important to keep what they do have in top condition. Zenian has been the biomed services provider to Promise Hospital, East Los Angeles for about seven years. Administrative Director Lauren Troxel has a direct line to him whenever there is an emergency. “They are extremely responsive and dedicated to getting the job done,” Troxel said. “They are here every time we go through survey (for accreditation) and anything needed from the surveyor’s perspective is met.” enBio marks the third biomed company Zenian has been involved with. What makes it different from the other two is that he started it on his own after having had business partners in the other ventures. Those experiences with Strategic Clinical Engineering and Binovia left Zenian hesitant to try to go that route again. From the Binovia experience at least, the expectations of a business partner never materialized. The missing piece was having someone who was willing to give their all and have skills complementary to Zenian’s. After his partner relocated to Nebraska, the cost of keeping his piece of the business going became more costly while at the same time clients looked elsewhere for the same services. (After the pair split, the partner kept the Binovia name and continued the company.) After dispensing with a business partner, Zenian now finds value in surrounding himself with good vice presidents. Kara Connor has been with enBio since 2008 but only last year was given the title of vice president of sales and operations. Having her on board is better than having a real partner and one of the best decisions he has made, Zenian said. As the service enBio provides is a combination of technical skills and customer service skills, Connor’s background in the hospitality industry comes in use. Having worked at both big and small companies, the work environment of a mid-size firm the size of enBio combines the best of both. “It has the professionalism of a corporation yet the feel of a small company,” Connor said. (Both Connor and Zenian are Burbank natives and went to rival high schools where they played sports, Connor on the volleyball team and Zenian in water polo.) Combining interests Getting into the biomed industry was a way for Zenian to combine two interests: being a doctor and electronics. His first job at Cohr Inc., based in Chatsworth, was where he learned the technical and equipment side of the business. Day-to-day operations, however, were learned by trial and error. Zenian met Dennis Bernstein while earning a degree in business and management at Woodbury University where Bernstein was then an instructor. The two stay in touch with Zenian turning to Bernstein whenever facing a major business decision. Zenian has built into enBio a sense of community and pride about what they deliver, Bernstein said. “The clients see his products as high quality and it stems from his meticulous nature,” Bernstein said. That meticulousness, plus having been burned by previous business partners, contributes to what Zenian admits as a weakness in the business world – not delegating duties to others. As the chief executive at enBio he wears many hats but that is changing. Retreats with the executive team have included a close look at titles and job descriptions that take him out of the day-to-day decision making to focus on the bigger picture of where the company is going. “I am getting better at it,” Zenian said of delegating. Bigger picture The bigger picture taking Zenian’s time now is how to get enBio into other markets outside of those in California, Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii. Getting the account in Dallas would be a start. Going after those accounts, however, means going up against some big competition. GE Healthcare and the health care division of Philips also provide biomed services. As does ARAMARK, which in March acquired Masterplan, the company that absorbed Cohr Inc., Zenian’s one-time employer. With its small size and 30 employees, enBio can be nimble and quick in responding to the needs of the clients. There is no large legal department to go through, for example, if changes are made to a contract. “We eliminate steps,” Zenian said. The motivation behind how enBio operates is to always keep moving forward and not let anything stop the company – from getting new clients, from serving those clients, and bringing peace of mind. “That’s how we make health care happen,” Zenian said. “That is our tagline.”

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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