Becoming a Cellerant client isn’t easy; the team says no to many more companies than they say yes to. There’s a substantial vetting process before accepting a client. Dr. Shuman looks at the company’s management team to determine if they understand the challenges they face and if it’s a team that Cellerant can integrate with. He also depends on his clinical team members, who evaluate products outside his areas of expertise and report back on if Cellerant should support the products or pass. Dr. Shuman and the Cellerant executive team also ask themselves if they can truly help each company grow. If they can’t, they don’t add the company to their client list.
“It is very important to us that the dental community knows being a Cellerant client means something. That we are supporting very special companies,” he said. “We become integral parts of these companies and, especially during COVID, provide support at multiple levels.”
Cellerant experts can provide valuable insights in many different areas. Dr. Shuman even serves on the Board of Directors for clients including Sleep ArchiTx, MMG Fusion, Ditron USA and LightForce Orthodontics (he’s also a co-founder of LightForce, the company behind the first fully customized ceramic 3D printed orthodontic bracket). It’s not something he expected, but it’s a role he’s proud of and happy to take on for his clients.
Dr. Shuman is also proud of the huge amount of 510 (k) work Cellerant does. He has partnered with many journals, writing articles that educate the dental community on “unbelievable technologies” from companies that don’t have the money to advertise yet. He has monthly national columns in Dental Economics, Dental Products Report and Canada’s Oral Health that he uses to tell their stories.
“My passion is technology, both inside and outside of dentistry,” he said. “We’re known for trying to introduce and bring different levels of technology into the industry, and we have the ability, based on our relationships with the journals, to really accelerate awareness and education around that, and it’s something we’re passionate about.”
Once they bring a client on, the Cellerant team meets with management for hours to “dissect it down to its roots” and build it back, looking in a customized way at what Cellerant’s role will be in growing the company, Dr. Shuman said. They then create a detailed operational plan and objectives that they live by.
Being a consultant is strenuous. Dr. Shuman and the rest of the team work to prove themselves every day, and to meet the goals they set. They know if they don’t, clients won’t renew. But that hasn’t been an issue. Cellerant has a 97 percent retention rate.
“You think the goal is to take them to a certain level so they can go out on their own,” he said, “but as a result of how blessed I am with an amazing executive and clinical team, we’ve learned we are capable to grow our clients through multiple stages.”
The team meets with clients regularly, because with startups, priorities shift quickly. It’s important to stay nimble and support them based on whatever changes occur.
Cellerant works with DSOs, introducing technologies that bring great benefits to their practices, and is also the exclusive incubator and accelerator for Patterson and Envista, Dr. Shuman said.
“We can fast track our technology to their executive acquisition and distribution teams to see if they’re interested,” he said, “and they send us companies they want to grow to a certain level.”