Over the past month, you’ve read some wonderful pieces about working with contract manufacturers. One aspect that’s been overlooked is the social component to such an arrangement. What good is the service or product you’re getting if the people behind it are unreliable or rude—or worse?
Before you enter into an agreement with a contract manufacturer, you may want to ask the person you’re dealing with the following questions. Actually, it’s better if you ask them to yourself—or at least rephrase them.
1.) Will you return my phone calls/emails/texts in a timely fashion?
2.) Actually, will I get you on the phone and not your receptionist or the intern who still doesn’t know how to change the ink cartridges in the printer? (Come on, Andrew! Get in the game!)
3.) Will you be patient if I need you to explain something to me—or vice versa?
4.) Will you update me on the progress of what I’ve requested?
5.) Will you keep your promises? If not, will you offer updates and solutions, not excuses and blame?
6.) If I visit your business, will you, at the very least, not act as if the FDA is knocking at your door? Will you be hospitable and helpful?
7.) This is less important, but when I visit, will you recommend a great place to eat, not an establishment where the servers wear suspenders and call me “buddy”?
8.) Will you have a sense of humor?
9.) Will you answer my questions without eye rolling and huffy indignation?
10.) Will you not be afraid of paperwork and quality control and lawyers? You know, the things that protect both of our interests?
11.) If the service or good you provide is evolving or being affected on the regulatory side, will you please advise me as to how to adapt? Will you tell me what the best option is for my customers and for my business? If you can’t do that, can you refer me to someone who will?
12.) Do you care about this industry as much as I do?