When Choosing A Contract Manufacturer Of Supplements, An Approach Based On Quality, Standards, And Trust Is Best
People take botanicals and dietary supplements for all sorts of personal health reasons. Unless you have recommendations from or the knowledge of a biologist, chemist, clinical researcher, nutritionist or doctor – how does a consumer choose from all the options and brands available? In the end trust, efficacy, and consistency of a product is what is going to turn first time consumers into repeat consumers. This is why it is essential for a supplement and/or botanical company that doesn’t have their own inhouse manufacturing capabilities to establish a relationship with an outside custom contract manufacturer. The linkage, collaboration and clear expectations between these two companies are key to produce a supplement or botanical that is properly formulated, manufactured to the highest quality standards and can pass all the regulatory hurdles before being sold to the consumer. Some of these standards include “Good Manufacturing Practices” (GMP), and Kosher, Organic (MOSHA) and NSF certifications.
If you are choosing to create and sell a supplement using a contract manufacturer, not only will you need to outline your goals, expectations, target audience and budget, but you also need to find a quality contract manufacturer that can confidently manufacture the product for you.
Investing time in choosing the right manufacturer to do the job can become a tedious task, so here is a quality approach that will help you in that process. The question “how to find a supplement manufacturer” is a very important one. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider in helping you to find the right custom contract manufacturer for your supplement or botanical.
What Is A Custom Contract Manufacturer And What Do They Do
A custom contract manufacturer is an external manufacturer that a supplement or botanical company engages with to formulate custom specifications of their product, potentially source and procure the ingredients and manufacture and package the product. A custom contract manufacturer has done all the research, formulation, ingredient sourcing, blending and manufacture of the product and understands all the regulatory hurdles. The product is then ready to be labeled with your brand and the manufacturer proceeds to the packaging phase to apply your label. Some manufacturers are able to provide services to both print your brand label and package your product.
The advantages for a supplement company to partner with a custom contract manufacturer are numerous and most importantly you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in researching and formulating products or dealing with the hassles of the ingredient supply chains. You can start marketing to your buyers and taking orders because you know you can provide them a quality product and you know how quickly your finished product will become available.
Check The Integrity Of A Custom Contract Manufacturer
A company’s reputation and integrity may be one of the most important considerations of all for picking the right custom contract manufacturer. Consumer buying decisions are ultimately based on trust: Trust that you are getting what you pay for. Trust that the product does what it was advertised to do. Trust that the consumer’s buying experience will be consistent all the way from their first purchase through their 5th and 6th and 12th purchase. All of these important product factors are dependent on the experience, quality, trust and consistency of your contract manufacturer.
Thoroughly research your custom contract manufacturer candidates. Look thru their manufacturer websites. Visit their locations. Is there a mission statement that similarly reflects your own values for products and services? Read the “About Us” section. Who owns/operates the company? What are their credentials? Do they list information about their research process and manufacturing process?
Check out all the customer service options. Are there multiple contact options beyond an email address such as a toll-free number and/or live chat?
Does the manufacturer offer a guarantee? Guarantees from companies show that it has faith in its products and services.
Does the contract manufacturer highlight indicators of quality, for instance a mention of industry standards or seals of quality that the manufacturer adheres to? This brings us to the next step in finding a quality supplement contract manufacturer.
The Contract Manufacturer Should Demonstrate Quality Assurance Standards
The contract manufacturer should have all the proper certifications including being FDA registered, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, Certificate of Analysis (COA), and certified organic and Kosher. This is important in terms of making sure your products can achieve third-party certification by a quality assurance organization. This will also affect your ability to belong to the National Products Association (NPA) or other associations that will help advocate for you and keep you informed regarding new legislation and regulations that affect you products. Again, it is important for consumers to trust the products they are purchasing. Part of this trust will be created through your partnership with a quality contract manufacturer.
You must also know the requirements of your products before contracting with a supplement manufacturer. In turn, the custom contract manufacturer needs to also understand all the product regulations affecting your products.
Here are just a few things to be sure to discuss and document:
- Product specifications or any certifications such as non-GMO
- Non-disclosure and non-compete clauses, when appropriate, for product protection
- Defined Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of each party
Undoubtedly there will many more questions and answers that will come up during your conversations and negotiations. Make sure to document everything. A quality assurance agreement document will avoid unnecessary disagreements with packaging details or product manufacturing mistakes.
The Contract Manufacturer Should Have The Ability To Provide The Space And Facility For The Production Capacity You Need
Cost and value goes hand in hand with choosing a custom contract manufacturer of dietary supplements and botanicals. You want to provide your customer with quality products and your customers want to be getting good value for their money. With their health potentially at stake, it is important to be able to deliver quality products with value, ease of access, and transparent documentation.
A quality supplement manufacturer will have modern equipment, inventory systems in place and access to raw materials for production. It is important to know if the manufacturer can deliver in case of a sudden uptick in consumer orders.
Contract manufacturers also need to know the FDA requirements regarding suitable size, material and design when it comes to packaging regulations.
The Contract Manufacturer Provides Points Of Communication / Support For Each Segment Of Production
A top quality custom contract manufacturer of supplements and botanicals will be able to address the following:
- Does the manufacturer provide educational and technical support to their customers?
- Is the manufacturer located in the same country as you are? Time is money and dealing with language barriers, differences in foreign trade and customs regulations can quickly eat into any cost savings you might think you get by outsourcing your manufacturing to a foreign country.
- Do they have a sales team to help navigate and brainstorm strategy, goals and steps towards success?
- Do they have persons in place to answer questions about quality control, manufacturing or packaging?
- Are there persons able to answer questions about fees or additional charges?
- How will delays in the manufacturing process be communicated and how will shipping delays be handled?
One of the most important partners you will have in creating your supplement and/or botanical business is your contract manufacturer. Thoroughly vetting a contract manufacturer is very important to the success of your business and it allows you to concentrate on your marketing and branding while an expert manufactures your product and navigates thru the strict regulations and requirements.
Finally, create an image of what success looks like for your product. Outline a plan with goals and steps to get to that level of success. Design a marketing strategy that will bring people to your product and finally create loyal repeat customers by choosing a quality contract manufacturer.
To learn more about our custom contract manufacturing services for dietary supplements and botanicals, or to receive a cost estimate on the manufacturing of your product, give us a call at 800-233-4483.