The intent of this page is to serve as a guide for those individuals that are either currently working with a nutraceutical contract manufacturer other than Makers Nutrition, or are in the process of selecting a contract manufacturer for the very first time. Posing the following questions when speaking to your sales representative will help you determine whether the organization that they represent is a reputable one or if it's a startup operation working out of a garage or an apartment, which may not last.
NSF is the leading global provider of public health and safety risk management solutions. NSF is the only independent, third-party organization that enables companies to become registered as meeting GMP requirements through regular NSF independent auditing. Makers Nutrition is proud to be an NSF GMP Registered facility.
All of the major nutraceutical contract manufacturers attend trade shows on a regular basis. If they say that they do not attend trade shows, chances are that they are not a legitimate operation.
Most illegitimate companies don't pick up the phone and use answering machines for the first step of customer communication. If you can never seem to get a live person on the phone and are tired of "leaving messages", chances are that the company you're trying to contact does not have a full-time sales staff.
One of the most common responses you may hear from a sales representative when you ask them for references from past customers is that they "make products for all of the big companies." If they are unwilling to coordinate a reference call, it's likely that they're trying to hide something from you.
If you know the web address of the company you're working with, conduct a “who is” record search in Google. Be sure to leave out "http://" and "www" when conducting this search.
If they do not have product liability insurance, then you don't have any coverage from them!
If your sales representative instructs you to go anywhere other than the address that is on their website to visit their facility, chances are that they are working out of somewhere other than an office building (i.e. garage, apartment building, etc.)
If a supplement manufacturer is subsidiary of a larger business entity, there might be a conflict of interest. Be absolutely sure your supplement manufacturer is not really your competitor. Your sales data will indicate if your formula is successful, your fulfillment data will tell them how you distribute. This is private information and should never be shared with parent entity who also sells supplements to consumers. It puts your formula at risk of being duplicated and sold in the same channels.
Visit various industry message boards, blogs, forums, etc. and ask other members in the community if they have heard of the contract manufacturer you're considering working with. People that actively contribute to these websites are extremely knowledgeable about the different contract manufacturers in the industry. If they have never heard of the company, chances are that they haven't been in business for very long. These people will also tell you what the overall reputation of the contract manufacturer is in the industry.
If they are unable to provide you with a current certification, then they may be manufacturing in contaminated conditions and/or may not be following proper manufacturing procedures and processes. Common examples of the shortcuts in these procedures and processes may include raw material vendor qualification, the testing of raw materials and finished product, proper documentation, and the cleaning of manufacturing equipment to avoid cross contamination.
There are only two entities that offer the certificates NSF and NPA. Do not be fooled by a local/state Chamber of Commerce issued certificate, the manufacturer is likely not cGMP.
If a company is operating below acceptable standards, dissatisfied customers will openly complain on websites such as Ripoff Report and BBB. Be sure to lookup the manufacturer's reputation on these websites before signing any contract. Sometimes you will find these complaints directly through Google's Searches.