You have a brand, you have ambition to market your custom dietary supplement product successfully. The only thing, you have worked with some not-so-great manufacturers that have left you with empty promises. It can be a difficult process, but run with these ten tips and you will be much more equipped to choose a trustworthy contract manufacturer that is right for you.
1. Anybody Home?
Have you tried calling the manufacturer? Does anyone answer? Or do you get stuck leaving a voice message to a robot? Some illegitimate companies do not pick up the phone for the first step of client communication. Unless you hear a live person on the other end, the manufacturer is most likely not staffed with a full-time sales staff.
2. Is there a website?
Google the manufacturer. A website speaks volumes—from the company’s NSF GMP registration to the services it provides. It does not have to be the hippest site with all the cool nuances of a social network, but the manufacturer’s site should definitely appear professional and coherent. Something like this: https://www.makersnutrition.com/vitamin-manufacturer/
With age comes great wisdom. Check the birthday of the manufacturer to see how long it has been in business. Is it established? Has it been around long enough, staffed with the vitamin and supplement experts whose skills produce the best possible outcome? Here, age matters!
4. Who Owns the Manufacturer?
If a supplement manufacturer is a subsidiary of a larger business entity, there might be a lurking conflict of interest. Be completely sure your manufacturer is not your competitor. Your sales data will indicate if your formula is successful, while your fulfillment data will show them how you distribute. This is private information that should never be shared with a parent entity that also sells supplements directly to consumers. Linking to a competitor puts your business in jeopardy, especially since the manufacturer has total access to your formula(s).
Contract manufacturers typically display their registrations and certifications on their websites. NSF International is the oldest leading, tried-and-true global provider of public health and safety risk management solutions. NSF International is also the only independent, third-party organization that enables companies to become registered as meeting GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) requirements through regular NSF International independent auditing. If the website does not clearly specify the company’s certifications, ask over the phone—that is of course if someone answers.
6. Presentation is Everything
Nearly all major contract manufacturers are often found at trade shows, exhibiting their specialties and expertise. If they have never attended a trade show, chances are they are not a legitimate operation to entrust with your business.
7. And the Winner is…
The company’s website is a great place to showcase industry awards won. Take Makers Nutrition for example: https://www.makersnutrition.com/certifications-awards/. Consistency proves credibility. A simple search online can also lead you to the many, or absence of, awards the manufacturer has to its name. Press releases, discussion boards, and blogs can prove the impressive, or not-so-impressive reputability of the company.
8. Can They Provide?
Countless manufacturers talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? Make sure the company can do everything they claim to be experts on. Powder encapsulation? What’s the process? Packaging solutions? What kind? Proof is mandatory in making the right decision.
What is the manufacturer’s lead time? You do want production done quickly, but beware that haste makes waste. You are putting a lot of your own time and money into this project, and you wouldn’t want all of it to be for nothing. Get things done right the first time so as not to create bigger problems such as delays and hasty errors.
10. Request a Tour
Touring the facility in which your product(s) is being manufactured can give you peace of mind, knowing exactly where and how your supplement is being made. This will also allow you to see the plant’s condition, which can be a make or break factor in your decision-making process.
Gear Up and Get Going
These tips are key to not only choosing the best contract manufacturer, but to avoiding the many problems that so many brands face when they sleep on this information. Research, listen, and quite literally, stay woke!